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Old 02-23-2013, 04:02 AM   #1
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Default Any freelance writers out there? Noob needs a little advice1

Anyone out there writing freelance through one of these internet sites? I'd like to get into this line of work so I can have the freedom to travel on my boat. Unfortunately its a bit more complicated than I had thought it would be.

Thanks in advance,

Jon
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Hi Jon, I make a reasonable living as a freelance writer. Many people do likewise. Equally as many have developed their contacts in much the same way as have I, through many years of dedicated professional writing. I have been a working journalist for over forty years.

Just as with plumbers and accountants, writers develop their craft with practice. Whether you decide to be a writer, a plumber or an accountant you need to learn the trade and practice it on a full time basis until people begin to accept your talent.

There are successful DIY writers just as there are successful DIY plumbers, but the people who pay money for a job usually want to hire a professional.

Penning the occasional travel piece will not place you above any one the other many thousands who are trying to do the same. Hard work, long hours and dedication when backed by talent will eventually win out. Search through Amazon for books by Gary 'Fatty' Goodlander. He is a talented writer who details his path toward acceptance.

It won't be easy and it won't be financially very profitable; but the rewards gained from knowing you can entertain through published works make for a satisfying experience.

Best of luck.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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Hey Auzzee,
Good to hear from you again! Thank you for the pointers! I can definitely see the importance of establishing a reputation. I had initially thought of writing original pieces for articles or similar but I think it would be better to pick up something more straightforward, like proofreading, just to get my name in the hat. One hurdle for me is that I really dont have anything to show that I know what I'm doing. I wrote several short stories when I was younger but they have been lost.

You mention that it is not very profitable, is it sufficient to live aboard and cruise a bit? I live pretty darn cheap and I'm not trying to get rich or famous. I enjoy writing for the sake of writing and just want to make enough to get around a bit on the boat if I can.

I looked up Cap'n Fatty and will order a few of his books to see what he's about. I will probably write in the same vein eventually. I have always been able to entertain a crowd with a good yarn!

I don't suppose you have any work you could send my way? I can afford to work for free or very cheap since I have a steady income. Maybe you could help me learn the ropes and it would give me something to show that I have some idea of what I'm doing. My current job (night guard) is not especially demanding and my boss even suggested I bring my laptop to work!
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:37 PM   #4
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Hey Jon,

I thought like you did, why not make some money writing while cruising ... writing is easy after all isn't it ... not so, I found that while I could write reasonably well the hard part was getting publishers to accept submissions for publication.

I admit I haven't been writing a great deal over the last 12 months or so but I have had several articles published in the last 3 or 4 years. One was published in Cruising Helmsman magazine some time ago. I contacted the editor with my story idea and she asked me to email my submission to her along with photos. I did this. Over the next week or two, emails back and forwards sorting out details, making corrections, referencing photos. The article was published 3 months later and I learnt about lead in time. I got paid the princely sum of $180, about month or so after my article was published. It was 4 magazine pages and several photos, got a mention on the cover as well.

So from writing to getting paid was about 5 months. Could I make a living from writing ? Probably not. I would need to devote too much time and effort to actually make it pay and I am a lazy sod of a cruising yachtie so enough said huh ? Would I do it again ? Hell yeah cause it was and is a buzz to see something I have created in print and getting paid for it was a bonus.

I contacted several yachting magazines about possible submissions along the lines of remote or hidden cruising destinations and was gratified to learn that they were willing to consider submissions on an article by article basis. I have made a couple of contacts, enjoyed the process and made some cash. So its all good from where I am sitting.

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Old 02-24-2013, 12:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply, Lexx!
After looking into this a bit more I think I will shy away from the creative side of things. My "professional" experience is largely technical writing which seems to offer more immediate returns. I would still like to get some short stories and articles published but I think I will restrict that to a hobby as opposed to trying to make a living from it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #6
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Default Honing your writing skills

If you want to hone your creative writing skills, why not register on YouWriteOn (http://www.youwriteon.com/)? It's a collaborative website where you can post your short stories and get constructive comments/criticism from other writers in return for reviewing their work. Several writers have progressed from YouWriteOn to become published authors. You can take a look at my page on YouWriteOn (search on Gordon Knight) if you want to see how the site works as a writers' showcase.

I do it just for pleasure, but if you want to make money from it, be prepared for some VERY hard work and a HUGE amount of persistence. Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:35 AM   #7
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Good summarry Auzee of the world of freelance writing. Just like any profession, writers spend a lot of time perfecting their craft, developing skills and building a reputation. It takes a lot of commitment and patience but if you're professional and can actually deliver on what publishers want, freelance writing is a rewarding job that can be accomplished anywhere in the world.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:41 AM   #8
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Thanks for the link Gordon, and the insight MT. I signed up on freelancer.com and bid a few jobs so I guess I'll just have to see what comes of it.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:42 PM   #9
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Good Luck, Coltex. Writing is a love rather than a profession. Re-writing is the key. Trying to support yourself writing will destroy the love of it. Treat writing as a welcome windfall when it comes! Enjoy cruising, that is why we are out here!

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Old 03-19-2016, 10:48 AM   #10
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years ago I got a gig writing the blurb for porn photos (yes some one has to do it) good hourly rate but you can't use words of more that two sylibals as the punter looses interest. I lasted for 1.5 hrs and gave it up myself. do ok occasionally with magazines but only a couple of articles a year (Australia has a small number of cruising mags) Writing blogs to earn cents off ads is heartbreaking.
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