‘How does one become a freelance writer?’ is a question I have faced way and again from people in various walks of life, after I opted for a career in freelance-writing. It is difficult to explain, because setting out to be a freelance writer involves a lot more of determination and perseverance and overcoming disappointments rather than a ‘how to’, point-wise explanation. It isn’t enough to write well, I say, but then, what else? It’s a long answer, I decline.
But when I saw the book Freelance Writing for the Newbie Writer, penned by Sreelata Menon about how she traveled the realm of freelance writing, I wished she had written this book four years ago. It would have saved me a lot of heartburn and time in my writing endeavours. So these days, this book is my answer to the question, ‘How does one become a freelance writer?’
The newbie writer who browses the web sets about to think, how does one really write? Where are the opportunities and how to find them? What are the drawbacks? Does one really get paid? The doubts can all be answered from a single source now. The author of the blog has wrapped up her freelancing experiences on the web into a book for the newbie writer that answers almost all the questions. The book also tells you the importance of marketing oneself and networking, as well as helps you identify what is called ‘Indianisms’ in your writing.
The chapters are aptly titled ‘what a newbie must be aware of’, ‘what a newbie must know’, ‘what a newbie must acquire’ and so on and leads us directly to the areas that interests us in specific. There are pointers on how to query, on writing styles, copyright issues, scams, online workshops. The best possible advice is in the invisible code of conduct that is followed on the web, on observing deadlines etc.
But the parts I liked best were two. One chapter speaks about Indianisms, which makes our ‘good’ English actually look different from what a client really expects from us. The other is a list of websites which are paying markets as also websites which help you to improve your aspects of writing.
This is a ‘how to’ book with a difference in that the author herself went through all the stages and documented it for the others who follow.
Published by Unicorn Books, New Delhi and running into 132 pages, the book Freelance Writing for the Newbie Writer is priced at Rs.150/- and dedicated to ‘All those writers-young and old- who wish to freelance.’