I was chatting with a friend of mine this afternoon who has been having some trouble find work. I, of course, recommended picking up some freelance work. I know that the guy in question is a decent writer, but I’m slowly realizing that I probably would have recommended freelance writing to him even if I didn’t know his writing style.
I like the options that freelancing has provided me with, and I honestly think that freelance writing is a great opportunity for a wide variety of people. I regularly email my mother markets, telling her that she should submit something — and I do the same to my cousin, a friend of my mom’s and several of my friends.
The thing about writing is that everyone is an expert on something and, while not everyone is Hemingway, most people can communicate. It’s a required skill at most jobs, after all.
So, yes, I do evangelize the freelancing lifestyle, mostly because I feel that a lot of different people can find a benefit in it. Think about how many people you’ve heard say that they want to write a novel some day? So why can’t all those people write articles?
But — and this is a big but — I’m not saying that writing isn’t a skilled profession. I’ve worked hard to advance in my work. The jobs and markets I forward to some of the people on my list are low paying for a reason: they’re the starting level for the typical freelancer. That friend who needs some work probably would be better off not freelancing, no matter how much he enjoys writing. Assuming that he’s still working on finding a full time job and wouldn’t be sticking with freelancing for the long haul, he’d make the money he needs to tide him over by going down to the local day labor office and digging ditches for a couple of days.