How to Quit Your Job and Write for a Living

Want to Write Full-Time? Here’s what you need to know…

Love to write? Do you dream of leaving your office job for a full-time freelance writing career? Being a writer makes use of your creative side while keeping your mind sharp with challenges. There’s pride in making use of your problem-solving skills. Working for yourself can be the answer to hating a job riddled with office politics, gossip and cloying managers and there’s nothing worse than a helicopter boss hovering by your desk and just making you want to scream.

Don’t believe people who say it’s impossible to make a living as a freelance writer. Find freelance writers who support themselves. If they make enough money to pay their bills and add to their savings account, then why can’t you? The answer is you can.

A writer with a few steady “anchor clients,” can stop sweating over finances and get back to the enjoyment of writing.

As with any career, the joy can fizzle but that is always a choice left up to your expectations and attitude. Celebrity sports players can grow tired of the game. The passion they had at the beginning can be lost over time. That’s when they may feel trapped and resent their careers. We have all seen many stars who had it all but their lives spiral into depression anyway. Sports players, actors, musicians and yes, writers, can prevent burnout from happening by structuring their lives to say no to any gigs that are a bad fit for them.

Types of Writing Careers

Writing is a huge field with a wide variety of options. Sticking with the sports analogy, don’t choose baseball if you want to play tennis. According to Vin D’Eletto Jr. from his WordAgents Reviews, “the two most common types of writer that you might think of could be a novelist and a journalist.” But there is a variety of other job choices for writers that include ghostwriters, speech writers, scriptwriters, technical writers, freelance agency writers, and copywriters.”

The skills that you need for these jobs can vary wildly from sales and marketing experience to legal expertise to comedic talent. It is rare for one person to be skilled enough or capable of freelancing in all of these diverse areas of writing.

Freelance vs. Employed

Every working writer is faced with the choice of becoming freelance or employed. As an employee, you have the comfort and safety of a steady paycheck, employee benefits, and consistent work but you’re also limited by company guidelines and the preferences of an editor.

As a Freelancer You Can…

  • Enjoy more freedom
  • Pick and choose the work you want
  • Take time off when you need a break.

But you don’t want to be forced to ‘kill what you eat,’ meaning work harder or starve.

How to Make a Freelance Writing Career Worthwhile

Despite the rewards, many people leave the writing industry. Why?

Here are the most common reasons:

  • They chose roles that didn’t match their, skills, goals and personality
  • They never learned how to write a strong pitch
  • They did not meet deadlines
  • They had not taken even one course to hone their writing skills.
  • They were difficult to work with—argumentative, defensive, unprofessional
  • They handed in work that was filled with spelling and grammatical errors
  • They had no understanding of SEO and did not make use of keywords
  • They didn’t follow instructions

Daydreaming about life as a freelance novelist is not the same as the realities you will face as a freelancer. Writing from your experiences and crafting a book that will inspire emotions in your readers is a worthy goal but a tough road. To make enough money to live on—and especially if you wish to start a family, settle down, and have leisure time. For a secure income, working as an employee is a much better bet than sitting at home writing a novel that may never sell.

To make a career in writing worthwhile, you must find a better way than just kicking a can down the road, while you imagine a romanticized version of a writer’s life. To grab the reigns and succeed with a money-making freelance career, you need to think critically about what you want and what your skills are. Then you can make an educated choice on the type of writing role that’s right for you. Google the types of freelance writing that provide ongoing gigs. Maybe you’ll choose to pursue content marketing, ghost writing, editing, ghost editing, journalism for industries that have an ongoing need for writers. Think: science, finance, health, parenting, tech, or any topic that interests you. The list is almost endless.

That is the how for finding the path to steady work that is fulfilling and helps you go about the business of finding joy in your life.