At a recent writers’ conference, someone asked how you know if you’re ready to become a professional freelancer writer.
There are really two ways to answer the question, one relates to writing skill and the other to financial situation. In future podcasts, I’ll talk to other writers about when they knew their skills were sufficient to freelance full time, but today I look at the financial considerations I made before starting my writing business 25 years ago.
When I talk to writing groups about what it takes to start a freelance writing business, one of my favorite visualization exercises goes like this: I ask them to close their eyes and imagine sitting in their car in the driveway at home. I tell them to visualize driving to the store. After a pause, I ask how they are doing. Most are still sitting in the driveway because I didn’t tell them which store.
Ok, drive to the grocery store, I tell them. Many imagine driving from their home but get stuck at the big intersection on the edge of their neighborhood. Why? Because they can turn right to Safeway or left to Whole Foods. Once I get even more specific about which grocery store, they can usually drive there easily.