The definition of ‘freelance” from Merriam-Webster, includes:
- a person who acts independently without being affiliated with or authorized by an organization
- a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer
If you are making a living as a writer — or you’d like to — you absolutely must get paid for your work.
How else will you pay for:
- Daily living expenses (groceries, utilities, and so on)
- Health care
- Laptop / printer / phone / other office expenses
- Your car
- Seminars, training, and conferences and associated travel/hotel etc.
- Vacations (if you’d still like to take them)
If just getting started, you can fall back on any ‘free’ writing experience you had in high school, college, or on-a-job to help you build your portfolio, but once you step out and hang a shingle to make a living as a writer, please don’t work for free, for exposure, or for promises of future-anything.
If you need places to start looking for paying work, do google searches on the type of writing you are focused on, the companies you’d like to write for, the locations you have expertise in or want to live, and the industries you like. You can also check out such sites as:
- 100 Websites that Pay Writers in 2019
- Carol Tice and her bursting-at-the seams advice for writers at all stages of their freelance careers, Make a Living Writing
- Freelance Writing Jobs (nationwide)
- NH-only jobs (of all kinds) – NH Jobs List (a good avenue to learning about local companies in an industry you are interested in)
So whether you call yourself a freelance writer, an independent writer, or some mix of the two, you should always get paid for your writing. Exceptions can include: family newsletter, church bulletin, a non-profit organization you support, among others, of course.
Where do you look to find writing-for-pay projects or clients?
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes – and getting paid. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies and individuals tell their stories. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Alignable, Instagram, and Twitter.