In addition to the blogging on my own website, I’m contracted to write articles for a few other places on the web. None of these pay particularly well. They certainly do take up some of my time and these sites demand quality, frequent work.
So why on earth would I strap myself with work that requires my time and expertise for little to no money? It’s because I’m independently wealthy and have no other use for my time. Ok, that’s not the real reason. I do these things because I think freelance writing is a lot like acting.
Think about the struggling actor cliche we’ve all seen in so many movies. The Hollywood dream is ethereal and not quite tangible. Yet they take whatever bit parts that may come their way. Maybe they join a troupe for a pittance. Given the odds of success, why would an actor or actress subject themselves to such a life? Two reasons: First and most important, they are doing something they truly love, something for which they are impassioned and inspired (which would be a good enough reason in and of itself). Second, if they don’t put their face out into the field, they will never have the chance to realize their dream. They won’t ever get discovered if they sit in their apartment, reading lines to their goldfish.
In many ways, a freelance writer is no different. I take on assignments because I love to write and I know that each piece makes me a little better writer. The other reason I take on some writing obligations is to get my name out there. The more of a presence I have, the more likely I will eventually land that dream client. I blog on my website and engage other bloggers in part to try and bring traffic to my site. Not for purposes of the ego, but because each visitor may be the link to the writing project that may lead to the next one and the one after that and so on.
Some would consider these near-freebie assignments to be just paying my dues. I don’t have an issue with that. I know that I will pay a little more than some, less than others and that’s ok. I don’t take these dues paying assignments grudgingly. I see them as an opportunity to grow – always, always, always with my Hollywood dream in mind.
PS: If you like to guest post here on Freelance Writing, please get in touch with me.