Courtney M. McSwain, Writer

Anatomy of a Freelance Writer’s Life: The Beginning

My Coffee Table, Photo by Courtney M. McSwain

In July 2012, I told my boss at the nonprofit organization where I was working as a fundraising development officer that I was leaving to pursue freelance writing. I wrote about the day I told him I was leaving on my essay blog inspired by Cuda Brown. It was a difficult thing to say—“I’m leaving”—but not a difficult decision to make.

Often, when I tell people that I left my very comfortable 9-5 job to become a full-time freelance writer, I am met with a mix of congratulations and confusion. I am fortunate that those around me are genuinely happy for me and supportive of my decision to take a leap and follow my dreams. But I’m always a bit tickled by the accompanying puzzlement that comes over people’s faces. The initial, “Wow, that’s a huge step,” is invariably followed by, “So, how does that work, exactly?”

The truth is, I don’t know. I’ve never done this before. I have a plan and the advice of countless others who write about the world of freelance writing, but I can’t tell anyone the step-by-step process of working as a freelance writer because it’s all new to me too.

So I thought it would be fun, or telling at least, to chronicle the experience here on this website. I’ll try to provide some answers about how this all works in my blog series, Anatomy of a Freelance Writer’s Life. I must stipulate that I’m chronicling my experience, not dictating that this is the definitive experience of all writers. I believe everyone’s journey is unique; therefore my aim is to share my experiences for my own edification and, hopefully, to provide something of value for you.


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