Freelance Writing for a Living:

A 33 Step Beginner’s Guide

  1. Wake up, ready to tackle a mountain of work.

    Up and at ’em, tiger. This is your day, and people are counting on you. Pick up a pen and get ready to write your un-kissed-by-the-sun ass off, you little go getter!

  2. Realise it’s less of a mountain of work, and more of a molehill of work.

    Alright, so maybe there are fewer people counting on you than you thought. Like, a lot fewer. Holy shit, how are you ever going to make money, working like this? There was that one guy last night who said he’d get back to you. What was his name? Curtis? What happened to – no, you know what, this is fine. This will give you time to concentrate on finding more work. Maybe write something on your personal blog, finally. You’ll cover more ground, this way.

    This is good. You’re fine.

    Fuck Curtis.

  3. Shower.

    Seriously, though, what’s it been? Round it down to the nearest working week. You smell like Balrog shit.

    Maybe your ex was right about you.

  4. Get a tea.

    Ah. Nectar of the Gods. This is the good stuff.

    You’re ready to do business.

  5. Check to see whether it’s a mountain of work, yet. It’s now a slightly larger molehill.

    WHAT THE FUCK, CURTIS?

  6. Work your pasty ass off.

    You know what they say: dance with the one who brought you. You’ve got some loyal customers who bothered to get in touch with you, overnight. One of them is a city library, and their email newsletter is already a month behind. You’re a valued worker.

    This client sells bouncy castles. How are they ever going to make it without your landing page copy? You make a real difference. This is real work. Look at everything Curtis is missing out on.

  7. It’s now 10AM. Time for tea. Delicious.

    Got to keep hydrated. That’s Play Hard 101.

  8. Apply for anywhere between six and ten more jobs before lunch.

    Anything above 1c an hour is worth a look. Upwork, Problogger, BloggingPro, and literally any business you find online with even a shred of poor grammar are all good options. Your local paper. The guy from your high school who started a tattoo parlour. Get your emails rattling out, en masse.

    Cold pitch.

    Update your website.

    Tell literally everyone you are in any way networked with, from Linkedin to Facebook. Pinterest that shit if you have to.

    Go big. Go biggest. Go just a little bit bigger than that.

  9. Lunch.

    Microwave mac and cheese is probably good writing food, right? Your ex hated it, but you know what? The whole fridge is yours now they’re gone, you can eat whatever you want, and they can eat a bucket of suck it.

    Mac and cheese is life. There can be no other.


  10. Indigestion.

    Goddammit, mac and cheese, why have you betrayed me? 

  11. Put up a blog, of your own, while compulsively checking Feedly for jobs from ProBlogger, BloggingPro, /r/Hireawriter, and every other website that exists in the world.

    There’s got to be something left out there. Maybe BizCommunity? Jesus, Gumtree, maybe?

    Just write what’s in your heart, to distract yourself, and the jobs will come.

  12. Your blog is a listicle of your top ten moments from the movie Dune. You delete it.  What were you thinking?

    dune-poster3

    This movie wasn’t even good. God, you always do this. These stupid movies aren’t worth your time, nobody even cares! This was not a smart blogging decision. You are going to die an obscure writer, and the world will not even care.

  13. More tea.

    Actually, this does make the whole Dune thing feel better.

  14. Three more clients are interested in work from you. Great job.
    • One of them will be for something supremely weird.

      You can write extensively on wicker furniture, right?

      Right?

    • One of them will never return your call. There is no reason for this. They will simply disappear, with no warning, whatsoever.

      CURTIS!

    • The final client will be completely normal. You’ll doubt this, because of how weird the first one was. That instinct is good. Never let your guard down.

      This guy is a keeper, though. Probably.

  15. More tea. The tea is life.

    Maybe you should slow down on the tea.

    No? Alright, tea it up.

  16. Work some more.

    That wicker furniture article isn’t going to write itself. Or maybe it can, you don’t know enough about wicker to really say, either way.

  17. Get an idea for a better blog. Push it to the back of your mind, so you can devote your energy to your work.

    This is no time for creativity or personal art, you are on fire, right now!

  18. Maybe you should write that blog idea down. Na, you’re nearly done here. You can get to it right after.

    It’s cool, bro, don’t sweat it. You’ll get it done. 

  19. It is 5PM. Time to clock out.

    fsjqo9

  20. Make one last cup of tea, to wind down before you write your new, better blog post.

    It’s not a real tea problem. You can stop anytime you want. Anyway, now it’s time to write that blog you were going to –

  21. Can’t remember your blog idea. Dammit!

    There is no God!

  22. God dammit, what was it you were going to blog about?

    WHAT WERE YOU GOING TO BLOG ABOUT?

    WHY WOULDN’T YOU WRITE THIS THING DOWN?

  23. It’s three hours later. You’ve written nothing. You should get to bed.

    Just enough time to brush your teeth, check Facebook, and-

  24. Your ex posts a picture of themselves on vacation in Tahiti. You haven’t been on vacation since before Miley Cyrus was born. And they’re looking fucking great!

    Maybe you should call them. No. Well, maybe just until they pick up, just to hear – no, that’s worse. Plus, they’re in Tahiti, so what the fuck would that accomplish?

  25. You drink a cup of consolation tea that’s actually whisky, so technically you haven’t had, like, eight million cups of tea today.

    Take THAT, society.

  26. Draft an email to your ex.

    Just to wish them the best. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re doing fine. Not Tahiti fine, obviously. And, maybe it’s been a while since you’ve dated, but you don’t have to mention that in the email. And what defines a relationship anyway…

  27. Agonise over it for a solid hour.

    Is it so wrong to just want to smoosh their stupid face in your brand new Christopher Nolan BluRay collection?

  28. Three more consolation teas later, it’s time for bed. You delete the email.

    Tea is life. You don’t need relationships.

  29. You remember your blog idea, from earlier.

    HOLD THE 2AM PRESSES!

  30. It’s brilliant.

    Of course, it is! You’re a brilliant writer. This was a viable career choice. Your ex can suck it! Curtis is a fool! A FOOL!

  31. You start typing at a furious pace, the letters pouring from your fingers like water.

    This is going to change the world!

  32. Two hours later, it’s done.

    And the award for best writer in the universe goes to…

  33. You collapse into bed. Asleep, like the dead.

 

THE NEXT DAY

  1. Wake up,

    What a great day. Time to get out there and kick some ass, you word slinging cowboy/girl!

  2. Check your blog.

    Oh yeah! You changed the world last night. What was it about again? Who cares, here come the metrics!

  3. “My Top 5 Moments, from the Movie ‘Zardoz.” by Duncan Reyneke

    2483ddcac9fe0d060e799eafb302a9f6

  4. Goddammit.

One comment

  1. Debra B · October 25, 2017

    I absolutely love this! Your documentation of a day in the life of a writer was dead on. I thought that I was the only obsessed with Tea while writing. Seems like tea is the best to help me “calm” and get in the mood to write and tackle the load ahead of me. The midnight/2am writing is essential. It’s like the best ideas come in the midnight hours. Great job! Keep it up!

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