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Can You Make Money From Home
as a Freelance Writer?

Phil Busby sheds light on earning as a freelance writer!

The simple answer to this question is, of course, yes. For lots of freelance writers it makes perfect sense. Paying rent on an office or working apartment is beyond the means of many, though this isn’t the only reason to stay at home. Some freelancers care for children or elderly parents, others have health or mobility problems, and a good number just don’t like going out to work.

What to Write About
But what do these people write about? Well, anything and everything – football, health and beauty, nutrition, motorcycles, hill walking, dog training, music, gardening, popular science, fishing, politics, cookery … You name it and, as well as the mainstream media, there’s a magazine, website or specialist publisher out there catering for it. Which means there are editors hungry for quality letters, fillers, stories, poems and articles to fill their pages. Not forgetting the countless brochures, advertising campaigns, radio plays, TV soaps and How To manuals that come out every day. Even novels get written at the kitchen table … sometimes.

When to Write
But if you’re thinking of setting up as a freelance writer, there are a few things you need to bear in mind. First – no one will believe you’re actually working. Most people don’t see writing as ‘work’ anyway, but when you do it at home they’re even more sceptical. Friends, neighbours, tradesmen, delivery drivers, even members of your own family, will assume you’ve got the day off and hang around chatting for hours, wondering why you’re not putting the kettle on. So you have to be firm with them, and yourself. You have to treat your writing as a job if you hope to make money from home with it. Which brings us to the second stumbling block – getting started.

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Planning Your Time
Starting work as a freelance can be impossible sometimes because, at home, there’s always a million other things to do. The dog needs walking, the light bulb in the hall needs changing, there’s laundry, hoovering, that little job on the car … Without a team of people around you, or a boss breathing down your neck, you have to be disciplined and focused to get anything done at all. If your editor is expecting copy first thing Tuesday morning, it’s no good sending it on Wednesday, saying: “Sorry, I had to fix the washing machine.” You’ll get no sympathy. Your piece may well be rejected and, in most cases, you’ll never work for that publication again. So you have to make a timetable, and stick to it. And if that means the house looks like a pig-sty for a few days, then that’s just the way it is.

Where To Write
The last thing to think about is where, exactly, in your home is best to work. Obviously, this isn’t as tough as it used to be, with a laptop or tablet you can write pretty much anywhere. Lots of your records can be stored digitally, and much of your research can be done online. Nevertheless, you’ll still need some kind of physical filing system and, though it may not be possible in the beginning, eventually you’ll want a desk or table that functions specifically as a writing station. You’ll need shelves too, for your own personal set of reference books. Yes – books! Even with a Kindle, iPad and smart phone buzzing away, there will be times when you need to flick through something real, printed on paper.

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Who Can Become a Freelance Writer?
So, there you have it. Those are the three main obstacles to setting up as a freelance writer. But let’s be honest, they’re not really that big, are they? As long as you can keep the world at bay for a while, stick to a timetable, and sort out a workspace in a corner somewhere – you’re in. You don’t need any special qualifications, there are no age or gender restrictions, and it doesn’t matter where you come from. Whatever you want to write about, there are people out there who want to read about it. And as long as you take the time to do your market research, present your work in the way editors expect to receive it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be paid for your efforts.

How to Become a Freelance Writer
If freelance writing appeals to you The Writers Bureau can help. The Comprehensive Creative Writing course will teach you all you need to know to set up as a freelance writer. Plus, we’ll help you develop your writing style and show you how to sell your work. Click here to request your free prospectus. There’s no time like the present to start – so what are you waiting for?


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Annemarie Munro Writers Bureau's Student of the Year 2022

"I have seen my writing journey as an adventure: What can I write? What am I best at? What new aspects of writing can I discover and contribute towards? I have welcomed the wide range of modules covering different types of writing, challenging me to try new aspects in style and content, pushing me gently outside my comfort zone with encouragement.

"I signed up for the course in December 2020 as a Christmas present to myself and I started the first module in January 2021. I have had eight pieces published: three paid earning £1080 and a star letter where I won a £250 hotel voucher."

Annemarie Munro - Writers Bureau Student of the Year 2022

Read Annemarie's full story


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