25 August 2013

We are moving ... to WordPress


When I started this blog, I had made a promise to myself that I'll shift to WordPress only when I'll be earning a decent, regular income from my blog. Since now my blog has landed me a job it's time to shift. 

So nowadays I'm busy shifting Write Region to WordPress and also I'm working on an e-book so there will be no further posts here for some weeks.

My blog's URL (http://www.writeregion.com) and the URLs of all other posts and pages here will remain the same. This means when you visit any of these links you will still get to the correct pages, the only difference will be that those pages will no longer be hosted on Blogger but on WordPress.

In the meantime you could browse through the old articles here. 

12 August 2013

Seven disadvantages of freelance writing

Image courtesy - Dave of Morguefile
I myself have worked as a full time freelance writer since more than 1.5 years. You might think because now I’ve got a job through my blog therefore I’m criticizing freelance writing but the truth is that because there are disadvantages in freelance writing therefore I found myself a job. 

Though it is true that I was not aware of these disadvantages when I started freelancing.

Also, I am not suggesting for a moment that there are no advantages in it. There surely are but I think in all the hype that the blogosphere is abuzz with “How to quit your day job and become a freelancer”, the disadvantages of freelancing are usually not discussed. 

People who are considering taking up freelancing as a full time career should be aware of the disadvantages attached to it and then make an informed decision. Though this article discusses the disadvantages of freelance writing but most of the points discussed herein equally apply to any type of freelancing career. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to present freelance writing as a viciously evil entity.

All things come with both advantages and disadvantages. And some thing that maybe a disadvantage for me could be an advantage for you. (I was bored by working at home but you may love it. Yes one man’s music is other man’s noise.)

So compare for yourself and choose freelancing if for you its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.

Below I am listing those disadvantages that compelled me to give it up in favour of a full time job.

1) You’ll earn only when you actually do the work

 

This I think is the biggest drawback of freelance writing. 

Suppose you receive an order of writing ten articles of 500 words each. You will be paid only when you actually complete the assignment. No matter whether you are ill, you ran an emergency errand, your computer crashed, or whatever. You will only be paid when you type-in the words on screen.

And suppose you get stuck somewhere in an article and the research took far more time than you had anticipated; still you won’t get anything extra for working “overtime”.

2) No work, no money


There is no guarantee that you will keep getting clients regularly. And when you will not get work you will not make money. 

Yes there are freelance writers who get a lot of work continuously but they are experienced and skilled. If you are just starting out on freelancing, you will definitely lack experience and probably lack skills. You won’t know how or where to find clients, how to pitch them, how to write a winning proposal, etc. 

It’s better to stick with your day job and start freelancing only on part time. Then when you start getting good work continuously, you can make the freelance switch. 

1 July 2013

How my blog landed me a job

Image courtesy - SDink of Flickr
The title may sound strange to you because people usually write about how they quit their day job to become full time bloggers while I’m saying just the opposite.

I quit full time blogging and freelancing to do a job because I was bored with the monotonicity of working from home and also because I was able to generate only a mediocre income. I will write an article on the disadvantages of freelance writing soon but let me focus here on how I got a job.

One year, eight months ago my first guest post was published on Problogger. One week later I began to get clients for freelance writing which were difficult to get before the guest post. 

Then for this entire period I continued working as a freelance writer but mostly part-time as I had a college. I was pursuing a bachelors in physics and computer science. I had a perfect mania for getting a PhD in physics and so even after college, preparation for exams for admissions to different universities allowed me to work only part-time. 

ROI2 WebSolutions was one of my oldest freelancing clients. In July last year they had told me that there was a vacancy of content writer in their Hyderabad office and they would be happy to hire me if I were interested. 

Though I e-mailed them my CV but I showed little interest because of my PhD obsession and perhaps they sensed it and hence the matter was left open ended. I didn’t follow up and though they continued to give me freelance writing work; they didn’t mention anything about the job again. 

By the February of this year, almost two years after my bachelors, I failed to get admission into any good university for a PhD. The main reason for my failure, I think, was that I had begun to lose interest in it. Factors like a PhD takes a lot of years, the stipends are low, and not being able to gain admission into a decent university, etc. made me reconsider my career path and after a lot of contemplation I decided to drop the idea and started searching for a job.

17 May 2013

Eight lessons Jeffrey Archer can teach you about writing

Image courtesy - Bjørn Erik Pedersen of Wikimedia

If you don't know, Jeffrey Archer is a writer based in England who has written several novels, short stories, autobiographical books, plays and even screenplays. He is best known for his novel Kane and Abel which sold more than 34 million copies and is under its 94th reprint. 

I'm his fan and when I came across the following interview, I found some good tips in it for writers which I'm sharing below. Although this interview is not entirely about writing. He is speaking about other things too like movies and cricket, but I have extracted only those points which I think will help writers.

The complete interview ran in two videos, which are embedded below.

Part 1 of the interview
  

Part 2 of the interview



 

1) If your one book becomes a bestseller, others too will


After loosing all his investments in a Canadian company, he was left with a debt of £427,727 and was on the verge of bankruptcy.

So he sat down to write his first novel Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less but managed to sell only 3,000 copies. But he didn't give up. He kept writing and his fourth novel, Kane and Abel became a huge success.

But here's the big deal. After this success his first book too picked up on sales and sold 27 million copies!

Takeaway - There are very few writers who become bestsellers with their first book. An excellent way to sell your one book is to write another one. After you pass a threshold, after even if your one book becomes a bestseller, others too will see increase in sales.

When readers start to trust you that your reading won't disappoint them, they will buy even your other books.

For example Kane and Abel was the first Archer book that I read. Since then I have bought three more of his books just because of his name on the cover page. 

2) Keep exploring new people and places


Archer travels a lot. In fact he visits Italy twice a year just to see the paintings of that city. Though he said he goes there for paintings, I'm sure the experience he gains by travelling to a new place must help him in his writing.

And here's what he does when he meets new people:

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