Top 5 Personality Traits of Freelance Writers

by Loolwa Khazzoom • August 12, 2011 • Writing and Editing Tips

Will you be happy as a freelance writer? Check your personality type against these five traits common to successful freelancers. Just remember: If you’re excited about writing but not quite the person described below (yet), do not despair! The act of jumping in is a sink-or-swim learning experience, and you just might find yourself permanently changed through the process.

1. Loner

Many freelance writers are the kind of people who never answered the phone before caller ID. You need a bit of a loner personality to survive the freelance life. Cyber cafes and writing buddies can minimize the sense of isolation common to freelancers, and working with clients certainly adds a social-like element to the job. Most of the time, however, you’ll probably be huddled up in your little home office, with the phone and internet your sole sources of connection to the outside world. And you’ll like it that way.

2. Self-Motivated

The beauty of freelancing is that you get to set your own schedule. The challenge is actually doing it! You are the sole engine behind your dream. From waking up early when the covers feel oh so good & toasty, to sitting diligently at the computer when the sun is beckoning you out to play, you need the inner drive to get things done, period.

3. Doggedly Determined

Freelancing can often feel like throwing a bunch of seeds up into the air, with no knowledge of where, when, or even if they will land. Weeks can go by where you’re doing outreach madly, with not one prospective client biting. During these times, bills inevitably pile up, and self-doubt invariably creeps in. But the successful freelancer has that dogged determination necessary to barrel through the face of uncertainty and fear – enabling those suspended seeds to eventually come back to earth, take root, and blossom.

4. Mental Multi-Tasker

Until you’re established enough to hire an administrative assistant or intern, you will need to do all the work yourself: have and implement visions, create and follow through on action plans, generate and develop ideas, call prospective clients and interview sources, write and edit content, create and maintain organized spreadsheets, and file and follow up on invoices. In other words, you will need to simultaneously hold and sustain the big picture and the minute details.

5. Persistent

No matter how fantastic a writer and self-promoter you are, you will face rejection — lots of it. The successful freelancer knows not to take it personally, but to see each rejection as a challenge. If a prospective client doesn’t return your call or email the first time around, you call and email again. If you still don’t hear back, you simply move on to another prospective client and another — until cha-ching! “Yes.”

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About Loolwa

Loolwa KhazzoomLoolwa Khazzoom has worked with leading media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Rolling Stone, and ABC News. In addition, she has published two books and has lectured at prestigious venues including Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Harvard University. Loolwa is passionate about health, music, dance, multiculturalism, and Judaism.

Holistic Media, Marketing, PR

Loolwa Khazzoom is a a public relations manager specializing in holistic media, holistic marketing, holistic public relations, and holistic promotions. Her services include branding and messaging development, image and communications management, website content development and optimization, social media management, traditional media campaign management, book development, and in-house writing and editing.

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