I wanted to start out by saying that I LOVE freelance writing. It absolutely helps an author develop skills by pushing them out of their comfort zone. Almost all the freelance writing I have been doing over the past 2 years is way different than the writing I do for myself. Last month I was hired to write a short Zombie series with product placement inside of them. Was a big challenge and I was so proud that I was able to still give a great product. Also, I loved how immediate the feedback was. When I write novels, I sometimes get reviews but most of the time I have no idea whether a reader loved, hated, or was indifferent to my novel. When you freelance, the customers make sure you know exactly what they thought of your work and when it is great that can feel like a real ego boost.
So, if I love it why am I quitting?
The main element is time. I work full time and I have two children. One of those children was just diagnosed with a developmental problem which we need to get focused on. Besides that I was trying to do my own novel writing (which is my passion and what I want to do when I grow up) and freelance writing. The freelance writing is, hands-down, more lucrative than the novel writing for me at this point. On my best month I made almost $1000 freelance writing. My RECORD from my novels is $60 in a month.
Something had to give and for the moment it is freelancing. I think most writers have a certain “writing well” where they can lower their bucket in and draw up water. Once the well is dry, the writing is much harder or even impossible. I felt like I was using all my water on my freelancing. I was working hard and being creative. I really loved it but at the end of the day there was little to give to my own novels.
Maybe if I didn’t have a full time job and kids I could have kept up with it. Many writers do. I may even go back to it one day.
If you are a fairly new writer, who has the time and desire, I would absolutely recommend freelancing for a year for the experience. Fiverr is the site I worked on and I would highly recommend them.
Still, freelancing is draining and it is so very hard to write your magnum opus while filling orders for pirate porn, articles on pet care, and the occasional zombie ad. I hope that my freelancing pays off by giving me the experience and skills to really wow my readers. It certainly gave me the confidence to know that I had potential and that my talent was valuable to someone.
Now, I need to concentrate the time and effort I had spent on freelance writing new ways. I plan to write more and spend more time with my children.
Then, maybe someday, when I have either succeeded as a novelist or given up on that dream, I will wander back into freelance writing. Just for kicks.
Anyone else here freelance? What has your experience been?