Sunday, September 25, 2011

Diary of a Reluctant Freelance Writer

To be general, I love writing. To be specific, I love certain types of writing.
What interests me as a writer is the psychology of characters--I am intrigued by motivations, actions, dialogue and how these components intertwine to determine character reaction, character relationships: character.

While I say I want to write for a living; I mean I want to make a living as a writer. I picture a published writer, an award or two, an abundance of time and writing what I want, fiction and nonfiction that explores the depths of my characters.

In pursuit of my dreams, I find myself accepting freelance projects to--you know--feed the kids. The projects I accept are typically things that intrigue me: branding deals with the relationship between words, the expectation of dialogue and action. I accept editing projects, write ad copy, perform voice overs.
Recently I was offered two projects: One I could not afford to take, and one I could not afford to turn down.

These are the lessons I've learned from them:

1. Outline (verbally) the expectations and scope of the project.
2. Reiterate (in writing) the expectations and scope of the project
3. Provide realistic timelines and cost estimates
4. Be clear about payment terms—methods and time frame
5. Project specific contract signed by both parties
6. Check in half-way providing status: progress, hours put in, cost estimate, sample and estimated project conclusion.
7. Ask fellow freelancers for advice
8. Choose projects with discretion: not every project is the project for me.
9. Price based on realistic, inform estimate of time and resources it will take.
10. Be selective: Not every project is the one for me.

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