How To Begin Your Freelance Life: My Story – Part 2

This is the second post in a four-part blog series about how I started working as a freelance writer and the takeaways so you can begin your freelance life.

Check out part one if you missed it.

The work-at-home world was tough. Money was scarce and so were the hours. I went from doing mystery shopping to being an operator for 1-800-Flowers.

I even attempted a stint as a travel freelance writer, where I got my first publication in a small magazine about Lake Murray, which was near my home. I got that lead from attending the Travel Media Showcase, an annual gathering of writers and tourist/visitors’ bureaus from around the country.

freelance magazine writing lake murray
My first freelance magazine story!

While I almost lost my ability to write, I was still doing a few things here and there. I was writing like mad in an online diary which sadly (or, perhaps, thankfully) was deleted when the web site ceased to exist.

Then I began looking into doing a public personal blog. This was where things got rolling (for better or for worse). My posts helped hone my writing skills, but I also lost several “friends” in the process.

People didn’t always like what I had to say. Put on top of that my Mom’s back surgery and breast cancer diagnosis, it was tough figuring out who my real friends were.

Remember: You will always have detractors. Always. It’s a part of the freelance life. Heck, it’s just a part of life.

I can’t promise you every time things get tough it will sting less, but you’ll be stronger the next go-round. It sounds totally cliche, because it’s fact.

Several years would pass before I had the opportunity to write again. When I moved to Birmingham last year, I began sniffing around for local publications to write for. A city magazine came across my desk at my admin job.

It was a nice glossy, with ads for classy places I had never been to before. I figured it would be a good resource for getting to know the city.

I had no idea how much that would prove true.

Not long after I read my first copy of the magazine, I met the managing editor. It felt almost like a fluke! She and I ended up working very briefly in the same department.

I think for me and my future editor, the writing bug would not quit biting. We both ended up moving on, and I took the next step in writing for that magazine. The step was almost painfully easy.

I started using Twitter in September of last year and began following them. I Tweeted to them inquiring about how I can become a freelance writer. Little did I know, they would direct me to the very same editor I had worked with. At the time, I didn’t realize she had returned to her post.


When has a chance encounter lead you to a great gig? Where can you place yourself to bump into the right people? Talk to me about it!

Part Three is here!

4 thoughts on “How To Begin Your Freelance Life: My Story – Part 2

  1. Willie, you’re proof that if you’re meant to do something, you end up doing it in any capacity. Way to keep pluggin’.

    Almost every time I get a gig, it’s been because I put myself out there and just so happened to meet the right person. Networking events, commenting on blogs, submitting for one gig and landing another they just happened to have”. Even craft fairs.

    1. Wow. Craft fairs?! That’s crazy. You also happen to be crazy talented, so that helps. 🙂

Comments are closed.