Why Freelance Writing Is Like Waterskiing


by Catherine L. Tully

Goofy name for a post?

Not really, when you think about it.

Have you ever been waterskiing–or, if not, have you seen it? If so, you’ll be able to relate to the similarities once I’m made them plain here:

Similarity #1 – Getting up on the skis is not as easy as it looks.

Starting a freelance writing career usually takes time, practice and patience. You don’t get it right away, and more often than not, your mistakes are pretty big in the beginning. You crash a lot.

Similarity #2 – Staying up on the skis requires strength and technique.

Once you learn how to get work and avoid common pitfalls as a writer, it takes time to make a living at it. You need to perfect your voice, your technique and your approach. You have to build strong relationships that will help you stay in this career field for the long haul, rather than going back to a day job or waiting tables on the side.

Similarity #3 – You need a life jacket.

Freelancing isn’t for the timid, and in order to be sure you can survive in this career field, you need a cushion…something to fall back on in tough times, or when clients fail you in one way or another. Your “life jacket” consists of things like a savings, investments and a good CPA. At least in my opinion. ๐Ÿ™‚

Similarity #4 – The person driving the boat can cause you problems.

In freelance writing, this is the client. Sometimes you’ll be snapped to attention and dragged along screaming for the ride. Other times you’ll get going and have a wonderful time of things, skipping along on the water and enjoying the sunshine. The key here is to try and get the right driver before you get in the water. Makes things much easier.

Can you think of a similarity that I’ve missed? If so, let’s hear it!

Catherine L. Tully has been a full-time freelance writer since 2002 and is co-founder of Freelance-Zone.com. She is also the owner/editor and webmaster of 4dancers.org, co-founder of Pas de Trois at dancing3.com and owns the group Dance Writers on LinkedIn. You can reach her at info (at) catherineltully (dot) com.