Let’s face it! Writing courses aren’t for everyone.
If you don’t like writing, then a course will probably not help you set up a freelance writing business.
A few other scenarios in which a course might not help: if you’re not ever going to apply what you’re learning, if your plan is to always wait for clients to come to you, if you’re waiting for gigs to fall on your lap. You get the gist!
Grace Rankin, our guest today, discovered that taking a writing course had helped her. She’s here to share how.
Take it away, Grace!
How many people do you know who aren’t happy with their day jobs? How many people do you know who wish they could stay home with their kids, do something that utilizes their creativity, or accomplish something that’s meaningful to them?
Or maybe it’s not someone you know. Maybe it’s you.
This was me a year ago. I had graduated college with a degree in English and was working at a fast food restaurant. I couldn’t find a job in my area where I could use my passion for writing. There were some office possibilities, but when I thought about committing to a job I didn’t even want for 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for an indefinite number of years, it sounded like a prison sentence.
Then my parents suggested, “Why don’t you take a few months and see if you can make a career out of writing?”
I was floored, ecstatic, and scared. I had no clue where to start!
It didn’t take me long to figure out I needed some guidance.
How do you just “build a career” out of writing?
Thankfully, I stumbled onto Gina’s 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success course. And I discovered pretty quickly that writing courses are an excellent way to figure out what you need to know.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not taking a freelance writing course is right for you, here are five ways in which the course has helped me:
1. Writing Courses Offer a Starting Point
I don’t know about you, but the thought of trying to build a career by myself (even though it was something I knew I’d love) was overwhelming, not to mention frightening.
The great thing about a writing course is that it is a structured model designed to teach you how to build a career on what you excel at and/or are passionate about. If you’re interested in writing as a vocation, then you’re probably already a good writer.
This is where writing courses are helpful: they don’t labor over things you should already know. They don’t discuss grammar or sentence structure or how to spell “recommend”.
Instead, they outline the steps you need to take to build a sustainable career or garner some extra income without feeling lost or alone.
They teach you new skills, like where to find jobs, how to pitch for them, how to get paid, how to keep track of your earnings, how to craft professional emails, etc. These are the skills that you’ll probably not learn in school.
Click Here to Subscribe to Gina’s Free Writing Course
2. Writing Courses Prepare You for the Job You Want
Being a freelance writer is about flexibility. Writing courses show you the vast number of things you can do with writing. You don’t just have to draft articles! There are countless other ways to use your unique talents: proofreading, editing, ghostwriting, grant or resume writing, coaching, and the list goes on.
A good writing course will give you options, outline what you can do, and give you an action plan for how to tackle your dreams.
3. Writing Courses Provide Resources
Lots of writing courses will come with access to (or instructions on how to find or create your own) templates and job boards.
(Gina’s Tip: This was a conscious decision I made when I was writing the 30 Days or Less course. I wanted to offer templates for organizing your work and communicating with clients, to save you time and help you get down to business fast.)
Templates make life easier because the structure of the task you are working on is already done – you just have to personalize it and fill in the details. Job boards are places to find work. There are entire blogs devoted to job boards for writers.
One of my favorite lasting resources is the freelance writer Facebook group I joined through the course.
It’s awesome! The benefits of this kind of groups are extensive. Not only can you find tips, get advice, and ask questions of other writers, but you can also make great friends and business connections!
4. Writing Courses Plant Confidence
With knowledge comes power. This is definitely the case with writing courses. Once you can see your action plan, know what you need to do to get your first client, have the tools to do it, and receive the support you need, you feel empowered!
When you have this kind of tailored knowledge and focused support, you will have the confidence you need to tackle this career-altering decision.
5. Writing Courses Produce Results
Most courses guarantee you will get results if you follow the instructions. The only way not to succeed is by being lazy.
Do you really need a writing course to get results? Not necessarily. But the amount of time, confusion and feelings of being lost it will save you is definitely worth it. Personally, it changed my life. I am now a published writer and editor, small business owner, and in February will be a published author!
And I have Gina’s writing course largely to thank for that.
What do you think? Have you taken a writing course? Or are you on the fence? Leave us a comment with your thoughts or questions!
Grace is a freelance writer and editor (check out her website Writing Life here), author, and the co-owner of Sovereign Grace Missionary Press, a small Christian publishing company. She lives in Indiana with her family and enjoys playing the piano and hiking. Not only does she love her job, but Grace also likes to write in her free time. Her first novel is almost complete and will be ready to move into the publication phase this year.