How to Begin Your Freelance Life: My Story – Part 4

freelance magazine writer birmingham your freelance life
Yeah, I was pretty pumped about this magazine article.

This may be the final chapter of “How to Being Your Freelance Life,” the story of how I became a freelance writer, but it’s certainly not the last! In case you are just joining the blog, read parts one, two and three.

When I heard back from my editor, I was delighted to learn she liked my idea on writing about interracial marriage. I was all set to interview a few couples and gather some stats.

Roadblock #1: Not only had a similar story been done just a few months before, it was done by the magazine’s competitor. My editor informed me I couldn’t use those sources.

So where was I going to find more interracial couples in a Southern town where they are more scarce than a cold winter’s day?

Roadblock #2: There were no current stats on interracial marriages. The Census bureau was of no help. The latest I could find was a report done in 2008. It was all I had, but thankfully it was meaty enough to satisfy my editor.

Since I had already established a rapport with her, she told me she would accept a personal essay. I could use my own wedding and engagement photos. She even liked my idea of taking the stats and putting them in a breakout box.

And I’d get paid $250 for it.

The essay only took a few hours to write. My personal experiences just came flowing out. I got a quick approval from my husband and a few months later I was published. In a magazine about a town I had only called home for about 9 months.

Ecstatic is the best word to describe that feeling.

Even though I had failed at admin jobs here, I was a writing success once more.

That spurred me to freelance for other local publications as well, and I am beginning to establish a great rapport with folks in the community.

The tough part, as most freelancers will tell you, is how sporadic the work can be, especially if you are just starting out like me. Some days my plate is full, other days I am trying to just get my face out there and be seen.

Remember: The road to your freelance life is paved with cracks, detours and a few strange characters. You will encounter friends and foes along the way.

You deserve to experience freedom and happiness in your work. After all, you can’t spell freelance without the word “free.”

To find out more about my freelance life and how it can help you land clients, read this post on how I landed my first paid guest post in five hours. I also did a blog for Sophie Lizard’s “Be A Freelance Blogger” about how it took me several months to get my first ongoing blogging client.

Finding the right administrative consultant clients hasn’t been easy, but it’s also been a lot of fun. I’d be happy to go into more detail on that in future blog posts, if you guys are interested.

I’d love to hear about how you got your freelance life started. It doesn’t necessarily have to be writing.

I like using “freelance” as a general term to describe any one who is choosing to live their life on their own terms as an entrepreneur.

Let’s hear your freelance story or small business beginnings in the comments below!

If you enjoyed reading this, and would like to work with me, contact me!


9 thoughts on “How to Begin Your Freelance Life: My Story – Part 4

  1. I actually like hearing about bloggers actual lives. (Takes my mind off my own, maybe?) All visual artists, well mot of us, are essentially freelancers, even if we are represented by a gallery, and we are wise to remember that. I’m now a bit more “free” than I intended to be at the moment, so I am learning and taking heart from all of you bright young things (’cause for the most part, I’m old enough to be most of your mothers).
    I’m enjoying learning from all of you, and most of the time I have a positive attitude about it.
    Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    1. Thanks Panda! You always have such a great attitude. I need to check out your blog more often. Great stuff!

    1. Thanks, Ducky. I get down on myself a lot, because I know I could be working a lot harder, but it’s baby steps.

    1. Carol! I think this is the first time you’ve ever commented and shared my lil’ old blog. Thank you! She actually had not seen the wedding photos before I gave her the idea, but they were a hit with the designers.

      That was just an awesome awesome week. And to top it off, I now consider this editor a friend. That’s just like double bonus!

  2. Willi, thanks for sharing this! I found you from reading Sophie L’s blog. I’m just getting serious about freelance writing now (after doing a little personal blog just for fun), and stories like yours are really helping to motivate me. 🙂 I’ll be following you from now on!

    1. Awesome! I got one of my best (and first) guest blog ideas from a personal blog. Good luck and thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to having you be a part of the MFL community.

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