Here are a few skills and characteristics a freelance writer needs. Some of them may shock you, but the truth is that every career attracts certain types of people. A career in writing attracts a certain personality type, whom must then cultivate a certain set of skills if he/she wishes to remain in the world of freelance writing. The most important thing you should know is that if you are not being paid then you are being taken advantage of. Do not forget that your time is precious and valuable, so do not give it away freely or without a fight.
1. A Freelance Writer Must Be Introvert
It is a very quiet and sedate lifestyle, and is not suitable for the type of person who likes to be around other people. Solitude and quiet are very important factors.
2. Must Be Willing to Spend Weeks without Human Contact
Most of your writing work is going to keep you tied to a desk for weeks on end, which means you simply do not have the time or will to be around other humans.
3. Must Be Highly Self Motivated
You are going to be cranky, tired and severely fed up when writing. You still need to push forwards and motivate yourself to work.
4. Must Be Very Good at Maintaining Focus
Whether you are in a great mood or a miserable one, you need to maintain focus. If you are easily distracted then 20 minutes writing 500 words turns into 2 hours.
5. Must Be Good at Recognizing Their Own Flaws
Being alone and writing all the time will expose flaws in your work, attitude and life. You need to be able to recognize them for what they are otherwise you may quit writing or become a stereotypical over drinking writer.
6. Must Be Humble and Willing to Change
Writing requires an amount of personal evolution on your part. You need to adapt to certain expectations as time goes by. Resisting change and claiming you are always right will not get you very far.
7. Must Be Able to Touch Type
This is a must. If you cannot touch type then you cannot be a writer.
8. Must Be Willing to Learn New Skills
Part of your personal evolution will include learning new skills to help you do your job. From learning how to mix up pre-written lists on a spread sheet, to learning how to spot spun text, you need to keep learning new skills.
9. Must Be Adaptive and Patient
You must adapt to the mentality of each of your clients, and patient in waiting for their responses and their comprehension of certain subject matter.
10. Must Be a Little Bit Smug
It is easy to lose your ego when writing and there are times when you will want to give up. At these times you may have to remind yourself that if you were covered in pollen, you would be the bee’s knees. You need to remember that the world is wrong--not you.
11. Must Be Able to Take Criticism
People are going to criticize your work, rightly or wrongly. The Beatles were told they couldn’t sing, and Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. People are going to criticize your work and sometimes they are going to be wrong. You will just have to suck it up and not let it bother you.