Freelance Writers And Business Bullshit

September 15, 2008

I’ve read a lot of articles lately suggesting that freelance writers should start a “proper business”. And some have even gone so far as to suggest that you should just outsource all your work to other folk and pay a manager to run it all. I believe this is complete bullshit & I think the “Everyone Should Start A Business” brigade have gone too far.

It’s apparent that many of these people have not actually done what they advise themselves – they’ve probably been reading too many books like the E-Myth or The 4 Hour Work Week.

Some Good Reasons Why Freelance Writers Should Ignore This Advice

1. I’m guessing that most of you are freelance writers because you love writing. So why give up and pay other people to do the work for you instead?

2. Starting a business, just to make more money – especially when it’s preventing you from doing stuff you love to do isn’t a particularly smart move. You’ll probably spend a lot of time resenting your business for taking you away from doing what you love – writing.

3. If you’re a non-fiction writer, there’s easier and more pleasant ways to create an automated stream of income. What about non-fiction books for a start? Once you’ve written one, you’ll benefit financially for as long as it stays in print. And you could probably write several in the time it takes you to set up a business that runs by itself.

4. You can still outsource and automate mundane tasks and even things like marketing, to free up your time to write. And if that marketing brings you more work than you have time to do, you could outsource some of it to other freelance writers and take a percentage of their payment.

If you do want to start a business instead of writing, then that’s different. And if you’re starting a business which will eventually run on it’s own, to free up your time to write later – prepare for a long hard slog. Few people are able to build a business overnight, which will run without them – you could spend several years trying to achieve that goal.

What do you think? Are you a freelance writer who wants to start a business? Are you doing it because you actually want to start a business, or for some other reason?

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