Writing independently, and writing an already-funded project, is freelance writing. Spec, or speculation writing, is when a person writes a piece (article, short story, novel, screenplay, stage play, or other) ahead of any possible sale or publication. The nice thing about being a freelance writer is the fact that you know you will be paid upon completion of the project. While you are working for someone, you may be working from your own home in the middle of the night, and writing something for a client halfway around the word.
A new career like this, while also exciting, can be the perfect way to earn some real money, especially if you have been laid off or downsized from your job. Freelance writing may be done part or fulltime, so all the bases will be covered. How do I become a freelance writer by simply taking the leap and work at it as your sole occupation? One of the better aspects of writing for a living is that you can be any age from nineteen to ninety (or even younger or older), and do well at it. You may also face physical or mental challenges, but this doesn't mean that you can't produce great work. Think of that great genius physicist and writer, Stephen Hawking!
The best market is on the Internet, and it's for articles which clients use to up their rating in search engines. This is often called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and while not all articles are for this purpose, most are in some way. If how do I become a writer is running constantly through your brain, then that means you may already know how to put the words on paper, but not know how to grow your portfolio or market yourself. A site that lets you take a course, or offers instructional material on how to go about it is well worth it. Many online universities offer freelance writing courses. They will also show you how to avoid a few of the pitfalls that can lie ahead.
Figure out what you enjoy writing the most, and then aim for that market first. If short stories are your love then article writing could be your specialty. Many website owners need the help of a freelance writer so their sites will be searched for more than anyone else, and therefore, their company will experience a big uptick in orders and business and queries. Writers don't have to worry about that end of it as they are the start of it and can make a fantastic life for themselves, and on their own schedule, too. No more working for a boss in an office or retail store! The question "how do I become a freelance writer" will have gone away, because you will have become one!
Get your home office organized and keep track of expenses and income. Just because you're working at home, doesn't mean that you can let the details of your own independent business slide. When you write for a client, it's usually called ghost writing. You are selling the piece or pieces and then they may do with it what they will. Sometimes a writer may be able to get a byline on the story, and this gives them a chance to add it to their portfolio, for a future reference. Ghost writing for someone has to be kept confidential and may never be given out to someone as a sample of your writing abilities.