Ups and downs, slings and arrows

A couple of writing assignments, some interest in a potential working relationship with a web developer, I might help edit a book and a bunch of networking. Oh, and my own name tag.

That about sums up the last several weeks of my freelance writing endeavors, from an optimistic point of view. On the other hand, there’s been some realizations that I have a lot to learn, it really does take a long time and I wonder how registering as a business would affect my taxes.

Just like applying for a regular job, there’s a lot of waiting to hear from people and companies. Some of them don’t return emails and other messages. Maybe they’re just too busy. It couldn’t have anything to do with me, right? That’s a hard thought to resist, since applying for a job, bidding on a writing project or anything involving your craft and your livelihood is a personal thing.

McKibbin's Scribblin's name tag, Mike McKibbin, freelance writing & editing
My new name tag!

For a freelancer, I’m competing against millions of other people worldwide on the jobs we see posted on various writing websites and content mills. It seems the lowest bid always wins and those bids often translate into pennies (or less) per word. So if I’m not willing to just give away my time and talents, there has to be another method.

That led me to watch a couple of videos and attend a meeting a month or so ago about “pitching” ideas for blogs or articles to companies and organizations. I’ve come across lists of companies and sites that reportedly pay pretty well for that kind of content. So I need to do the legwork to come up with a plan that works. More on that as I move forward.

I’ve also met some other freelancers over coffee and came away a little excited or satisfied that I’m on the right track. They’re at varying stages of their freelance careers, either a little more advanced or a little behind. And I’ve found a whole slew of sites with freelance writing advice. Curiously, they all also seem to offer paid advice and video courses. Makes you go “hmmm,” right?

I’ve attended about 10 networking events and have met several interesting people. A couple seem to want to get together to talk business, so that’s encouraging. They say going to these types of events is the best way to generate business or land a job. So I’ve been making it a priority over the last few months.

I now have a Facebook business page, too, which I hope will be a good part of my freelancing efforts. Of course, LinkedIn is key to either a regular job or generating business interest. I’m also planning to expand this blog into my own website in the next month or two.

FIA Infographic Freelancers Union 101717
Source: Freelancers Union

All this was brought into focus when I read a recent study by the Freelancers Union (which seems like a good organization to this new member) and Upwork. The study found 57 million freelancers around the globe (not all writers, thankfully) and a prediction that in another decade there will be more people identifying themselves as freelancers than those with traditional jobs. I think there are two messages there: People like the options freelancing offers and there are A LOT of people in the world.

At any rate, onward and upward in the pursuit of excellence…

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