Usually the comments you hear will be at opposite ends of the spectrum. People who don’t freelance, and work an average 9 -5 day believe it’s the ultimate freedom, working when and how you decided. Yet some freelance writers will say it’s one of the most stressful careers to have, worrying about money and deadlines.
The truth of the matter is that freelance writing is so varied there is no hard and fast rule.
Here are some of the more common myths about freelance writing.
Anyone can write
This has to be the most common myth of them all - ‘I write letters and emails all the time, how difficult can it really be?’
I am going to let people in on a little secret here. Writing is easy. Anyone can put pen to paper, or press a key on a keyboard.
However, writing well is not so easy. It is developed over time, and takes determination, study and perseverance. A freelance writer will have devoted hours to the creation of an article that you believe you could of wrote in ten minutes. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad content on the internet, which feeds the fires of this myth.
Freelance writers only write well because they are a walking thesaurus
I have a friend who once said that most of the time writers just use the synonyms on Microsoft Word to use important looking words, and that’s why people believe they can write well.
This didn’t even work in high school, so I doubt there are many writers out there who would even dare to do this to any of their clients work.
I thought I would test this theory by writing a simple sentence, then using synonyms to change it.
Simple sentence – ‘I once wrote a letter to the Queen. She liked it.’
Synonyms version – ‘I on one occasion wrote a correspondence to the sovereign. She was fond of it.’
Clearly the synonym version of that sentence is complicated, and does not read very well.
A freelance writer will always consider the target audience of the piece they are writing, and tailor the article accordingly. If this requires concise, simple writing, then that’s what the writer will provide.
Freelance writing is easy
If that’s the case then try it. There is a perception that because a freelance writer works for themselves, that they choose their own hours, get out of bed when they want, watch TV while they work, and that they have plenty of spare time on their hands.
However, if we want to eat, or have a roof over our heads, then we have to work, and hard. A freelance writer isn’t just one person, they are a business. We have to market ourselves, liaise with clients, negotiate, be an accountant, provide the work, and act as a secretary.
Oh, and also, we are not our own bosses. Our clients are our bosses. And if you thought your boss was strict…..
Blogging is not really writing
Blogging is one of the most recognised ways of writing now, and blogs across the world are routinely getting turned into books, or used to market products.
For instance check out the blog of David Thorne. This was turned into a book that debuted at #4 on the New York Times Bestseller List.
As blogs are the marketing tool of most freelancers, just as much dedication and hard work has to go into these as into the work that we provide to our clients.
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