Instead of taking our usual summer break, Sutton Writers this year held an August speaker session. Attending was up-and-coming writer Shah Karim, who wrote this recap for us.

Sutton Writers hosted the brilliant, talented author Sarah Townsend, who recently published her book on ‘Survival Skills for Freelancers‘.

As a newbie into freelancing I was excited by Sarah’s narrative, which contributed great insights on various themes when it comes to breaking through the industry.

One of the points that she discussed was vulnerability, and having the subconscious ability of being open to making your writing stand out. I thought it was endearing that through her experience of writing the book she allowed herself to be transparent and to not downplay the hard grind and grit into freelancing. Personally, I think some of us who want to explore that environment often have self-doubts about our potential in making a difference and find our bearing.

During the virtual Zoom session, I was able to pick three golden nuggets on how to get started.

The first nugget includes building a Linkedin profile to start making yourself known. Now, the industry can be pretty saturated and there are many freelance writers out there in the wild, but this doesn’t take away our uniqueness. By building a profile and demonstrating your individuality there is a good chance that somebody who can relate will connect, and as a result it will be like a domino effect until you get the recognition.

The other nugget includes considering a pay cut to build the foundations of a freelance career. As much as we would love to break open the door of financial opportunities, we must try to build our craft and create a reputable profile. Seeking to add value and doing things for free will increase our experience – it’s almost like saying that you want to work for a company, but you start by serving the tea and observing how things operate. After a certain period there will be opportunity to break through the industry due to your resilience.

The last nugget is finding your niche. What is the industry missing? What is it lacking? These type of questions allows you to investigate your skills as a freelancer. Sometimes we like to involve ourselves in many sectors, but sometimes finding the one particular subject that works for us can prove to be effective as oppose to having your direction scattered all over the place.

To summarise, I think during these uncertain times we all require motivation in building a platform for our craft and persevering as freelancers.

Find details of our monthly speaker sessions over on Meetup.com.

Feature image: photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

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