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Are You Ready To Write Full-time? Do This First!
Making the decision to write full-time can feel as daunting as it is exciting. However, many writers make the decision somewhat blindly - after all, how can we predict how a freelance writing career is going to go?
Giving up a regular income, being on the payroll, getting sick leave, holiday and maternity pay and generally lots of job security can seem like madness to many. But if you make a success out of being a freelance writer it can be both a lucrative and rewarding career. You are your own boss, you make as much or as little money as you want, and you work as and when you want to - sounds pretty good right?
The key to making the switch to writing freelance full-time is to ensure that you have organised and prepared yourself well in advance of taking the plunge. Follow these tips to give yourself the best chance of success.
Start while you still have another job
Don’t just quit your well-paid, comfortable job and expect to land freelance writing gigs straight away. You need to build up a portfolio, a client list and a good reputation. If you start freelance writing in your spare time you can do this easily and will be safe in the knowledge that you still have money coming in! Building up a good reputation takes time, but once you have one then you’ll find the offers of work come much more easily.
Become an expert at managing your finances
Freelance writers are self-employed which means they’ll have to take came of all their income and expenditure and be prepared to file their own tax return come the end of the financial year. Filing a tax return doesn’t have to be complicated - providing you have remained organised and kept clear records of how much you have earned throughout the year.
It’s also important to remember you can receive tax deductions on your expenditure for things such as workspace and equipment, electricity, travel and even lunches and coffees - so to take full advantage and keep all your receipts. It’s also a good idea to open a separate bank account for your writing earnings and expenses. That way you will find it much easier to track everything when you need to.
Make a plan and set yourself goals
Having a firm plan in place will help you keep organised and motivated to work. You should make a list of all publications and other outlets you’d like to write for, their contact details and ideas to pitch. Find out how much they pay as well! Set yourself targets in terms of how much you’d like to earn and by when and figure out the steps you need to take to get there.
Remember, being a freelance writer requires you to constantly secure new work projects so you need to make sure you factor in time to research new publications and pitch new ideas too. Work out how you value your own time - don’t go for projects that aren’t worth it otherwise you’ll spend too long on something that does not give you a valuable enough return.
Going freelance is so exciting, but it is important to be organised and level-headed about it too. If you are then there is no reason why you can’t make it a success and look back knowing it was the best move you’ve ever made!