Journalist Linda Jones, a freelance I greatly admire, has been writing a book on being a freelance writer. More to the point, the book is full of top tips on being a freelance writer in the most productive way possible. It's not out yet, but I hope to be at the launch on 4 October. In the meantime, place your orders through Linda's site because you won't regret it if you are a freelance writer, aspiring or experienced...
It's obviously a week for dispensing info on freelancing. An editing colleague of mine has been picking my brains on how to break into earning money from writing. It's not easy and you need to be persistent as well as know what you are doing.
I also had my attention drawn to this list of 101 Reasons Freelancers Do It Better, which has just been published. It's an interesting list and hard to disagree with most of the 101 reasons, although some seem to be duplicates (eg, reasons 7 and 42 are virtually identical, as are 55 and 56). Some of the reasons are questionable - take no. 44, for example. I do take issue with this. A lot of freelance work can be very boring even when you are freelancing in the profession you love. If you agree to edit a 600-page book on a subject you have no interest in, you will get bored very quickly, no matter how much of an enthusiastic pedant you are. I had just such a book recently (the MS From Hell), when it was really hard to sustain my interest, but to be fair, it was less due to the subject matter than the incompetence of my client that caused me to lose interest.
On the whole though, this list gives a pretty fair picture of the realities of what you'll be dealing with as a freelance (whatever your trade), even though it tends to portray everything as a positive, including what I call the shit jobs, such as doing the books - no one will ever convince me this is enjoyable!
If you're thinking of turning freelance, having a look at the 101 Reasons will give you a first grasp of what working for yourself entails. And if you're planning to write for money, buy Linda's book. It could be the best fiver you've ever spent.