Freelance Writing: A Rewarding Challenge

02 Sep




Guest blog by Mariana Ashley, a freelance writer and blogger.  She writes about her start as a professional writer:  “I want to tell you about how I found an intellectually stimulating challenge in freelance writing.

Not too long ago I was working as a copywriter for an advertising firm. I had studied journalism and advertising in college, and I was one of the lucky few among my graduating class that found a job almost immediately after finishing school. After the endless all-nighters, study sessions, and project deadlines that typified my college experience, I was glad to be part of the “normal” workforce. A desk job seemed like just the right fit for me.

Unfortunately I discovered very quickly that the advertising world wasn’t something that brought me any happiness personally or professionally. Worse yet, I found myself at the mercy of superiors who had me working hours even worse than those I worked in college although my official hours were 8-5. The work was neither rewarding nor inspiring, and most of the people in my office seemed jaded on a daily basis.

After over a year at the advertising firm, I decided to quit my job and start a new career as a self-employed freelance writer.

I won’t lie to you reader: those first few months out on my own were very tough. I assumed that I’d hit the ground running with my modest connections in the writing industry and my formidable copy writing skills.  I had to work hard just to get free gigs, writing assignments that I needed if just to add more content to my still small writing portfolio. Luckily I had amassed a small amount of savings just in case, so my finances were not as tight as they could have been. But those first few months of freelancing were among the most humbling and instructive periods of my life.

When I did finally start to make money from freelancing, the feeling was like none other. I was struggling to land decent writing gigs one day, and then the next I was juggling multiple clients at a time, writing copy at all hours of the night and trying to keep track of the numerous projects going on. My hard work and persistence was starting to pay off—quite literally.

Of course, in order to make ends meet I had to veer slightly from my initial plans as a freelancer. I couldn’t only sustain myself by writing copy—I also wrote as a guest blogger for a number of sites (as I am now!) to get my name out there. I also wrote on behalf of clients who wanted stronger content on their websites, regardless of the industry that they worked in. In other words, I had to diversify my approach to freelancing. I had to adapt with the market needs if I wanted to survive.

The point of my little anecdote here is to encourage you to set out to achieve your own writing ambitions, no matter how outlandish they may seem. Perhaps you want to write the next great American novel, or maybe you just want to work for yourself as a freelancer like me. Whatever the case may be, I wholeheartedly encourage you to follow your dreams and make them happen, even if it’s a scary option to consider. If I made it, you certainly can too.”

This guest post is brought to you by Mariana Ashley, a prolific blogger who provides web content to a number of blogs and websites. She’s most interested in providing guidance to prospective college students who wish to attend online colleges in Montana. Mariana welcomes your questions and comments at

See also our recent blog post about Job Banks for Freelance Writers
“11 Websites to Find Freelance Writing Jobs”



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