Sunday, July 17, 2011

Writing Fanfiction Can Help Start Your Freelance Writing Career

By Michelle Carlbert

If you're anything like me, you've been writing fanfiction for years, enjoying the freedom it allows you to create stories involving your favorite characters and taking part in a community with other writers who give helpful feedback.

But did you know that writing fanfiction can also help you start a new career? By writing fanfiction, you are honing valuable skills that you can use as a freelance writer.

Here are some things that writing fanfiction can teach you about becoming a freelance writer.


Maybe you don't think of it this way but every time you've promised your rabid fans that the next chapter of your WIP (work in progress) was coming "in one week, I promise!" you were setting yourself a deadline. Making that deadline no matter what real life throws your way means that you've just learned one of the most important part of being a freelance writer - hitting your deadline.

Handling criticism.

When you post your fanfiction out there for the world to see, you also open yourself up to criticism. We've all had it happen - you post a story that you worked tirelessly on and suddenly someone comes up and (gasp!) dislikes it. Well guess what? Freelance writers have to deal with people like that all the time, they're called editors, and the faster you learn to deal with them the easier your freelance writing career will be. If you genuinely listen to the people who comment on your fanfiction, honestly look at what suggestions they made or why they didn't like your story and reply politely, well then you're ready to deal with an editor.

Dealing with writer's block.

Writer's block is something every writer has to deal with, whether they write fanfiction or anything else. If you've managed to complete even a single fanfiction story then I'm sure you've figured out a way to deal with your own writer's block. Busting through that invisible barrier isn't easy and by doing it with fanfiction, you've shown yourself that you can write, even when the words don't come easily. Once again, this is an invaluable skill for a freelance writer.

These are just a few ways that writing fanfiction can turn from a fun hobby into a career. Take your talent and all those skills you've learned and use them!

Michelle (also known by her pen name "Mokibobolink") is a freelance writer, editor and blogger with a love for fanfiction and how it can help new writers. She started a blog ("Moki's Fanfiction Blog") as a forum for fanfiction readers and writers to discuss their favorite hobby, provide helpful tips to new writers, give lists of her favorite stories and sites to find great fanfiction.