Show Me The Money
So, freelance writers don't make that much money, correct? Wrong. As someone who has been freelancing for years, I can personally attest to the possibilities in earnings. The earning limit is only based on the writer's own limitations. According to PayScale, the average income for an author starts at $14,220 and caps at about $84,783. Newspaper writers are estimated to make up to $51,288 per year. Surely freelance writers can't top either of those. Wrong again. Freelance writers are estimated to make up to $114,400. I personally know of freelance writers who make much more than that. Either way, freelance writers top both of the writing careers typically looked at as "real writers" by many others. Hmmm.
Fight Back With Actions, Not Arguments
For every 10 people who inquire about my freelance writing, 9-10 generally have a first impression of me as a lazy person who does nothing all day long. Those who know what goes into my work will laugh hard at that one. But people will think what they think and rather than argue, you can prove them wrong by letting them see what you do in action. Invite them over on a work day and if they are willing, let them try to do some of what you do in the process. Compare what they get done to what you get done and break down for them how much they would have earned and how much you did earn. Some people need more than words to understand how something works.
The "Real Writer" Test
While this is not a be-all end-all test, the following questions can help in determining whether you are a real writer or not. If you can answer yes to at least one, you're a real writer. If you can answer yes to more than one, writing is probably your career. If you can answer yes to all of them, you are most likely a real writer - a successful one at that.
1) Do you write articles, poems, stories, or other pieces of content?
2) Do you get paid for producing said content?
3) Do you pay taxes based on your pay for said content?
4) Do you make at least minimum wage for said content?
5) Do you make more than minimum wage for said content?
It's All in Your Own Attitude
Some of the reason people tend to be biased about freelance writing comes from the writers themselves. Yep, I said it. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, then take yourself seriously. Stop going around with an apologetic tone about your writing career. You know what I'm talking about if you do this: "Oh I just write things for websites. Its not like a real job but I do make some money" (said with your head hanging in shame). Be proud of what you do and stand up for yourself and your career. When I got my current job, I had been freelancing for years prior to that. So the reaction from people was "Oh, so you finally have a real job now?" To which my response was "No. Now I have a second career that I enjoy as much as the freelance writing. I am and will always be a freelancer because it's what I like and it's where the money is." Do you see the difference? Be proud of your career. You know how lucrative this business can be. So act like it and forget what others say. At the end of the day, your bank account speaks louder than the misconceptions.
What? They Still Can't Deal? More on this topic:
Things Friends and Family of Online Writers Need to Remember