Free lance writing is also selling. Compare this to getting projects that could be a hundred or a thousand bucks. Only a few writers get rich, yet the serious ones stay in the industry forever. One has to get another/second job to sustain one writer’s way of life.
Here are tips for aspiring writers:
1. An ideal subject will be of wide appeal and constantly recurring interest.
2. Become a contributor who can write freshly and illuminatingly on a particular subject.
3. Gain the reputation of never letting an editor down.
Some qualified writers fail to maintain steady editorial contacts because they cannot be relied to deliver the promised article by the time agreed upon. You may have to forgo an evening out in order to produce what is required.
4. Store up editorial goodwill; seize opportunities.
5. Interest the general reader. The ordinary reader wants sound information but nothing stodgy in presentation.
6. Technical terms must be avoided as much as possible.
Free lance writers never stop exploring ideas. Their minds struggle to something useful to write. Mere routine and experience articles are not based on the writer’s work but are merely the result of exercising keen observation and common sense.
In trade and technical journalism, the sense of fact is very important. The writer must know how to report or describe brightly and intelligently, as he must know how to remember or observe accurately.
In news writing, the basis for success is speed. Writers must earn a reputation for unimpeachable accuracy, and build a reputation for promptness. News stories are short-lived. They’re the most quickly perishable of all commodities and must be handled quickly if it is to retain its value.
It is essential for the news reporter to build up a regular news-gathering connection, and a reputation for personal integrity.
Some tips for news writing:
1. Get the facts accurately. Use the sub-editor’s golden rule: “When in doubt, leave out.”
2. News is not literature. Write it crisply, in simple words.
3. Be objective. News is not opinion.
4. Answer the questions: what, when, and where in the opening paragraphs.
5. End with the least important points.