Guest Post: Usha Krishnan Sliva

If you’ve decided to start a career in freelance writing, then you’ve selected a very satisfying career option; which can prove to be rewarding, both personally and monetarily.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and reading too. In fact, you’ll probably find me with my nose buried in a book when I am not working or spending time with the family. Reading is probably what distinguishes most serious writers from those who are looking for a quick-rich earning scheme. If you find yourself gravitating towards a book as opposed to the TV, then you know which direction your career could possibly be heading in.

Yet, I didn’t always think of becoming a writer. In fact, I have my Masters degree in Anthropology and had visions of working in Africa in the 90’s. But fate dictated otherwise and I landed in Dubai and began my first real career move in an advertising agency as a print sales executive. From there, I moved to television and soon after, began dabbling in events and conferences. It was however only when I joined a PR agency in Cyprus, that I began to realize my passion lay in words after all. Since then, I’ve never been without a pen (and keyboard) in hand.

Launching a freelance writing career is no different than launching any other business. And you have to view it as a business, even if you are working only a few hours each day. It’s an ideal job not only for a stay at home parent, but for those looking to dive into something they are passionate about. And that’s the key to succeeding in any career or business move in life- passion! Do anything with enthusiasm and love and you are bound to reap its rewards. In this instance, be good at writing, and you will get paid your worth.

The second point to remember is to be knowledge driven. Read as much as you can and undergo courses to improve your writing skills. Just because you may speak English, does not mean you can write it with fluency.

Find a niche. What do you enjoy writing on? Look for topics that interest you and try and develop your skills and knowledge in them. Specialists can command a higher price than writers who have no focus. Likewise, recognize your limitations. We all have limitations no matter how hard we try. I for example, do not write technical documents as I have no experience doing them. I however can command a higher rate for writing articles on coaching and motivational topics. Stick to what you do best and diversify only if you find a new passion.

Go the extra mile for the client, but know where the finish line is. Just because you freelance, does not mean you spend all your working hours on a single project. The client needs to be given 110% of your effort for two reasons-a) You are running a business and the client is your  bread and butter. No matter the payment, if you’ve elected to take up a job, then you need to deliver it to the best of your abilities and b) As a freelance writer, you will be competing with not hundreds, but thousands of people from around the world. If you don’t do a good job, chances are you will lose the client to someone else who will.

At the same time, you are also making a fixed income depending on what you charge. Make sure your rates are something you are comfortable with and don’t hesitate to say no to a low-paying client. Sure, you may lose this particular project, but you can devote your time saved towards finding something more worthwhile.

And finally, believe in yourself. There is no greater failure than the person who fails to believe in himself! If you love what you do and do it to the best of your skills, abilities and knowledge, there is no reason for you to be anything but a success!

Usha Krishnan Sliva is a freelance writer with over 10 years writing experience. She has lived and worked around the world, in countries like Dubai, London, Cyprus and India, for major Public Relation agencies and clients, including British Airways, the Australian Oil and Gas Company, OMV, the Maybourne chain of hotels and the Four Seasons.

She currently lives in Vancouver, BC and has begun offering writing coaching and mentoring services to select clientele. To get onto the bandwagon, subscribe to her weekly free ezine-Getting It Write on www.writechoiceforyou.blogspot.com or visit her on www.writechoiceforyou.com

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

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