This and more from my latest interview…
A decade back, I only identified myself as a writer. The word ‘Freelancer’ was added quite recently after social media became a sensation. Had I known earlier that writing can pay my bills, I would have described myself as a freelance writer as soon as I started writing (umm, that’s during childhood precisely).
The only problem was…back then, I didn’t know writing could help me make a living.
You may well ask why am I talking about all this today. That’s because I got an opportunity to talk about my freelancing journey during a recent interview with Mayank Bhatavia. Mayank is an amazing writer and tech enthusiast. He is also a teacher and owner of the blog Almostism that talks about data privacy and artificial intelligence.
In this interview that lasted for nearly half-an-hour, I speak about my experiences as a writer – how it all started as a hobby and later evolved into my core profession.
Watch the full interview here.
Taking a cue from this interaction and my personal experiences, here are the top reflections on my journey as a freelance writer.
It’s never too late to start something new
The only perfect time is now. Stop doubting yourself and crush your fears. Taking risks is not easy, but it’s always worth it. As Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
If you’re consistent, you’ll figure out things sooner or later. And someone rightly said – age is just a number!
Writing a lonely journey, so brace yourself
Working from home in your comfy pajamas or from an amazing holiday destination. Whoa! Who wouldn’t want such a cool work arrangement?
Sadly, none of this is true in reality. Just like most home-based entrepreneurs, freelancers are left to fend for themselves. Building portfolio, securing gigs, strengthening the network, and designing invoices – a freelance writer has to do much more than writing, and that too all alone.
If you’re thinking of starting this roller-coaster ride, you better be prepared. There will be rejections, doubts, questions, and more to handle. Self-care as a routine is non-negotiable for freelancers.
Never sell yourself short
It’s easy to doubt yourself if you are doing something different, especially independently. Working in a conventional system gives us security and therefore when it’s time to go solo, we are never too sure. But that doesn’t mean we have to accept whatever comes our way. Even today, after a decade long experience in content and communications, I come across project gigs that barely pay for your coffee. Well, people won’t realize what you have to offer as a professional, so it’s your duty to make them understand. Don’t drop your prices.
Trust me. There are good clients too who believe in the power of content.
Respect your client’s vision and values
I made sure to categorically mention this point during the interview. The project you get is just not about keywords, deadlines and payments. It’s an opportunity to build lasting relationship with your clients. If you make efforts to understand the organization’s vision and values, creating effective content is inevitable.
Often, clients don’t even know what is the right solution. In all my projects I have made efforts to deliver more than what the clients had expected. So far, the outcome has been encouraging.
A well-defined process will seldom fail you
Well, I am a huge fan of processes and details, but you don’t need to do the same. However, having some broad processes will definitely make your freelancing life easy. I must admit I made a few common freelancing mistakes initially that taught me a lot. Working on your processes will also create a positive impression on your existing and potential clients and make them more confident in your abilities.
Never stop learning
That is the only way you can thrive as a freelancer. Why should someone pay you if they don’t trust your abilities? Constant learning and keeping yourself updated will never lead to disappointments. And even if a client doesn’t select you for the gig, you will still create a good impression.
Thankfully, in the world of internet, learning and upgrading your skills is super-simple and affordable too!
Thank you for reading through. If you like my interview, please like and share. Let me know your thoughts – share in the comments section below.