Thursday, November 19, 2009

Being The Freelance Writer...Even When You Don't Want To

Okay, so what does the title of my latest post mean? Well, the truth is that there will be times that you just don't feel like being a freelance writer. I know it might be shocking for the scores of people who look at writing and working at home as a "dream job." Yet, for those who on the other side of the fence, the fact that there will be those days when we're not content with the lot we're in.

Is there a remedy?

Thankfully, as a freelance writers, there can be. This isn't to marginalize the situations or feelings of those among us who just feel like they've encountered a major impasse. They don't know what they're doing or even why they continue to type words on the page. Admittedly, for me this comes from doing the sort of freelancing that I've been doing for most of my professional life. I'm a ghostwriter.

For those who don't know or aren't familiar with the branch of the writer's family tree, a ghostwriter is someone who writes content for other people - sometimes under a non-disclosure agreement, sometimes not - but must waive all rights to the work. In most cases, the client gets the credit for the material. Or, in some cases, it remains anonymous website copy.

Now, there's nothing wrong with being ghostwriter. It helps to pay the bills just like any other job. For me, and perhaps others, there remains this realm of writing yet to be exploited. You may be someone who became a writer on purpose with a clear set of goals in mind, but maybe you lost sight of them along the way. For those like me, becoming a writer was a dream that ready to be packed up in order to get on with "real life." Then the miraculous happened and an unexpected opportunity presented itself.

I became a writer and started doing ghostwriting. I joined a website that supplied leads to potential jobs. I go work - I still get work that way. The only trouble is that it really isn't the sort of writing you wanted to do in the first place. You want to be a novelist or at least a credited writer with a byline to show for it.

The longer it takes to achieve this sort of status, the more difficult it is to remain content with being a freelancer. You start looking at it like any other job. The nature of writing as a magic profession wears thin. You really are ready to get on with something else.

What do you do?

Well, the solution is to find a way out of the rut and move on. In the meantime, you will need to be a freelance writer even if you don't feel like being one. Plan your move to the type of writing you want to do. This might mean taking small steps while continuing the regular work. Don't be foolish and break ties with the work before you're ready. More than anything you do not want to go back to the rat race way of working. You want to remain as far from that mentality as possible.

If you're lucky enough to be an independent freelance writer, don't botch up that freedom. Utilize it to make the situation better and discover far better creative business prospects. That will take some work, but it will be worth it if can feel content with being a writer again. If you can regain the sense of creativity and wonder associated with the writer's life, the happier you will be.

Good luck. Wish me the same.

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