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Starting A Career In Freelance Writing
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I want to be a professional writer. Many people say that every day but are not sure how to get started in the field. It appears as though when people think about writers, they think of someone sitting on a couch somewhere, eating Ramen Noodles, struggling to write the Great American Novel. Writing is such a wide open field and freelance writing is an amazing opportunity to be able to make a name for yourself in the profession and find what you are doing to be very viable and rewarding.
Freelance writing can be in a variety of different fields. One can do technical writing, creative writing, article writing, grants, and copywriting. The possibilities are virtually endless; it really depends on what you want to do. The best way to get started is to get started. I know that sounds way too simple and way too cliche but it is true. Find a niche that you feel most comfortable working with and go from there.
There are two things that every freelance writer must have in order to start. One of them is you have to have a computer with an internet connection. It doesn't matter what kind of computer, it can be a laptop, a desktop or even a tablet. However, it has to be a device where you can easily write down your words and get them sent out whenever necessary. You also must have an internet connection or at least have ready access to one. You might need to research a topic that you are not familiar with, or a style that you have not written in and being able to go on the internet at a moment's notice makes that process easy. You also have to be easy to reach in case your editor or your contact person needs to reach you, and sometimes very quickly.
Those are the two absolute necessities of the job, but as you continue on in the field, you may find that there are other requirements that can definitely help you do well and succeed. A sample of your writing is always a good idea. Prospective employers might want to take a look at your writing and see if your style fits in with their vision. It is always smart to have a small portfolio at the ready in case you are asked and particularly, if you are freelancing, having two or three different samples written in two or three different styles. For example, perhaps having one piece is an article review and then another piece is some sort of creative writing. You never know what you may be asked to write about, so it never hurts to be prepared.
Finally, writing is a craft and one always has to work on their craft in order to be the best they can be. Write every day, if you can and even if it is only for a small amount of time. A little practice always goes a long way.
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