Quinisha Jackson-Wright quit her job to freelance full-time in 2019. She’s since written for the New York Times, The Muse, and The Financial Diet.
How long have you been writing, both personally and professionally?
I’ve been writing personally pretty much all my life (even though most of it was gibberish during my elementary school days!)
Writing has always been my passion and a way to express myself. I started a personal blog around 2008 and wrote on and off for several years, and I’ve been writing professionally for almost two years now.
How did you know it was time to quit your full-time job to become a freelance writer?
Traditional employment has never really been my thing. I’ve taken jobs just to pay bills but never got any real fulfillment from them. I was working with one freelance client for over a year. Then, at the beginning of 2019, I began to do more networking and picked up a few new clients. Around the same time, my work situation became more stressful and my desire to quit was getting stronger. I took a week off for my birthday and thought things would be better once I returned. The day I got back from taking time off, I realized my feelings hadn’t changed and put in my notice of resignation the same day.
The day I got back from taking time off, I realized my feelings hadn’t changed and put in my notice of resignation the same day.
What did you do to prepare for the switch?
I set money aside in savings as soon as I started my previous job. I didn’t have as much saved as I wanted by the time I quit, but I knew it would be enough to last at least a couple of months while I built up a clientele.
I decided it was time to stop being shy about pursuing freelance writing full-time, and started asking family and friends if they knew of anyone who would be interested in writing services. Also, I ramped up on marketing by sending out more pitches and following up with previous clients for potential upcoming projects.
Has networking with other writers helped your career? If so, how?
Yes! I am so grateful to have met an amazing group of writers to help me as I’m starting my freelance career. They have helped in a major way, from listening to my venting sessions to answering questions about contracts and quoting pay rates to new clients.
“Consistency is key. If you do one thing every day to build up your freelancing business, you’re making progress.”
Being connected with other writers who have been doing this for years has helped to reassure me that it is possible to have a successful career as a writer.
What can new writers do to connect with other professionals?
Keeping an eye out for networking events is a great way to get connected with other freelancers. Just this year, I attended the Lola Retreat and Broke Millennial book tour event and got to chat with so many people in the personal finance niche. You can find events by joining groups or following other bloggers/freelancers on social media. Also, any local mixers or networking seminars are good to get yourself out there and let people know what you do.
Any other advice for writers just starting out?
You’ll probably hear people say this a million times, but freelancing is not a “get rich quick” profession. You will face a lot of rejection and feel like you’re not getting anywhere but don’t beat yourself up.
Consistency is key. If you do one thing every day to build up your freelancing business, you’re making progress. I’ve started journaling so I can look back and see how I’ve grown on the days when I tell myself that I’m not working hard enough. Keeping track of progress helps to keep things in perspective.