Every now and then it’s suggested I’m doing this wrong, that my approach to freelance writing isn’t traditional and that the tips shared here are incorrect. It’s even been hinted that perhaps I don’t look out for a writer’s best interests because I don’t follow the old-school rules of journalism or insist you follow the same path as all the other freelance writers. Those insinuations don’t bother me at all. I admit I don’t necessarily do things the right way – if there is a right way. I kind of like marching to my own drummer.
There’s a reason the rumors don’t upset me. It may seem like a big stinking pile of ego to say this, but I don’t mind the criticism because I’m successful. I don’t feel as if I’m going about this the wrong way because my bank account and my list of satisfied customers are convincing me otherwise.
So there it is. I found success as a freelance writer even if I didn’t necessarily follow a well-worn, traditional path.
Should it matter?
I don’t think so. To me, there’s something to be said about breaking the mold and finding your own way even if others might not approve. It doesn’t matter what others feel I should do if it doesn’t match my vision for achieving success. For me it means taking a less flexible approach to a freelancing schedule and using a cocktail of opportunities to maximize my earning potential. For someone else it may mean taking two hours out of each day to seek out and query $1 per word writing markets.
If it’s alright with you, I’d like to toss out a few suggestions for approaching your own freelance writing success. When I’m done, I’d love it if you can add some of your own methods into the mix as well.
Define your own freelance writing success
Figure out what you want early on. That doesn’t mean you can’t change your approach later or redefine your goals and visions. However, having an idea in your mind of what it means to be a success will give you a starting point. Success might be a monetary goal, seeing your name in a particular publication, or achieving a certain status. Define success first, and the rest will follow.
Plot goals and strategies needed to achieve said freelance writing success
You know what you want, now how will you get it? If your goal is to write the great American novel, you know you have to start with an outline, research facts and figures, develop characters, write a certain amount of pages each day, and eventually create a kickass proposal and shop it around. Create your path to success by plotting obtainable goals and milestones.
Keep an open mind
In 2010 opportunities for freelance writers abound. One doesn’t only need to rely on magazines or newspapers. Depending on expertise and experience, the same writers who create web content can become copywriters, article writers for magazines, newsletters and newspapers, ebook and traditional authors, bloggers and more. Creating a cocktail of opportunities might prove to be more beneficial than sticking with one tried and true form of writing. You don’t have to accept any opportunities you’re not feeling, but looking around at what else is out there couldn’t hurt.
Create a schedule
I don’t know about you, but if it’s not in front of my face it doesn’t get done. After plotting out my goals I write them down. I put them on my calendar and work them into my daily, weekly or monthly agendas. Now I have no excuse for not achieving my goals.
It’s easy to talk about defining, scheduling and plotting but it’s all meaningless if I don’t take action. All the freelance bloggers can offer tips and advice until the earth stops moving, but we can’t force you to take the first – or any steps. So now it’s your turn. How will you take action?
That’s it – that’s my non-traditional approach to freelance writing success, now tell us about yours. What are your goals and what steps are you taking to achieve those goals?