Many freelance writers write novels on the side, and occasionally they become full-time novelists.
Why do they write on the side?
Because novels take time to write, and to sell. If you’re a new novelist, there’s zero chance that you’ll be able to sell the novel on the basis of a proposal (three chapters and an outline). Therefore, to prove you CAN finish a book, you must write the entire book. This can take a year. Selling it can take another year. Or more. Therefore, there’s no fast money for novelists, and since freelance writers have to eat, they write articles and copy for businesses.
However, if you love fiction, then you can certainly make short stories and novels part of your freelancing life.
I started my writing career almost (gulp) 30 years ago writing romance novels. I sold several of them, then got bored and turned to nonfiction. I’m always grateful that I’ve written fiction, because it means that writing long projects doesn’t scare me – I enjoy writing long form, whether nonfiction or fiction.
If you’re interested in writing a novel, jump in at the deep end. You’ll be encouraged to do just that, a little over a month from now at NaNoWriMo, where you write a novel (or part of one) in November. Over at the writing blog, I’ve got a series on NaNoWriMo, so I won’t say more about NaNoWriMo here.
For a full-time freelancer, the major benefit of writing short stories and novels is that it gives you added experience in writing. The skills you use for fiction transfer to nonfiction, so if you’ve got a short story you want to write, by all means go ahead and write it.
A novel takes a longer commitment, and many freelancers are afraid that if the novel doesn’t sell (and most first novels don’t) they’ve wasted time. You haven’t. No writing that you do is wasted. Writing is a LIFETIME commitment, and by writing more, you increase your writing skills. Read my writing more ebook to help you to write more.
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[tags]freelance writing, novelist, genre fiction, writing novels[/tags]