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Freelance Writing: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

January 7, 2014

One of the things I’ve been lucky enough to do in my life is flit around the globe like a wandering gnat, parking myself in Costa Rica or Amsterdam for long enough to learn that I probably shouldn’t drive anywhere south of San Diego. When people ask how I do that, I reply, “Because my laptop is my office.”

Living in the digital age is sweet – and if you like to write and don’t mind hustling, you can make a pretty good living from anywhere with internet access. (I love writing, I love traveling, I hate hustling. Two out of three isn’t bad.)

But when Chris Guillebeau asked if I’d be interested in creating something on freelance writing for his series of unconventional guides, I said, “YES, PLEASE, ABSOLUTELY” – while feeling like a complete and utter fraud. Every single reason why I shouldn’t be the one to write this guide filtered through my brain. Do I know every step of the process for living this life? Yes. Do I know how to talk to other people who have deeper insight into each piece of that process? Yes. Do I still have a brain that is ready and willing to give me a complete and seemingly accurate list of why I shouldn’t be the one to do this? Yup.

Any time you push your boundaries, there will be growing pains. The key is to dig deep, understand what you bring to the table – and effing bring it. If you have the desire to be a freelance writer, you can do it. You aren’t given the desire without also being given the aptitude. So if this is something you’ve ever wanted to try, I encourage you to start. Start today. Whether you use this guide we just spent six months creating or by pulling up the google search bar and getting lucky – just begin. Anywhere. Because if you want to do it, you can do it. Sure, you may feel like a bit of a fraud, especially at the beginning. We all feel like frauds sometimes. Even those of us who’ve been doing it for years. You just have to keep pushing.

If you ever have questions, feel free to email me. I may have an answer for you, I may not. But if writing is something you want to do with your life, I will share anything I’ve got with you. Writing can be a lonely road sometimes – and we should stick together. Because it’s when you find your people that the road starts to get fun.


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  • Reply Daniel Miskiewicz January 7, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Wow. You hit every note for me there Amber! I never get sick of the sound of friends and family members comment on how much they love my written work yet I always think that I may have just gotten lucky with that piece or it’s just a part time thing and not a passion. Thank you for your words. I’m definitely jumping on board and getting me a laptop office!

  • Reply Wanderingzito January 7, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Yeah Amber! I hope you’re full of cookies and celebrating a job well done.

  • Reply margosita January 8, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I think, all of the time, “I should really try to get into freelancing.” But then become overwhelmed by the mysterious HUSTLE of it all.

    I may take you up on that email offer!

  • Reply Caelan January 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    This is a great idea. There are lots of people trying to figure out how to turn their Twitter addiction into a revenue stream.

  • Reply Christine February 6, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Hello Amber,

    Totally loved your “Unconventional guide to Freelance Writing”. I will throw myself into the wonderful jungle of writing as soon as my one-year translation contract is done (end of August). It will be amazing to see all the wilderness of words. Your Guide is showing a clear way to get there.

    Thank you and have a great day

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