My good friend Ollin Morales has inspired me (again). He has recently mentioned the importance of freelancing and how he will begin focusing more and more on his freelancing services. And I thought to myself: that’s a great idea.
Building platform is critical for aspiring writers, particularly nowadays. Publishers are extremely reluctant to even glance at your manuscript (which is OBVIOUSLY outstanding) if you have never previously been published elsewhere. They want to know that others like your work. They want to know if you have readership. They want to know you can do what you say you do: write.
Now I know freelancing doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as actually being published, but it for sure counts as something. Becoming a successful freelancer means that someone hired you. They liked your samples, they enjoyed your style and they want to put your material to good use. Do you write on their terms? Duh, they’ve hired you. Do you sign away your rights to the articles? Most of the time. But one thing freelancing can do for you and you alone is build that platform you need to step up into the publishing world.
I used to view freelancers as mediocre writers who couldn’t make it in the real writing world. I have since matured and come to the realization that freelancers are not mediocre. They are struggling. And when have any of us ever not struggled? Starting out is a royal pain in the rear. You have to make connections. You have to throw yourself out there. You have to do things like freelance.
Putting freelance work on your resume shows you have what it takes. It’s that one step forward you need. It’s that one bit that puts you over the edge. It’s that something that shoves you forward and gets you a byline.
Since my maturing I have edited and written a few commercials for a friend of mine who is starting up a business. She’s also hired me to write and edit the material for her website. I’m going to look into freelancing postings online. Why not? It’s something. Plus, once my internship ends next month and I don’t have full-time employment (more on that in another post) it’ll be something to do. I could even make a little money off it. It’s an all around great plan and I encourage others to do the same. Just in different regions so we’re not in competition.
In creative writing news, I’m completely stuck on Laura’s Letters. I’ve tried to force myself to just power through it, but it simply won’t come. I’m going to take a break and possibly re-edit The Golden Spoon (formerly Ensnared) or Wounded Soldier. Maybe the break will be what I need to just write.