Editing and copy editing
What do you want to write about? Why do you want to write about it? Who do you want to write to? How do you want to write? And most importantly, where do you want to go?
My advice to you as a self-employed freelance writer is to trust yourself. You have something to say, and the only thing, the only person who is stopping you is yourself.
Can it be that easy? What is complicated about writing? What is complicated about reading your own work? Do you like the writing you do? If not, what can you change about your writing?
You can get better in grammar and mechanics. There are thousands of websites interested in teaching people Standard English, as it is called nowadays. It used to be Good Grammar, Good English, Proper English. Then people finally noticed that British English is distinctly different than American Standard English. Others wanted to show that African American Vernacular English, AAVE, or Ebonics, was an actual language, a proper language, a language with rules. I personally do not know Ebonics/AAVE enough. It is a real language, something I do not know from being seditty for far too long. Yes, it is a real word, and part of a culture I have not been a force to be reckoned with for too long. Pidgin English is another term, slang is another term, English is all over the world, and people everywhere put their own rhythm to it. I have spent years learning Standard English, so if you want to ask me the difference between "lie" and "lay," or if you want to know about serial commas, let me know.
So what do I want to write about? What do I want to say? I want to say that people who want to write should write. Who is the better writer, J.K. Rowling or Harper Lee? We study To Kill a Mockingbird, but J.K. Rowling has a ride about her lead character, Harry Potter, in Florida. Who do I want to be? Can’t I be both? Do you want to be both?
THEN WHAT HAS STOPPED YOU? YOURSELF!
I want to be rich. I want to make money. But I want to teach, and that has absolutely NOTHING with making money. I want to get writers to write, but I want everyone to know that writing is not as difficult as people think. I have edited books by people who cannot write “properly.” However, they have written whole books. I helped them, but I did not help them write. I did not download a Matrix program into their head that made them write, that made them into published authors. They self-published, which meant they controlled who would read their books and sell them. They may not have sold lots of books, not yet, anyway, but in general, they were not writers because I helped them. Their work was done because they did it. They sat down and wrote.
But is it that easy? NO! Writing is difficult. Writing is a job. Put “writer” in Indeed.com, and job opportunities will show up. Writing well is difficult. Writing which be understood by many readers is difficult. But who are your readers? Who do you want to pay attention to you?
I want potential freelance writers to read this. Anyone who wants to write for money should read this. “Make money freelance writing” is a search term. People offer ways to make money writing. Freelance writers can be bloggers. They can make money writing about products that people want to sell and other people would want to buy. They can write about travel, dogs, cats, coffee, whatever interests them. But what do they want to write about? Who reads about freelance writers? Very popular writers write about one simple thing: how they made money writing.
But that is circular logic, isn’t it? Well, what other ways can you make money in your home? Home-based jobs, online jobs, make money at home jobs, work at home jobs, what do they have in common? They all want you to give them money for the information. Home-based jobs is a great business, and the main goal is to get your money. That’s the legitimate way to get money, by advertising that they can get you money on the side or in your home, simply, easily.
I have had problems working because of my disabilities, and my best option is to make money at home on my own schedule. However, I have spent a ton of money trying to learn the secret of how to make money at home, and the best, best, best way to make money online is to get people who want to make money online give the companies money, give me money, give someone I am connected to money. That’s the best way, fellas, the best, best, way to make money online.
Do you want to make money writing? Write, people, write. Have you ever had a boss tell you that you would only get paid when he or she felt like giving you money, or that you would only get paid if you showed up and worked, hoping your boss would give you money for your time? If you are your own boss, you are also your own employee. That’s the secret no one tells you. Most people who are self-employed only traded the source of the cash, not the actual job. Instead of getting paid for your time, you are subject to your own whims, fancies, and most of all education, what you know. If you do not know how to run a business, why would you start working for yourself? Why would you listen to someone who does not know what she is talking about? Yet if you work for yourself, even with an MBA, you do not know how to get your employees to work so hard, you won’t have to work anymore. It’s circular logic again. If you don’t feel like working, you won’t work. If you can’t get your own self to work for someone else, you may not want to work at all.
My community college students want to get degrees so they will get jobs, but they want to make enough money to quit working. One wants to major in business so he can have a business, but in what? He does not know. He’s 16, not even old enough to round up to 17. He doesn’t know the economy might take a dip. He wasn’t even alive for 9/11, back when people could get to the airport half an hour before a plane would take off. I am not even sure he has been on a plane yet.
So what does all this mean? Have you ever had a job where you could say to your boss, “I will come in when I feel like it and work until I get bored?” If you have told your boss that, maybe you are not reading this right now. Chances are, when you acted like this, you did not stay employed for long. So why treat your freelance writing career the same way? You are a writer, so why aren’t you writing? Do you trust your boss? Will your boss pay you with money you earned? Isn’t that what you’re getting now? You don’t feel like writing, or you think you can only write and not mess up, so you don’t write. Then you want to get paid enough so you don’t have to write what other people want you to write. Do you even write what you want to write? What do you want to write? What do you want? Are you doing what you want right now? Right now you are reading. What good will that do you? Do you trust yourself to do the job you have in front of you? That’s what employers want from you, don’t they? They don’t hope you will do a good job; they trust you will do your best to do a good job. So do your job and write something! Anything you want to write about may help someone else, somehow, in some way, even if it is yourself, especially since it is yourself.
You cannot work as if you want your writing to be perfect. Perfection is a bad goal. You will never be perfect, and for heaven’s sake, you will never be a perfect writer. Do not blame the critic of your work, your teacher, your parents, or your writing coach. What do they know about how you want to communicate? Check out blog, just Google "blog" and see what you see. People are writing about something that interests them. Why can’t you do the same thing?
As a writing consultant, I help others with what they have written, and as a teacher, I grade what my students have written, but a my F students will tell you, I cannot grade a blank page. So what if I read something that offends me or is something I think is stupid? I am not the ultimate judge of writing. I am a consultant. You hire me to get your point across. What is your point? What do you want to say? I can correct, and I can help, but I cannot do the work if you don’t give me anything, and as a freelance writer, if that’s really what you want to be, the only true judge of your writing is yourself. 12 editors passed on Harry Potter, people, and now they look like complete imbeciles. Who are they to judge anything? Who is?
So if you want to make money writing, I can tell you right now, don’t try for the money. Try for the heart and soul you put into the writing. If you can’t spell and if Spell Check hates you, you’re not alone. If your grammar doesn’t look right to you, I can help you with Standard English. If you want to sell your book for a million dollars, I don’t have a million, but I will be glad to take a million if you have an extra million hanging around. I am flexible that way.
Get going and write down something. I will be waiting for you to help you if you want my help. If you just can’t think of good things to write about you or your business, I do website content and sales emails as well. Let me help you, but trust yourself that somewhere in your brain is something someone else would like to read about. You are your own employee. Make yourself get back to work.
Lynette Gough, Owner, Make a Great Impression
Make money being a self-employed freelance writer by trusting your boss
Make Money Freelance Writing