If you want to be a full-time writer and you haven't already discovered the world of online freelancing, then you need to listen up and get yourself registered on Elance.com. Even if you're like me and you want to write novels all day long, there is still the reality of needing to find some paying gigs every once in a while.
I've been watching the Elance website for the better part of the year, having read about it in Entrepreneur Magazine. Since that time, Elance has grown to represent over 2.5 million freelancers and 500,000 active businesses. Elance is quickly becoming known as the place to go to find, hire, and collaborate with online freelancers, including programmers, mobile app developers, graphic designers, writers and editors.
The tagline for Elance is 'work differently' and that is definitely true. You can be your own boss, pick your own projects, and work by your own schedule. So last week, I finally made some time to sign up and give it a try. I spent about 1.5 hours setting up my online profile and portfolio of work, and then browsed through a few jobs until I found a nice little project that I could do in a weekend and would pay a couple hundred bucks. There were already 19 proposals submitted for the job, but I gave it a shot anyways, thinking I had to just get in the game and go for it. Then I spent another thirty minutes writing a basic, half-page proposal and submitted it to the client. One hour later I had the job. Ta-dah!
Beginner's luck? Definitely. But it still goes to show that there are some really creative ways to find work out there as a writer.
I predict that I am about to have a nice little relationship with Elance. Firstly, it's a great way to supplement my income. Waiting for royalty payments from booksellers can create some unintentional financial dry spells. Secondly, it's the perfect way to practice writing and get paid for it. Let me just say that again: practice writing and get paid for it. If I'm in the writing game for the long haul, then I'd better love it. And if I love it, then it doesn't feel like work. So getting paid to write creative content for other companies is just a way to be a better writer.
Practice makes perfect.
Stacey D. Atkinson recently launched her debut novel Stuck via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing.