Becoming a freelance writer – part 2

Becoming a freelance writer — here’s part 2 in a series on becoming a freelance writer by Laura-Jane Koers. My hard drive failure delayed publication. Since we last heard from Laura-Jane, she’s been in the recording studio for CBC Radio! That’s Canada’s public broadcaster. Laura-Jane will appear on Definitely Not the Opera this Saturday at 1 pm Eastern. Wow. Talk about seeing your dreams come true!

After committing to becoming a freelance writer, I wasn’t sure where to start.

Enthusiastic,  I wrote a few sample articles. I obtained a few contract templates and revamped them to suit my needs. I created a professional website to showcase my portfolio. Yes, getting organized was simple. But getting my first paid writing contract wasn’t quite as easy.

Here at Consultant Journal, Andréa has written about how she became a consultant. She started with one contract, and soon found herself moonlighting as a marketing consultant until she had enough contracts to transition to full-time consulting. As she writes, “You don’t have to take on the world. You can do it one step at a time.”

One Step at a Time

Andréa’s motto served as my inspiration. Rather than feel overwhelmed with the big picture, I focused on landing my first small contract. Be it a magazine article or writing online content, I wouldn’t rest until I had a contract in place!

In my research, I came across an online bidding site that allows writers to compete for writing projects. So I bid on numerous small projects–with no success. And when I happened upon an online writers’ forum that chastised bidding sites as “hideouts for nervous writers who are too afraid to put themselves out there in the real world”, I felt embarrassed. Reading that opinion felt like it was written specifically for me. Of course I was afraid to put myself “out there”–who isn’t when they’re just starting out in a new career?

Coming Out

And so I vowed to unmask myself in “the real world”. No longer lurking anonymously, I started coming out of my shell. Taking a courageous deep breath, I let friends and contacts know that I was embarking on a new career path.

And, wouldn’t you know it, my friends and family supported me. A friend of a friend was an editor for an online magazine and offered to help me get started. My aunt’s boss was looking to hire a writer on contract. My neighbour’s sister worked at a newspaper. And on it went.

Once I’d yelled “I want to be a writer!” from the rooftops, I felt that it couldn’t help but come true (with a lot of hard work and a little luck, of course)!

See part 3 on becoming a freelance writer. Laura-Jane Koers is a writer currently living on Prince Edward Island, in Canada. Since writing this article, she has gone on to become co-founder of Brightflock Consulting.