The biggest lesson I learnt when I started writing was to stay motivated and patient. Trust me when I say this is the hardest thing to do when you take your first step on the freelance journey. The internet is vast and filled with skilled writers all looking for work. To make matters worse, my literary skills weren't exactly top quality. But I came across this inspiring article from a fellow Writer and unfortunately I can't remember his name. What I do remember is the advice he gave to beginners. He said that endurance is key. Even though it doesn't seem like you are getting anywhere in those first few months, just keep going.
I for one had lost all hope. Slowly but surely I started to make peace that I'd be stuck as an assistant retail store manager for the rest of my life. Yep, working unholy hours and earning a salary not worth mentioning looked like the end for me. Alas, I didn't quit. I kept working on a site called Iwriter and after a while I added PeoplePerHour (I'll give more detail about these two sites later). Slowly but surely my income started growing along with my skills as a writer. Getting to know the lingo regarding SEO optimized articles, press releases, professionally toned sales pitches and even some friendly blog posts really helped me to take on a diverse client base.
A few months after I started my "career" I resigned from the retail store. Needless to say this made my wife very uncomfortable because she likes her stability. I don't blame her, given we have three kids and pets to take care of. Initially I thought I made a mistake because I wasn't making enough to cover the bills, not that I was able to do so with my retail job. In some way or another we pulled through and now my wife doesn't have to work. The best part is that we get to spend a lot more time with the kids.
So if you are considering the career of a freelance writer then be sure to follow through. There will be times when you think it's not going to work out, but this is normal. It's also good to realise when you just don't have the skills to do something and settle for another way to be happy. For example, I wanted to be a rock star. Now take a look at this video my wife recorded when I wasn't looking.
It was my ultimate dream to be in a band and play music all day long. Unfortunately I had to accept the fact that I didn't have enough talent or glamour to make it. The passion was there alright, but as you can hear I probably would've died poor and hungry if I kept going. Luckily I was good at something else, namely writing. This also meant I didn't have to leave my family for long periods of time. I might not have reached fortune and fame, but I can tell you that I'm still very happy. I wake up when I feel like waking up and I work until I want to stop. I am in control of my income and I don't have to face a boss that likes to yell about things they don't know.
In essence I can't express how liberating it feels to have a career and I truly hope you find the same happiness.