I was piddling around wondering what my first topic of discussion would be and I came across an obvious one for me, as a freelancer. Some folks I deal with wonder how in the world anyone can make a living as a writer. In today’s world, with internet start-ups popping up everyday, the prospect proves itself to be a highly feasible one. But, I remember the days when freelance writing was a literal hustle. I was trained and mentored by a person I consider to be one of the best, little-known writers in the business. I was her apprentice back in the early 90’s. She ran a clean, crisp start-up and was soon able to move out of her house into a swanky office. Sounds like a success story, but she ran into big-business sharks who didn’t want to pay for her research and writing…her sweat! There were times when I didn’t get paid either because the business didn’t profit from a huge project. So, my work went unrewarded, as well. The work was stellar, however, it didn’t garner the respect of a fair payment for work performed. The contracts I drew up went blatantly disregarded by horrible business people. Needless to say, the business went under…but not my mentor! What a lady! It just goes to show that as real writers, we put up with all kinds of injustices just to be able to do what brings us joy. I’m one of those people who was never dissuaded by the negativity of the business world, then or the naysayers now, thanks to a strong example. Funny…today, this lady is still my mentor and my only cheerleader in my endeavor to make this PWS project work. She hasn’t given up, either. She’s a small-time, playwright for a non-profit theater project in her locality and a darn, good playwright at that…but, again, little-known. Such is the writer’s life. She’s happy doing her thing and so am I!
I’m sure I’m not the only writer with war stories to share, so let us know your story. Share how you braved the freelance-writing storm. Perhaps your experience can help others who may be struggling internally with the notion of becoming a full-fledged freelancer, despite the all the “hot air” out there. Perhaps you’re one of those who thinks this whole “freelance writing thing” is useless and a moot service that really doesn’t deserve its own market. Either way, let us know what you think.