Writer’s Log #10: Reading is Fundamental

By Joe Dyton

Well, it’s been a few days since I’ve put up a post, so I thought I’d just do an overview of what I’ve been up to since my Hard Day’s Nights.

A lot of my quest to build my own writing business is spent marketing my services either through email, phone calls or snail mail. However, I’ve also spent a lot of time educating myself on what it takes to be a freelance writer. Over the last few months I’ve been reading The Freelancer’s Bible by Freelancers Union Sara Horowitz. This has been a great guide on all things freelance; how to look for clients, manage your business, get insurance, etc. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m also currently reading “How to Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days” by Shawndra Russell. This book has been good for teaching me new things about becoming a freelance writer, but also refreshing my memory on others.

The last couple of days, I finally cracked open Tom Ewer’s “Successful Freelance Writing Online”. I had downloaded a few months ago, but hadn’t gotten a chance to read it until now. I’m about halfway through and I like how Ewer not only explains how to find clients, but also how to write solid blog posts.

Trust me, there’s a reason I’m rattling off my reading list. As you may remember, I recently had to write three (!) trial articles for this freelance web writing job I applied for. My articles were due last Friday, and I haven’t heard back from them yet, so I have to assume I didn’t get the gig. Anyway, after I started to read Ewer’s book, I realized there were some ways I could have made those trial articles stand out a little bit more. I could have come up with catchier headlines and rather than writing in standard paragraph form, I could have done a “5 Things You Need To Know About…” format. These are things I know already, but sometimes reading them reinforces it.

The point of all this is I think it’s important to never stop learning about this craft. As we get more experienced and get more and more work, it’s easy to think we know it all. I’ve been writing since 1999 and I know there are still things I can learn. I know it’s cliche that a great way to become a better writer is to read, but it’s true. I was reminded of that this week.

The Links:

Horowitz presents The Freelancers Pyramid of Self-Acualization. What kind of freelancer are you?

David Geer explains how to approach each month to make more money writing.

Heather Lloyd-Martin offers 10 tips to keep you from writing for peanuts.

Kristen Fischer has four tips for wannabe freelance writers.

Joe Dyton (@dyton99) is a freelance journalist and copywriter in Washington, DC. He can be reached at dytonwande@gmail.com.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Writer’s Log #21: Challenge Accepted | The Aspiring Freelancer

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