Unlike most career fields, freelance writing is a fairly solitary profession. Instead of trading industry gossip around a water cooler, writers spend most of their time locked away in a home office. To get a head start on industry gossip, here are five interesting facts about freelance writing that writers probably do not know.
Insiders in the e-book industry have noticed a new trend. Instead of releasing an entire novel, e-book writers are dividing their stories into five and ten thousand word segments. Although many decry this practice, it has a historical basis. Many years ago, Charles Dickens was actually paid per installment. Instead of releasing an entire novel, he released 20 installments of 32 pages each. These were sold for just a shilling and used cliff hangers at the end to get readers to buy the next month's issues.
If jumping into a career as a freelance writer seems terrifying, then there are many who share that sentiment. An estimated half of the freelance writers in the United States also hold down a full-time job. Known as “Moonlighters” by the media and “Diversified Workers” by economists, these writers manage to cross between both worlds with ease.
A quick scan of the marketplace shows that most of the jobs are offered by little-known companies. Although there are always big names that have listings, most jobs are at places that the writer has never heard about.
Before social media and viral videos, the Internet was not a place for people to write. Over the last few years, new freelance listings have occurred at an exponential rate. From jobs as online tutors to web search evaluators, there are a number of jobs available virtually that did not exist ten years ago. For a freelancer, this time period is an exciting time to break into the industry.
Before people transition to life in the freelance marketplace, they are often worried about their ability to make a stable income. According to recent surveys, this fear is at least partially unfounded. Although the day-to-day income of a writer may vary, they make at least the same as they did at their previous job. An estimated eight of ten writers make as much as they did before they switched to working virtually.