Can You Be a Freelance Writer and a Fiction Writer? You Bet!

Last Updated on: January 3rd, 2017

Alicia Rades's image for How You Can Be a Fiction Writer and A Freelance Writer

As some of you may know, I am a freelancer who is also an author.

Alicia Rades can say the same.

That’s why I asked Alicia to share with you her story about how she became BOTH… and provide you with some inspiration so that YOU can become an author, too!

Take it away, Alicia!

This is a picture of Alicia Rades.

Alicia’s Story

When I was 12 years old, I wanted to be an author. At the time, that’s all it was—a desire, a want. I didn’t even write that much, although I was an avid reader.

Eventually, I decided that I’d never be an author. It was something only a handful of really famous, really successful people did—or so I thought.

I didn’t think about becoming an author again until I was 19, two years after I started making money freelancing. When I discovered that I could actually write for a living writing blog posts and marketing copy for clients, I figured I could take a shot at fiction writing. Besides, all my friends were doing it.

At 19, I became a fiction author, and here’s what I learned.

Making a Living Writing Is Easy

I grew up believing that making a living writing was a sort of fairytale dream. I wasn’t going to grow up to be a princess or marry Prince Charming. And I certainly wouldn’t ever write a book. Being a writer for a living? Forget about it.

Five years into my writing career, I’ve discovered that making a living writing isn’t any harder than any other job. For people like me who love writing, it may even be easier!


The kicker is that to make a living writing, you generally have to write for other people. Unless you have a killer marketing team for your fiction books, you’re going to have a tough time paying the bills with fiction writing. That’s the reality, but it doesn’t mean that’s the case for everyone, so don’t let that discourage you if you really want to make a living writing fiction.

Becoming an Author is Even Easier

A second thing I realized when I dove into the writing world is that it’s ridiculously easy to become an author. No, that’s not the right word. There’s not really a word to describe how easy it is.

In the world of self-publishing, anyone can become an author. That’s not to say the ones who take the easy route will be any good, but if all you want is your words in book format, all it takes is writing down your story and uploading your files to a self-publishing platform.

Lorraine helps others do this, by the way.

Becoming Successful…That’s a Different Story

I’ll be honest, becoming a freelance writer and becoming an author are two incredibly easy fields to break into. But if you don’t do it right, it’s easy to give up right away without seeing a single bit of success.

I guess you could say I learned this the hard way. In my first two years of freelancing, I didn’t even break a $5,000 annual income. I’m pretty sure not even a dozen people have purchased my first self-published book.

So what did I do differently?

In my writing career, I stopped looking at it as a source of side income and started thinking about my writing as a business. Because of that, my writing income will nearly match that of the average household income in my town this year—and I’m not including my husband’s income.

In fiction writing, I quickly learned that if I wanted my books to sell, I couldn’t think of it as self-publishing. I prefer the term independent publishing, as self-publishing implies you’re doing everything on your own.

With my first book, I did.

But with the release of my first full-length novel, I took a different approach and built my own team. I now have beta readers who help me make my story stronger, an editor who catches my grammar mistakes, and an amazing cover designer who makes my book look more professional. I also work with various marketers from time to time.

Fire-in-Frost_Cover-200x300

The sequel to it, Desire in Frost, is available now. So are the rest of her books!

What’s YOUR Pleasure?

Whether you plan to be a freelance writer or a fiction writer, the same rules apply—you have to put work into it, and you’ll see the returns!

For some of us, that means the satisfaction of 4- and 5-star reviews. For others, it means a passive income you can fall back on. And for the lucky ones, it means a whole new career path doing what you love.

While fiction writing isn’t as lucrative as freelance writing, it is an incredibly rewarding path to take if you enjoy telling stories. I treat my fiction writing as part of my business, so there’s no reason why you can’t have both. Just look at Lorraine and me. We’ve both published books and write for clients, so when you’re not answering emails or writing client work, sit down and draft that first novel. You’ll be glad you did.

What Kind of Writer are YOU?

What kind do you aspire to be? What kind of writer are you NOW?

Share in the comments!

Do you need help in becoming a published author? If so, click here.

Do you need help editing your works? If so, click here.

This is a picture of Alicia Rades.

Alicia is a freelancer who assists Elna Cain in running Freelancer FAQs.Her author site is Alicia Rades, Author. Her freelancer (business site) is Alicia Rades.

8 thoughts on “Can You Be a Freelance Writer and a Fiction Writer? You Bet!

  1. I believe that it is good and easy to make money writing articles but it also means that it needs proper writing skills, dedication and commitment. one must enjoy writing articles. I like writing about money making and startup business.

  2. Hi Alicia and Lorraine,
    This is great!
    After reading this post I had just one thought, ‘Heck, there’s hope for me!’
    But you are right – anyone can be an author now. Making money from it is the hard part.
    I’ve never thought of writing fiction – never thought I was good enough frankly. Recently I started thinking about taking a formal training to improve my writing skills because I do like using stories to make a point, or even to persuade. This week I installed Grammarly, which is a helpful tool, but nothing more.
    Sorry, I’m rambling now – so thanks again
    Kim

  3. says

    Alicia and Lorraine,

    What a nice surprise! Alicia you’ve accomplished so much on both sides of writing! I could never write a novel! I just don’t have the patience to develop characters and to really know them and write about them.

    I think that’s why I enjoy freelance writing. It’s logical and factual. And you’re right, it’s easy to get into!

    I did start reading your novel a long time ago, but honestly, the last time I actually sat down to read was before my twins were born!

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