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PostPosted: May 19th, 2011, 12:10 pm 
Hey all,

My first post here, so a big hello from me and I hope to get to know you all as time goes on.

If I may, can I ask a question?

I have never written professionally - hold on, let me clarify that statement.
I have never written in order to generate an income. Phew, think I got away with that one!

I was just wondering how many members of the forum actually wrote for a living before going freelance, as opposed to being completely green and jumping in with both feet?

Cheers
Dave


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PostPosted: May 26th, 2011, 11:07 am 
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Joined: May 26th, 2011, 10:54 am
Posts: 1
Hey there,

I started out as a freelance journalist for a weekly newspaper.

I could not get a full-time job as a journalist at that point because I didn't have enough experience. I had clips from writing free for my college newspaper, as well as clips from a local weekly where some stories I wrote as assignments for journalism classes had been published, also without pay. I used those clips to get a paid freelance job at a different weekly newspaper. I wrote for them for two years and then used those clips and experience to get a job as a staff writer for a daily newspaper. The economy caused me to lose that job and I'm freelancing part-time again while working part-time as a journalist for an online publication.

It takes time to get established in writing. It can take several months from the time you come up with an idea and sources for a story and begin pitching it to editors to get an assignment, complete it and get paid. Then you have to keep on with that process on a rolling basis to get work and income coming in on a continuous, steady basis. For that reason, most freelance writers try to have enough savings to pay living expenses for 6 months to 1 year. I didn't, which is why I'm still struggling, taking low-paying work that pays fast while I try to work on other stuff and get money into savings.

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: June 28th, 2011, 7:10 pm 
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Joined: December 9th, 2003, 9:32 pm
Posts: 978
Location: Sedona, AZ
I wrote for many years as a hobby and for the pleasure of writing. Then I started getting my work published while I had a full time job. When I had enough paying clients, I went freelance full time.

Have Fun,
Jeff

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PostPosted: July 1st, 2011, 3:25 am 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2011, 7:35 am
Posts: 11
A freelancer's life is a tough one...not having a steady stream of income can be soo frustrating especially if you don't have enough saved up or don't have another job from which you get a stable income. The freelancers I know almost always started as part-time writers at just one writing service before they tried taking on more jobs on the side...

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PostPosted: July 1st, 2011, 3:26 am 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2011, 7:35 am
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A freelancer's life is a tough one...not having a steady stream of income can be soo frustrating especially if you don't have enough saved up or don't have another job from which you get a stable income. The freelancers I know almost always started as part-time writers at just one writing service before they tried taking on more jobs on the side...

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PostPosted: September 14th, 2011, 3:07 pm 
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Joined: October 21st, 2003, 7:59 pm
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Location: Florida
I'd written some poems, jokes, short stories, etc. but didn't get pubbed 'til I was 40 and my back went out. I had to retire and that's when I decided to fulfill my dream of seeing my work in print.

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PostPosted: October 12th, 2011, 2:10 pm 
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Joined: March 18th, 2011, 12:47 am
Posts: 8
fillerlady wrote:
I'd written some poems, jokes, short stories, etc. but didn't get pubbed 'til I was 40 and my back went out. I had to retire and that's when I decided to fulfill my dream of seeing my work in print.


I've never written a poem in my life. I recently came across some of my mother's high school material and discovered she was her class poet.

I worked as a junior (very) copywriter for a small NYC ad agency when I first got out of the Marines. I bounced from there to college, where I got a BA in English lit. That requires a lot of writing, or did then, so I progressed to an editorial job at the local educational TV station--WMHT in Schenectady, NY. That was a monthly requiring program descriptions and short articles. That jobg also required layout work for the magazine, something that made me happy that letterpress had faded.

When I graduated, I couldn't find a job, so I freelanced. Actually, I started freelancing in '68, and went on to full-time freelancing in '70.

It ain't what it was, though. Fewer magazines in my fields. Lower pay in almost all fields. Various content mills looking to put the blocks to any writer who is hard up enough to work for them. More scam artists per square inch. The Internet has been a great boon, but it is almsot as great a curse, both for writers and for people who just want to get information.

Add to that a generation, or two or three, that believes information wants to be free--it's inanimate, for Pete's sake--and problems increase.

Whoops. Enough of my diatribe.

Yes, I did write before freelancing. Almost all the successful freelancers I know were professional writers at one end of the scale or another before going on to freelance work.


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PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 1:58 am 
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Joined: March 13th, 2012, 1:37 am
Posts: 6
Jeff Colburn wrote:
I wrote for many years as a hobby and for the pleasure of writing. Then I started getting my work published while I had a full time job. When I had enough paying clients, I went freelance full time.

Have Fun,
Jeff


I did the exact same thing...was started just from passion led me to making a little bit of money and eventually a lot of money. I never went to college for writing or had any formal training except for what I've learned through the school of hard knocks...just learn SEO and keep writing; those jobs will certainly come.

Keith

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