Friday, January 13, 2012

Challenges of Freelance Writing

Challenges AheadWriting freelance has its ups and downs. Sometimes we get many assignments, at other times we get none. Keeping ourselves alive and supporting our dependents in such a way is not only unreliable, but also unsustainable. Unless we have lots of savings to spare, working freelance or providing editorial services as a full time job may not be the best option for livelihood.

Nonetheless, working freelance has many advantages. Among some of the greatest benefits of working freelance is flexibility—we get to choose to take on an assignment or not, depending on our timing and availability. We can spend more time with our family and do the things we like or choose to busy ourselves earning money. However, if there are not enough requests for freelance writing and our finances are tight, we may be left in jeopardy. For some of us, such a free and casual lifestyle may not be viable.

Observing from past trends, editorial service requests seem to come periodically. In certain months of the year, requests can be overwhelming, and if we are alone doing the work, we can only do as much as we can, and drop the rest. Unfortunately, by dropping the rest, we face the dilemma of not earning enough to sustain during off-peak.

One of the best ways to work around having insufficient funds during times of low editorial requests is to have multiple source of income or a contract with a corporation or organization for an ongoing project. Such a project may be to write for a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter or in-house magazine, or an arrangement with a publishing house to write for its periodicals.

Contacts and connections, however, are crucial if we hope to get writing contracts. Unless we know the right people, if we plan on going full time into writing freelance, we need to consider carefully all the aforementioned pointers before we jump in.