My Freelance Writer’s Manifesto

Carol Tice

Experience Freelance Writing SuccessAs 2011 dawns, I mark five years as a full-time freelance writer. I feel intensely grateful to have spent these five years in control of my schedule and enjoying a variety of challenging and fun writing assignments. I love the freelance life.

Through the years of hacking my way through the freelance jungle, and mentoring other writers looking to earn a living, I’ve developed a philosophy.

I think there’s a mentality you need to succeed as a freelance writer. A belief system that helps you rise above the doubt, insecurity, and fears of starvation. It enables you to scratch out a living with just your ideas and your words, month after month.

This is the creed I live by. It’s helped me to earn more each year I’ve been a freelance writer.

This is my freelance writer’s manifesto:

  1. As a freelance writer, I work hard. I deserve to earn a decent hourly rate.
  2. I won’t let self-doubt hold me back from finding good-paying markets.
  3. When I send out resumes or query letters, I won’t get discouraged or feel personally rejected. I will persevere.
  4. I know I have the power to advance my writing career.
  5. I will set goals for my writing business and take steps to meet them.
  6. If I need more work, I will market my writing services more aggressively.
  7. I will not use the economy as an excuse for not earning.
  8. Even though it may not come easily to me, I can master new technology.
  9. I will keep an open mind toward emerging types of writing.
  10. If I encounter an aspect of the new-media world I don’t understand, I will learn about it.
  11. I won’t waste my energy worrying about the recent proliferation of low-paying online writing markets.
  12. I will actively participate in writer communities for camaraderie and support. We can help each other succeed.
  13. It’s important as a freelancer to remember that I’m free. If the sun’s shining, maybe I’ll walk the dog in the middle of the day. I’ll take a few minutes to experience gratitude that I’m no longer trapped in a world of offices and set schedules.
  14. I will give back to the writing community and share what I learn.

What’s your philosophy of freelance writing? Tell us about the beliefs that guide your writing career in the comments.

Photo via Flickr user Dmitry Kichenko

39 Comments

  1. Doreen Pendgracs

    I like your manifesto, Carol.

    I have built my freelance writing career by helping other writers and becoming immersed in the writing community. What goes around comes around.

    I’m always amazed at writers who work in isolation and don’t see the value in being part of professional writers’ orgs.

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks Doreen!

      When I mentor writers, I tell them to do a local search for writers — like “Seattle freelance writer” is mine — and see who ranks well for that. And then, get to know where they network and start hanging out there. These people are savvy marketers, so it can save you some time shopping around for the right places to network.

      I have one writer friend who got referred a book contract through his network, and I personally subbed out $6,000 of work on one government contract I got to another writer who was referred to me by writers in my network. It’s essential to know other writers in your niche…never know when they might be passing on a gig and wanting to find someone for it.

  2. John B. Beck

    Those 14 items you listed in your Manifesto were right on the mark.

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