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Want to Become A Writer? Here is What NOT To Do

Aug 17, 2007
So, you dream of becoming a fulltime freelance writer? What's the easiest (and fastest way), to get there? Sometimes learning what roads not to travel is the best way to get where you're going.

Don't Count On Making A Living As A Writer:
According to statistics, the average fulltime freelancer makes less than $20,000 a year. It's true, some make a lot more, but there are still others that make less. Let's face facts: while the odds are good you can squeak out a decent living as a freelancer if you're willing to put in a lot of long lonely hours at the computer, you probably are never going to get rich doing it. If you have a passion to write, by all means go for it. Just be realistic in your endeavor. And find a spouse who can keep a roof over your heads when the going gets rough.

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff:
Yes, it's important to give your editor the best, cleanest manuscript you can - hopefully void of any spelling or grammatical mistakes. But don't blame a rotten spell checker for your 20th rejection this week. I have yet to see an editor toss an excellent piece of writing because the writer let a there slip through when the sentence should have read their. If rejections are coming more often than acceptances, it's time to refine your writing skills, not buy a better spell checker.

Don't Fall In Love With Your Own Words:
Editors see it again and gain - and they hate it. Writers who insist that an editor never change a sentence, a thought or even a word of their manuscripts are hard to work with, and soon find themselves unemployed. Every writer can benefit from a good editor. Take their criticism and learn from it. What if they really are wrong? Then, remember this: they are the client, and the client always gets what they want.

Don't Send Out One Proposal And Wait Idly For An Answer:
Want to succeed as a writer? Want to be able to buy groceries and pay the mortgage? Then you have to consistently send out new queries, new proposals and bid on more and more writing jobs. Whether you write magazines features, books, website text or blog entries, the key to success is getting out there again, and again, and again. Bid on more work than you can handle. The odds are you'll only be awarded a small portion of the assignments you actually seek, and if you get more, hey, buckle down and get to work. Enjoy it while you can. They will be other days and weeks off with little or no assigned work to do. Take it while you can get it!

Following these tips won't make you an instant freelance success, but they may just help you hurdle over some of the roadblocks you may encounter in the first days, weeks and months of your freelance career.
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