How much experience do you need to be a successful freelance writer?

After months of getting no freelance writing work, I wondered if this was because of my lack of experience.

I got lucky

A few weeks ago, I had an interview with the director of a writing agency. I was telling him about my experience of working as a freelance writer and why I was looking for permanent work.

I felt that I didn’t have enough professional experience to be a successful freelance writer. I can put a couple of good, high-profile writing projects to my name, but there are literally only a couple of projects. And only of those was freelance.

The freelance experience I got was incredibly lucky, and this made me think I could get more freelance work easily. But I kept on losing out on jobs to people who had more professional writing experience.

Writing for years

After I explained this, the director told me that all of the freelance writers he knew had been writing for years. They’d also been involved with almost all of the writing agencies in the area.

This explained why I was always losing jobs to people with more writing experience. I’m a university graduate with 8 months of professional writing experience, and everyone else has loads more than that.

I felt positive after hearing about how other freelance writers become successful. It made me see that I could become a freelancer eventually, and how I could do it: by getting as much agency-based experience as possible.

The plan

I had one lucky experience that raised my confidence to a naïve level, but I eventually realised that it takes a lot of writing experience to be a successful freelance writer. I just have to spend the next few years writing in lots of professional environments.


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