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The Write Stuff: Are You Freelance Ready?

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Author: Scott Lindsay


Your love for writing is evident to any who know you. You have always enjoyed drafting phrases that assist you in telling a story in a positive way. You've always wondered if you had what it takes to become a freelance writer.

A Few Questions

Have you taken any classes in journalism?

Have you participated in any workshops for writers?

Have you had anyone help assess your skills?

Have you developed a portfolio for prospective clients?

Have you learned to write a query letter to send to an editor?

Have you volunteers time writing for a local newspaper?

If you answered 'no' to three or more of these questions, you might need to work at doing some additional prep work. By answering 'no' to any of the above questions you are simply indicating that the interest and skills might be on target, but there may be a few mores steps needed to entice an editor to look on you as a favorable asset for freelance work.

Many community colleges and universities have stand-alone writing courses and there are many writers' conferences that can enable you to develop your writing skills. If you participate in one of these venues it is a good idea to ask your instructor to help you understand if your work is ready to find wings in the world of freelance or if there might be other skills still required.

In regard to a portfolio, this element of freelancing requires 'clips' or photocopies of actual published articles. Most publishers do not want to review your material if you don't have a portfolio that can enable them to catch a sense of your writing styles and abilities. Be sure to include any testimonials from other editors you have worked with.

Make sure you become familiar with query letter writing. This is one of the primary steps needed to gain an audience with an editor.

One of the best ways to add 'clips' to your portfolio is to volunteer your services to a local or regional newspaper. Even if it seems like 'grunt' work any byline they can provide is another step toward potential publication.

Freelance writing is hard work and will not generally pay the bills, but for those who simply love the written word it becomes a great way to be paid for something you have a desire to do anyway.

About the author: Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of FaithWriters (http://www.faithwriters.com) and many other web projects. FaithWriters has grown to become one of the largest online destinations for Christian writers. Please visit the website at: http://www.faithwriters.com


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