Abdulwasiu Yusuf 1 year ago
@titilope-yusuf 5 min read Write a comment #creative-writing

How I Become A Freelance Writer

My short experience with freelance writing...When I started out as a creative writer, my focus was fiction writing because I love reading and writing stories a lot.

During those days, all my plans were to write my own novels and publish them. I never for once thought about writing for someone else in return for money. Even though I knew what freelance writing was all about, I never gave it much attention. I just hated writing something with my brain only to be claimed by someone else. Most times, I did call it slavery. When I saw people's posts on how they made 150-200k monthly from freelance writing, I used to think they were lying because the first time I tried it, the price looked too cheap to me. So I gave it a quit.

When I finally met Aminat Abimbola Soliu, she changed my whole perspective on freelance writing. When we started our conversations, she didn't even tell me she was a writer. She told me she bakes cake. When I told her that I love creative writing, that I love writing fiction, she told me she's a copywriter. "Tell me, how is writing with you?" I asked her. She told me a lot of things that motivated me. One of the things she said was that freelance writers make a lot of money. I told her how my first writing job experience with a blogger made me lose interest in ghostwriting. That I was being given one naira per word offer. I saw the price as too small for writings that I won't have access to call mine again.

She told me one naira per word is a great deal; I was confused. She then went ahead and narrated how she made N30,000 in 15 days with a 0.5 naira per word deal. I was wowed. I gathered those conversations together and used them as a kind of motivation. Then, I started. The first client I fell into was a Nigerian guy I met on Nairaland. He was a blogger in versatile niches. He messaged me on Whatsapp, and we bargained; he agreed to pay 1.2 nairas per word. Then he gave me four topics. Each must be 1500 words long. I put all my best into the task. I could remember that he gave me the topics on a Saturday morning and wanted me to deliver them on Sunday. So for almost forty-eight hours, I forgot every other thing I needed to do—sewing and many school assignments that I needed to submit the following Monday. In the end, I came up with the content on Sunday evening.

When I sent the whole 6,000 words to him, he didn't reply to me again. I tried sending him several messages throughout the week, but all my efforts to reach him were to no avail. He never blocked me, but he switched off his read receipt, so I find it difficult to know whether he read my messages or not. And you won't even know whether he's online or not. He did the job perfectly; I nearly cried. After two weeks, I got tired of contacting him. Then I started searching for freelance websites across the Internet. I tried Linked In, but my account kept getting blocked after the first login; I went back to my old Fiverr account and created a new gig.

After waiting for weeks and nothing happened, I forgot it and tried Freelancer and Upwork: They both worked. At first, I got bored and almost tired of writing proposals on these two sites. Then one afternoon, I logged into Upwork to check for available jobs, and that was how I bumped into this ghostwriting job by a guy from Hongkong whose job focus was all about writing articles related to book publishing. I bid for a $20 per 1000 words article and submitted it with my last four connects. In the middle of the following week, after the fourth day of writing the proposal, I got an email from Upwork Notification that I'd been offered the job. And that's how the journey started. Even though I never loved ghostwriting in the beginning, I find myself doing it because I need extra income aside from the sewing business I'm into. And writing a novel is not as easy as I had thought.

My first novel is still in the rewriting stage since last year and is not yet ready for publication. Would I need to wait till I publish the book before I start earning from writing? No, I need to become a freelance writer, make freelance writing a side hustle, and focus on my dream of becoming a fiction writer.

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