Getting started with a career in freelance writing

Getting Started with a Career in Freelance Writing - The Writer's Market.jpg

I am thrilled to share that my essay, Email Newsletters for Writers, has been published in The Writer's Market 2018. This book is full of practical steps that we can take as writers to grow our businesses, income, and satisfaction in our work.

Here’s a bit of background on how I came to be published in this guide, if you’re curious. Last fall, I saw a call for pitches on The Writer's Market website. I knew right away what topic I wanted to write about and share with my fellow writers, because it's often the thing I'm asked about the most: what should I put in my email newsletter?

If you're in the early stages of crafting your newsletter, the best place to find inspiration is your own inbox. What are the newsletters you love to get and read? (Here's my running list of favorites.)

I was clear on what I was going for. I pulled together an outline of my idea, pitched, and forgot about it. (I don’t recommend forgetting. I do recommend following up with editors. In this case, it all worked out.) I was so pleased to hear from the editor a month or so later — he wanted to buy my essay as a chapter in The Writers Market 2018

A few years ago, this would have seemed like a far-fetched idea: to be paid for my words. I’m not going to say it was a snap of the fingers, or a a stroke of luck, but it also wasn’t an impossible feat. It was — get this — consistent effort, applied over time. Really exciting, right? I mean that. I think it’s pretty amazing that we can do almost anything we want to do if we find the time, patience, and persistence to stick with our craft. 

The other key to advancing your freelance writing career is investing in education. This doesn't have to look like a MFA, but it does mean reading up to understand how to approach finding new work and putting your best stuff out there once you land an assignment.

The Writer's Market can help with laying the foundational ground-work and filling-in the gaps in your business knowledge. In this edition, you'll find help with writing a query letter, how to secure funding and grants, and even guidelines for knowing how much to charge for your work.

Along with The Writer's Market, the following books have been indispensable to me as a writer, creative, and business owner: The 6 Figure Guide to Freelance Writing, The Art of Slow Writing, The Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, and The $100 Start-Up.

Happy writing!