This will be a short entry, talking about how hard it is to start as a freelance writer in the world today. It’s also more of a rant on my part since it’s I’ve been having a frustrating time trying to get anywhere with it.
First off, there are a few definitions of what a freelance writer is. The first is a person who seeks writing jobs where ever it pays to do so. It could be a short story in one place, and then a serious article in the next. This type of freelancing often times requires you to “bid” for a job, such as saying you can write the assignment for x amount of money in x amount of time, and then the person who requested it picks who he or she wants. While this is probably the most common type of freelance, I’ve noticed a shift from this to a more structured system.
There are many websites out there that you have to qualify for just in order to be considered to write an article or assignment for them. This means going through an application process, with cover letter and resume. This eliminates the need for bidding, but if you have no past experience, or at least nothing to show for it, they are not easy to get accepted into. The positive aspect of these are the assignments are first-come-first-serve and often times have more than enough articles to choose from. They do pay less, usually a set rate, but give more freedom and bring less stress than the above freelance jobs.
So why do I bring this up in a post called “Another Disappointment”? It’s because I applied to a major freelance company, whose ad I found on craigslist, thinking it was a guaranteed acceptance, just to get turned down in less than 24 hours. While I am part of another freelance website, this one had a lot of promise and comes highly rated by other writers as a good one. They pay above average and making the equivalent of $25 an hour isn’t unheard of, as where the website I am currently a part of, the top contributor makes around 1/3 to 1/2 of that.
It was an initial shock that they didn’t even consider me and probably didn’t even look at the samples I sent them, but then something hit me after about an hour of sitting there feeling like I have nothing to offer as a writer. I need to just start from the ground and work my way up. While I’ve written a lot in my life, and have proof of it, I haven’t been published very much. I have no way for people to see the value that I can give. So I’ve decided while I continue to apply for every part-time, full-time, and contract writing job I can, I am going to pursue the lower paid freelance work for the experience of it.
I hope next time I write I’ll have better news, and maybe some helpful hints on how to get started as a freelance writer.