Freelance Writing Success By Showing Up

Angela Booth

Visitors: 165

Woody Allen summarizes the best-ever advice for writing, and for living, with his famous quote: "Eighty percent of success is showing up. " In your freelance writing career, you show up by writing every day, as well as by contacting writing markets and by offering your work for sale.

If you've been procrastinating about writing, or are avoiding marketing your work, try my two-pronged "show up" technique, and you will be amazed at the results. I teach this technique to my writing students. It works. Students who are unpublished, brand-new writers have often sold their first piece of writing within a couple of weeks once they start showing up.

Show up by writing, every day

Showing up by writing is vital for any freelance writer. If you're a novelist, you'll need to write 100,000 words for an average novel, so 500 words a day of writing which is in its final form is the bare minimum you need to write each day. If you're writing nonfiction articles, 500 words a day is also the minimum - you can't build a profitable career on fewer words.

If you're a new writer, you'll need to build your writing muscles before you can write a couple of thousand words a day. What's vital is that you write every day, to build those writing muscles.

Some writers find it restrictive to focus on daily word counts, and if this is you, opt for an hour of writing each day instead. This doesn't have to be a block of a single hour. You can write for 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at lunch time, and 20 minutes in the evening, as long as you show up by writing every day.

Show up in the writing marketplace

Freelance writers sell their words, so this means that your words need to be out in the marketplace. Your primary "showing up" tools in the writing marketplace are your portfolio, and your bio.

Your portfolio contains examples of your work. If you're a new writer, you won't have any examples of work you've sold. There's an easy way around this: craft some writing samples of the kinds of writing that you want to sell - magazine articles, advertising, several chapters of a book, or a Web site.

Your bio is also a vital sales tool. It introduces you to people who can buy your work. Many new writers, and also some experienced ones, have a lot of trouble with crafting a bio. Here's an easy way to write your first bio: think: Who, What, How, When, Where and Why. When you use the "5Ws + an H" system, it gives you a handle on the process.

Let's see how this works in practice when you're writing a bio. "Who: Linda H. Writer; What: writes fiction and nonfiction; How: full-time writer; When: for five years; Where: business and technology magazines; Why: marketing degree, enjoys writing, developed full-time career. "

Using this bare-bones outline, you can quickly write bios of various lengths: 25 words, 50 words, 100 words, and 250 words. Your 50-word bio is the one that you'll use most often. You'll send it out with every query that you write. Use the 25-word version as your email signature file.

Once your portfolio and bio are ready, you can show up for markets in minutes, as soon as you spot a possible new market for your work.

For example, you might be browsing the Web, when you spot a new magazine that's debuting in a few months. Just shoot off a quick note to the editor introducing yourself with your bio with a link to your online portfolio, and ask what opportunities there are for freelancers with the magazine. Or, you may be sitting in the dentist's waiting room, and you spot a new magazine. Shoot off an email enquiry to the editor as soon as you get home, even before the Novocain wears off.

So there you have it: how to show up for your freelance writing career. Try it. Just show up: you'll succeed when you do.

Angela Booth is a veteran freelance writer and copywriter. She also teaches writing. Visit her blogs - Angela Booth's Writing Blog at and Fab Freelance Writing at for daily writing inspiration and motivation. Subscribe to the Fab Freelance Writing Ezine at to receive “Write And Sell Your Writing: The Power-Write Report" free. It's 21 pages packed with information to help you to develop a six-figure writing career.


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Grow Your Freelance Writing Income Sites That Freelance Writers Need to Re ..
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes

Related Articles:

Freelance Writing The Lazy Way: Use Creative Blogging To Get Freelance Writing ..

by: Angela Booth (February 14, 2007) 
(Writing and Speaking)

Your Freelance Writing Home Business - From Startup to Success

by: Angela Booth (April 20, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)

Freelance Writing: Five Top Secret Tips to Ensure Your Success

by: Angela Booth (October 12, 2006) 
(Writing and Speaking)

Freelance Writing Jobs How to Make Money Through Freelance Writing

by: Michael Lee (June 16, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)

Freelance Writing - Make Your Own Freelance Writing Jobs

by: Angela Booth (April 15, 2007) 
(Writing and Speaking)

Freelance Writing Jobs Friendly Tips to Be a Successful Freelance Writer

by: Michael Lee (June 27, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)

Freelance Writing Jobs Helpful Tips to Become a Successful Freelance Writer

by: Michael Lee (June 26, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)

Freelance Writing Jobs - Top 5 Tips Which Can Help You in Starting As a ..

by: Jitesh Arora (January 21, 2009) 
(Writing and Speaking/Copywriting)

Freelance Writing Jobs Simple Tips to Be a Successful Freelance Writer

by: Michael Lee (July 17, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)

Grow Your Freelance Writing Income Sites That Freelance Writers Need to Re ..

by: Rachel Kuptz (July 05, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)