So unfortunately this will not be a 'This is how to do it' post as much as a 'This is what I've done so far and Help?' post.
I've made some decisions guys. Risky ones, possibly, but its nice to just decide what I want and move forward.
As you can see by the new Freelance tab, if not the title of this post, I've kind of set up the very beginnings of a freelance writing profile. Actually, Neil Gaiman's speech that I posted yesterday may or may not have had a lot to do with me making up my mind. See, full-time writing is my mountain. I mostly mean novels and perhaps screenplays and children's books and other fun projects, but any kind of writing is definitely a step towards that mountain. So, freelancing.
There are so many things I love about the idea of making a living as a freelance writer. I love the time-flexibility. The wide variety of projects. The ability to work from wherever, whenever, take time off when you need it, all that. No boss waiting for you to clock in and out and certain times. You're in control. Makes taxes a pain in the butt, I'm sure, but I can deal with that.
The down-side to this amazing gigantic freelancing step towards my mountain is this: it takes a good while to build up a freelancing reputation business/reputation/clientele, and I still have rent to pay and a body to feed in the meantime. So, this is the possibly risky, making a sacrifice part of my decision. What I hope to do is find a part time job (retail, nanny, administrative) that will cover my bases. It will help me feel more secure, but perhaps even more importantly get me out and meeting people. So I'll have that *please God* and then use the extra time to work on freelancing (including my personal projects like novels and screenplays and such) and use money from that for all the other stuff *please PLEASE God*.
I'm actually surprisingly low-stress about the financial insecurity of this decision. It feels so much what I want to be doing, both the writing and having my own schedule, that at least at this point there's no question it's worth the skimpy bank account and insecurity. I'm 23, that's all about having a skimpy and insecure bank account, isn't it?
Anyway, there are three main sources I've used so far to cast in my freelancing line.
-Elance: This has been and I think will continue to be where most of my efforts will be focused. The setup is professional and secure, and its a popular site meaning there are lots of options. I've bid on several awesome-sounding projects, we'll see what happens. I'll keep going until what happens is good.
-Freelancewriting.com: While Elance is, I feel, the biggest and most professional option, freelancewriting.com is a good gatherer of everything else. It lists freelance jobs from all over the internet, including places like Craigslist. Instead of spending hours browsing craigslist and signing up for all the bunches of other freelancing sites, it kind of brings it all together. How nice of them, right?
-FreelanceWritingGigs.com: So it seems like FWG is kind of FreelanceWriting with a filter. FreelanceWriting has tons of stuff from everywhere, whereas FWG lists the very best options from everywhere. Very nice when that's what you're looking for. Sometimes it's exactly what you need.
So, that's what I've done so far. I think the next step would be compiling a list of magazines and other publications I might be interested in writing for and look into their respective querying processes. I'd also like to get some more stuff up on Amazon and see if I can get something serious going there. Anyone had freelance experience? Does this sound like a plan that might work out? What else can you recommend for me to do?
And if you or someone you know needs a freelance writer, I'd love to get in touch :)