Freelance

Now that I've graduated with my BA, I've been spending a good deal time considering what I want to do with that degree.  It's a question I get all the time, "What're you going to do after college?"  This is inevitably followed by, "A degree in English!  You're going to be a teacher, then?"  The answers are always "Not sure" and "Absolutely not" in that order.  I've never wanted to be a teacher, I'm simply not cut out for it.  What I want is to be a writer --more specifically, a freelance writer.

I don't want to work on someone else's schedule, I want to be free to work on mine.  I consider myself a strong proficient with the language, I'm educated and well spoken, and I communicate well.  I have everything one needs to be a freelance writer, except experience.  It's how one goes about earning said experience where I seem to get hung up.  I've researched, I've read, and I'm still at a bit of a loss as to how one breaks into freelance writing and becomes a successful freelancer.

To that end, I've been working for Helium for the last few years, but haven't produced a huge number of articles.  I've written seven articles to be exact, sold one paying article, and have been featured on Helium's homepage.  While I was an undergraduate, I hardly had time for anything but classwork, so quality was always preferable to sheer quantity.  Now that I'm not, I'm going to try to turn my attention to writing for Helium on a regular basis.  I'd like to produce two well-written articles a day, five days a week and focus in on topics I'm proficient with: literature, technology, blogging, and leisure (games).  That's my goal.

Additionally, I'm considering writing for eHow, Associated Content, and Bukisa.  Like Helium, these sites are places to publish articles and earn revenue.  Two articles per day, five days a week.  That's the goal.  If it feels like I'm repeating myself, I am.  The goal is in mind, I just have to get on schedule and get to writing.  Producing two well-written articles a day will require a fair amount of research, something with which I have a good deal of experience.  Once the articles are researched, writing them will be the easy part.

Finally, tonight I applied to work for Demand Studios and am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.  They're a very well respected venue for freelance writers.  I submitted my resume and a writing sample, but realized after my resume was submitted that I'd managed to forget to include my MLA membership.  I figure it'll be okay, but will definitely include it in on future resumes.  I have a friend who freelances, and works for Demand, and will likely send her an email soon for some advice about how I might further my freelance writing career.

I'm confident that reaching for my goals, and getting my foot in the door, is something I can achieve if I put my attention toward doing so.  While I'm a graduate student, freelance writing is a job that can both utilize my skills and allow me the freedom to study.  For the time being, I'm off to research the article topics I plan to write for Helium.  Should you have any suggestions or advice about how I might push my freelance career forward, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment.

18 comments

  1. That sounds like such an ideal job Kristyn! You sure have a heck of a lot more writing experience than I could ever hope to have! My resume would consist of winning the Young Author's contest in 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. And...hmmm....that's it. I think your plan sounds like a good one. I mean, every freelance writer had to start at the beginning, with no experience...right? Anyway, good luck!

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  2. Here is something I myself am doing on the side....
    http://www.livework.com/
    I havn't gotten my account totally setup yet but it's promising.
    I hope it helps you.

    (holiday huggles included)
    .-= Mayren´s last blog ..The Shoebox Funny =-.

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  3. Thanks, Shannon! Every freelance writer did start somewhere, I'm just looking for that place, but I think I've found it!

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  4. Thanks for the link, Mayren. I'm going to sign up. I'm looking for every opportunity right now. Happy holidays!

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  5. I didn't know about Helium or Bukisa (at least I don't recognize the name), so I feel obligated to share a couple of sites I go to to find gigs...

    http://freelancewritinggigs.com/webandprint/category/writing-gigs/

    and

    http://jobs.problogger.net/

    It is like panning for gold, but I have found some good short term gigs (I think the best one I found was something that paid me 110 dollars for about 3 hours work).
    .-= MC´s last blog ..Are DVD and Game Prices Too High? =-.

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  6. Good for you Kristyn! That would be so awesome if you could start writing regularly for the various venues available on the internet, and there is definitely a demand for it.

    It is a dream of mine to become a writer, but I'm not really interested in writing internet articles. I wish I was, because it seems like a great way to break out into print. I have my heart set on actually getting published in something physical, with real-life pages and everything, lol. I got really excited awhile ago because I sold an article to "True Story" Magazine (it's published in the May 2008 issue), and I thought, "This is it! I've sold my first article. I'm officially a published writer!" And while it was indesribably cool to see my work in an actual magazine, the thrill eventually wore off and I've been stagnant ever since. I have a children's book manuscript that I've had for years, but have no idea where to send it. It's frustrating to have so much passion for something, but no direction.

    You, on the otherhand, seem to have plenty of direction. I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous that you actually have a plan of action to launch your writing career. :-) I have no doubt in my mind that one of these freelance sites will hire you!

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  7. Helium & Bukisa are like eHow and sites of that sort. You write articles and put them up and they earn revenue for reads. So, someone has to read my stuff over there for me to earn from it. It's a slow process and you have to write a LOT of articles to make any money. I digg them, but I'm shy about asking others to do the same, so I don't get as far as I might otherwise do. So, it's not blogging.

    I'm going to look into some of the stuff on those sites you linked. Many thanks!!

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  8. Jodi, that's so exciting that you sold an article. That makes you officially farther along than I am. I ghost wrote an article and sold it on Helium's marketplace, but I have no idea where it went, no will it have my name on it. Otherwise, the only publishing I've done is through sites like Helium, but I'm working on changing that.

    I have the same dream, to be published in print. I'm working on manuscripts for my novels when I have the time, and I write short stories. One day, I too, would love to be published with real pages and stuff. ;)

    I bet you could find a home for that children's book manuscript. I'd suggest looking for an agent, though I'm not sure how the children's book industry works. There's a book called Writer's Market that you might look into. It's a huge book filled with publisher information. I love it!

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  9. And there is a specific yearly market book just for Children's lit/books, so that may be the best place to start. A Branch of your local library may have a copy.
    .-= MC´s last blog ..Midweek Video: Christmas in Killarney =-.

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  10. When I was looking into Bukisa, it seemed a little like a pyramid scheme and I wasn't comfortable with how the pay structure was presented, because it really did seem to reward early adopters and penalize late ones (because let's face it, there are a finite number of people who might be interested in joining that site as a writer). But I think Helium might be a good fit for me, at least on the surface.
    .-= MC´s last blog ..Midweek Video: Christmas in Killarney =-.

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  11. I have that book too! But it's almost nine years old and I worry that most of the information is outdated by now. I'm suddenly feeling motivated to jump on Amazon and order a new edition.

    How funny, when I was reading about your writing achievements above, I felt like you were further along than me. I guess it's a matter of perspective. You just seem so much more actively engaged in the process, whereas I sold my one article and then have just sat back and have attempted nothing since then. But I will say that it is an awesome feeling to see your name in a magazine, and the article was a pretty personal one. It's called "The Perfect Mother's Day Gift," but it's actually about a car accident that happened when Shan and I were four years old (although the editors changed our ages to six to make it more believable).

    I never thought about acquiring an agent. I'll definitely look into that...thanks for the tip.

    Meanwhile, good luck with your writing endeavors--it sounds like you already have a great start!

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  12. I really love Helium. You should check it out. If you want, I can send you an invite, but you could also sign up on your own. It just benefits me to invite you, so I'm tossing out the suggestion!

    I never did sign up for Bukisa. Their system bothered me a little bit too, but I can't put my finger on what it was about it that bothers me. I do have eHow and Associated Content accounts, but I like Helium the best.

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  13. Thanks, Jodi. I'm going to check out that article you sold! I still think it's fantastic that you sold one at all.

    Thanks, also, MC, because I had no idea about the children's lit one. I'm very much out of touch with that part of the industry.

    Good luck, Jodi!
    .-= Kristyn´s last blog ..Freelance =-.

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  14. Would eHow or Associated Content reward you for inviting me, because I feel bad I couldn't help you out at Helium by waiting a few hours...
    .-= MC´s last blog ..Midweek Video: Christmas in Killarney =-.

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  15. Don't feel bad, it's not a big deal. :) I just thought I'd extend the offer. I don't write enough at eHow or Associated Content to know if I can send invites or not.

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  16. Quick update: I ordered the 2010 edition of "Children's Writer's Market" from Amazon, and I also ordered the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books," lol, so these should keep me busy for awhile. Both books arrived yesterday--fast! Anyway, even though it wasn't your intention, thanks for the push. ;-)

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  17. Awesome, Jodi. Glad I could help, even if it was unintentional. ;)

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