11 Questions You Shouldn’t Ask a Freelance Writer


Freelance writers are asked plenty of questions—including some we don’t enjoy answering. Here are a few of the questions I’ve encountered, and my answers.

Is a freelance writer like a real writer?
Yes, I’m a real writer. A freelance writer is a writer who writes for several publishers at a time on a contract-by-contract basis. I might have a contract to produce a series of curriculum based books for schools and at the same time another contract to write a devotional book for a Christian publisher. Add to that other short-term projects, and yes, I’m a real writer, writing all the time.

Is what you do as “important” as what authors do? 
Freelance writing is just as “important” as authoring, but what freelance writers and authors do is different. An author writes books based on his or her own ideas. Freelance writers write books (or articles, or whatever) usually based on someone else’s ideas. Freelancing is somewhat like being an investigative reporter. It’s based on assignments.

So, what  do you write? Stuff like romance novels and mysteries?
I write whatever my clients want me to write. Mostly, it’s nonfiction. One of the great things about being a freelance writer is writing on a wide variety of topics in different genres. I’ve written a few preteen mysteries, but so far, no romance novels.

hazufifoHow much money do you make freelancing?
Would you ask anyone else how much money they make at their job?

Are you famous?
No, but some of my clients are. A few of my assignments have been to ghostwrite books for well-known people.

Is freelance writing really a job?
Yes. Freelance writing is a job, and for me it’s a full-time job. It’s different from most other jobs because I work from home.

Do you have to write a lot in the summertime when you write books for schools?
No. It takes many months for a book to get into print. I write educational books at least one year in advance of a new school year.

101914_51530229_thumbnailWill you critique my writing (for free)?
Sorry, but no. You wouldn’t ask an accountant to do your taxes for free. Writing and consulting is my job. I get paid for my services.

Can you help me get my book published?
No. You’ll need to get an agent and go through the standard submission process. Editors rarely look at unsolicited manuscripts.

Can I have an autographed copy of your book (for free)?
Publishers give me only a few free copies of the books I write, and I keep those for my files. I pay retail for any books that I give as gifts. So, more often than not, I have to say, “No.”

Where can I buy your books? From you?
Unlike authors who do book sales at book signings, freelance writers usually don’t market (sell) their books. You’ll have to purchase them from a bookstore or the publisher.

If you are a freelance writer or an author,
tell us what questions you dislike answering.


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Filed under Freelance writing, Uncategorized

10 responses to “11 Questions You Shouldn’t Ask a Freelance Writer

  1. Lisa Roberts Bell

    Great article


  2. klelange

    Had to chuckle at this, Jean. Yeah, real writers do much more than most everyone thinks. My favorite question, after hearing that I’m a writer is, “Have you been published?” Why yes, yes, I have….:)


  3. LOL! Someone once asked me, “When are you going to get a REAL job?”


  4. Jean—I am starting to make some money freelance writing. I seem to be having better luck on Zerys than Upwork.


  5. Just stumbled on this blog while searching for other freelancer writers. My doctor actually asked me, “You can really make money doing that???”


  6. liviwilkes

    Haha! I totally relate.


  7. As an aspiring freelance author and daughter of a freelance artist, my family knows this all too well.


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