“Become a successful freelance writer. You can make money from your own home just using words.” The promise sounded too good to be true, and in some ways it was too good to be true. But it there was a lot of truth to what was said. Over the months and years of pursuing the “make money” opportunities in writing, I have discovered that words are the beginning, but there is more to building an income sustaining freelance writing career.
Ten Confessions of a Successful Freelance Writer
1. “I really want to be an author.” I liked the idea of earning money using words, but I wanted to be recognized. I tolerated jobs that involved writing content for other websites. I enjoyed those opportunities that came along that let me write about things I loved. But, deep down inside of my being, I still wanted to be an author that produced those great works of literature that everyone talked about. I faced a choice, continue just writing for others or begin developing the path to my own words.
2. “I am not an expert, but I write like one on the internet.” I know a lot of information. I love searching out the information that I do not know. I have the skill set to find what I need or the connections to help me when I get stuck. I love the challenge of unlocking the secrets, discovering the facts and uncovering the truths. But there are no extra letters after my name. I have not obtained degrees to support my interests. I just write in a way that lets me share my discoveries. I have had to accept that a true expert is not someone that has been to school but that has taken the time to learn something that I do not know.
3. “I am a writer.” The first paychecks for my words did not provide me with the confidence it took to utter those words. I only made the confession after attending a conference where I was forced to make the confession. It felt good to say the words aloud. And I continued to say them. I am a writer, not because I make a massive amount of money with my words but because I write.
4. “I have to make an income.” It would be great to produce words for the sake of words, but in this world it requires money to keep things going around. I made the choice to step into writing my own words and not doing work for others. I still had to continue to produce enough income to help sustain my family. That balance is not always easy.
5. “I have a heart to do something.” The easy path would be to go with the flow. My unique path tends to require a little more work. I am uniquely designed on purpose for a purpose. The steps I take should be specific towards my something. Following my heart to my purpose will allow me to live a life overflowing with peace and joy.
6. “My path is unique.” You will not have the same path as me. I will not have the same path as the experts. Others can walk similar paths, but no two paths are ever identical. I have to find my own path with my own steps. I come to that place by choosing to listen to the wisdom of those that have gone before. I come to that place by learning from the guidance of those that have gone before me. I come to that place when I take it all, mix it up, and pour it out in my own direction.
7. “I am not alone.” And I am unable to do it alone. The moment I accept that there is more to it all than just me, I can begin to mover in the direction of my success. Crossing that finish line depends on my willingness to reach out to help others reach their own success.
8. “The world will never know.” They wield a lot of power in this world. They tell me what they think. They tell me what is expected. They tell me what is the ordinary and acceptable. But they are not me so they will never understand my walk. The world is not my home, or my guide.
9. “I must keep stepping out.” It would be nice if my goals would come to me, but I have yet to have one of my goals track me down. I have to make the move towards my goals if I ever want to reach my destination. My dreams will not appear on their own. I must choose to exert my all – each day, for that day – if I am going to be in a position to craft the completion of my dreams.
10. “My success is mine alone.” Someone will define my success. I can choose to set that definition or let the world or they do it for me. If the definition of success is mine – set between me and God – then I will be content in that success. If I give that privilege to another then they will be the ones to control my journey. I must define my success to maintain control.
I confess that my journey to becoming a successful freelance writer will not be your journey. I confess that what I want from my career may not be the same as yours. I also confess that if you invest in understanding your goals for writing, you too can discover the path to a successful freelance writing career.