I used to wonder – if I were to become a professional writer, would I still find it fun?  I’ve always enjoyed writing as a hobby, but I worried if I made it my stock and trade that it would lose its luster.  I am slowly learning the answer to this quandary.

The answer is yes and no.  A lot of it depends on the assignment.  If it is a subject that I enjoy, then yes, the writing brings great joy.  If it is a subject I know little about or find flat out dull, then the writing is mundane and to me, useless.  Fortunately, I am figuring this out early enough that I can start weeding through the job boards to find the things that I enjoy.

The problem is sometimes buyers paint their assignments to be more glamorous than they actually are.  Then you’re trapped – you have accepted an assignment about a subject you like, but what the buyer wants you to do with it you hate.  For example, if you accept an assignment covering sports topics, make sure that you understand that the buyer wants you to write about racquetball and not baseball.  I don’t know diddly-squat about racquetball, so unless I’m curious about that subject, I doubt I will enjoy the work.

All of this should be common sense.  But when a freelance writer is starting out, some of us (I’m including myself) are so desperate to prove we can hack it, we accept anything that comes along.  That is a pure, outright boo-boo.  Don’t accept work just for the sake of having work.  Find your niche(s).  Look for what you like to write about or what you are curious to learn.

Don’t get stuck in an assignment simply to get paid.  Otherwise, the thing you used to love doing as a hobby will become a job that you hate.  And wasn’t the reason you got into freelancing to start with so you’d be doing something you enjoy?  It was for me – that and to be able to have my own business and establish myself in a new profession.  I was b-u-r-n-e-d  o-u-t in my old line of work.  Writing for a living is a dream come true for me.  And I have the tools I need to do it and be successful at it.  The main tool – a brain.  Add into that common sense and that is a big part of the battle.  Common sense should tell a person that if they aren’t interested in ditch digging, they’re a damned fool for accepting an assignment writing a how-to guide on ditch digging!

Moral of the story: Freelancing doesn’t mean bidding on all the jobs on the job board just to earn some cash.  Be selective or you’ll burn out before you even get started.  And burn-out was what led most of us to this juncture of our lives in the first place.

Advertisements