Over the course of my internship, I’ve had the opportunity to converse with many writers who’ve worked as freelancers. Below are some of the best tips they’ve given me.
1. Write whatever people will let you write.
One of our main editors used to write an enormous amount of copy for a fundamentalist Lutheran magazine. The lesson he’s passed down to me is: when you’re first starting out you don’t yet have the authority to turn down freelance jobs because they don’t interest you. Save the no’s for later, when your plate is already full and you can afford to pass up an opportunity.
2. Think of yourself like a small business.
If you haven’t started already, now is the time to learn how to read the legal jargon of a contract, how to negotiate payment terms, and how to write invoices that your clients will honor. It’s also the time to start learning the intricacies of tax law such as what you can write off as a business expense and how to budget accordingly so you don’t end up owning money when April rolls around again.
3. It’s hard, but fun, work!
The life of a freelancer may not always seem glamorous, but it allows you the freedom to pursue topics that interest you and work with publications that respect you and your talent. It takes a certain go-get-em mentality, but if you can muster up the courage it’s a great way to make your living and have some freedom doing it!