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Things to know before becoming a freelance writer

To become a freelance writer means living a life without dignity. Which is why Gursimran Khamba offers you just the answer to give to your aunts' questions about your job and income. Trust him, he's been there...

brunch Updated: Jun 06, 2011 11:31 IST
Gursimran Khamba

To become a freelance writer means living a life without dignity. Respect means having a stable desk job even if it means being associated with a single organization and making much lesser money than you would freelancing and the only place people will not respond to you with a "what?" while you talk about your work is at art and cultural forums where you can bullshit about a book you're planning even if you have no intention of writing one. If however at family events your aunts compare their sons' careers to yours just to spite you and your family - say that you're a consultant. This will turn their pity into anger at you being just another asshole with an MBA.

It is also important that you maintain a blog. Not only will potential clients be able to see your work, they will be able to send you emails talking about how much they love it and how they're looking forward to you writing for them - without pay. This will make you realise what movie directors feel like when their friends only watch it if he releases free passes. You will also discover the ultimate reason for blogging i.e shaming clients and talking about how badly they treated you. This is because every publication suffers from the despicable "we're a big brand so you need us more than we do" syndrome while expecting you to sell yourself short and deliver content for the honour of them publishing it.

And finally when do you do get a paid gig, the time in which your cheque gets delivered will be inversely proportional to the number of times your client says "we need it ASAP". This is because in their world - freelancers don't have bills to pay or families to feed and only exist to serve the higher purpose of appealing to the clients four readers. You will soon realise that you've spent more on phone calls with vernacular accounts executives than the amount you're trying to wriggle out of their dead soul.

On that note, HT, where are my cheques?

Gursimran Khamba is a pissed off writer, stand up comic, podcaster, social media junkie and lover of all fried foods. Except bananas. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/gkhamba

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