#059–How do you develop the credentials needed to be considered freelance-writer material?

I’ve bounced back and forth on this question, because I love to write–and have been trying to get my writing chops back. But I am fuzzy on how to become a good writer, and how to develop your portfolio so people take you seriously, and want you to write for them.

What little I can glean seems to assume you have some credentials under your belt, some portfolio of work to show people. But what people? When? What kinds of writing?

It feels like looking for that first job all over again when I was 16: they don’t want you if you don’t have experience working, but you can’t get experience working until you get a job.

My degrees are in history and teaching 9-12 grade, not literature or writing. How can someone without publishing experience get their foot in the door? I wrote my master’s thesis and that was the only published item I’ve ever had (and that was in-house, part of the cost of finishing said degree, so I don’t think I can really count that).

I am more than willing to learn how to be a better writer–I know I could always be better. I want to do the one thing (other than reading) that I love for a living.

I just don’t know where to start. I’m starting to wish I’d gone into literature instead of social studies, but was advised against it because the job market was against me.

Whatever. I have two history degrees and can teach, and those have done me little to no good in the traditional job market.

Time for something new; time to find something that lets me work, learn, and make some money, because it’s time to really get the hell out of my life as it stands.

Time to go all the way into something new.

Any ideas, resources, learning experiences would be most welcome. I am in this weird place where I have far too much info and not enough at the same time, drowning in it. I just need a few lines to grasp to pull myself to shore.

6 thoughts on “#059–How do you develop the credentials needed to be considered freelance-writer material?

  1. Casey Elizabeth Dennis says:

    I’m still a newbie too but if I were you, I’d start checking out freelance job boards. If a job piques your interest, write a sample on the subject. A degree isn’t even necessary. I’m a journalism dropout and I write mostly about mental health. I have a guest post soon to be published on a reputable mental health site. If you wanted, you could look into history type sites, cold pitch, see if they need help. Or you can choose another subject that interests you. I’ve found that you have to treat this like you’re starting a business, just as if you were opening a restaurant or bar.

    Liked by 1 person

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