How to Begin Freelance Writing as an Introvert

An introvert works on her laptop at a coffee shop

Being a freelance writer is perfect for introverts, as it capitalizes on many introvert strengths, from working alone to problem-solving.

No time like the present to find your dream job, right? Or at least something that fits your skill set and lifestyle a little better. If you’re an introvert looking for a career that fits your personality like a glove, freelance writing might be exactly what you need

Introverts are independent workers, with creative minds, who are skilled at problem-solving and can research the heck out of anything (put that overthinking mind to good use!). We also hate small talk and crave direct, meaningful communication. All of these things are perfect for connecting with editors and your readers. Plus, you can work from home, which means no awkward water cooler or break room talk. 

If you’re curious on how to become a freelance writer, here are a few ways to do so — you just have to harness the introvert superpowers most suited for the job.

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5 Ways to Become a Freelance Writer as an Introvert 

1. Make alone time your job (which is an introvert’s dream come true).

We love to work independently (which feels like introvert code for, I just want to be alone). Group work still makes us cringe as adults as much as it did when we were in fourth grade. A freelance writing career will involve an incredible amount of time spent working alone. (For reference, I’m currently writing this while sitting by myself in a coffee shop — just me and my laptop. A literal dream.) 

Of course, it’s not all one-way. Writers do collaborate with editors and conduct interviews here and there, and even those can be done via email, or at least one-on-one with your own direction. But once you nail down those bits, you get to put your head down and get to work —  all by yourself

So get comfortable working independently. Decide where you’d be most productive working from. Working from home is great when you don’t feel like getting dressed in the morning, but it’s also very easy to get distracted by laundry and it’s tempting to just turn on Netflix. To help stay focused, try going to a coffee shop, find a coworking space, or even hit up your local library. 

2. Schedule time to daydream, which will come in handy when it comes to brainstorming story ideas.

Tap all the way into that creative introvert mind of yours! Writers constantly have to be on the lookout for unique angles to what sometimes feels like the same old story. Introverts are notoriously creative and incredibly observant, which can be powerful tools when trying to look at something from another perspective. Harness those capabilities and let them work for you. 

As a freelance writer, you can actually schedule daydreaming into your week. Carve out time to just think, imagine, and brainstorm all those weird, whacky, and even silly ideas. Get them all down on paper and sort through them until you find one that works. You never know what you’ll come up with! And with the amount of online publications, you’re bound to find one that fits your story. 

Keep a journal with you (or use the Notes app on your phone) and spend some time writing down your ideas. Experiment with doing it at the same time each day or week to get into the habit. The more you let your ideas flow, the easier it will be to come up with something when you need it. 

3. Put on your problem-solving hat.

Introverts are true problem-solvers, and since we’re so observant, it’s not hard for us to spot the problems. We are quiet listeners, so it’s easy to understand the needs related to whatever problem we’re dealing with. And we are deep thinkers, which helps us find just the right solution. 

The next time you’re reading the news, consider a story that interests you and write down what the problem is and how you’d solve it. Or listen to the people around you in the grocery store, at the coffee shop, or wherever you go, and hear what they’re talking about. Is there a problem you can explore? Write it down!

See a problem, research and solve, then write about it. Repeat, repeat, repeat. People need solutions, and you can give those to them in written form. Following this formula is fun for us introverts and helpful to readers. It’s a win-win!

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

4. Turn overthinking into research and deep work. 

Never thought you’d get paid to overthink everything and put it all down on paper? Well, here you go! As an introvert, deep work and research are your wheelhouse. Feel free to dive deep and follow your curiosity. The best part? You can do this on any topic. If you’re interested in it, chances are, so is someone else. And that makes a great story. 

So go all-in on your healthy cookie recipes, learn how to feng shui your living room, or figure out how to get your two-year-old to sit still long enough to comb through all those tangles. Also, start making a list of topics you’re interested in exploring more. Then, read as much as you can on the subject: current news, history, commentary, etc. Next, gather all your info and write it out in a way that makes sense. (Did you just get excited thinking about organizing information? Hello, introvert!)

5. Cut the fluff and small talk, and just focus on communicating your thoughts as best you can.

No need for fluff or small talk here (and all the introverts shouted Hallelujah!) in the freelance writing life! When it comes to connecting with editors, publishers, or anyone you want to write for, less is usually more. They’re busy people who appreciate you getting right to the point. Craft clear ideas and communicate with them directly so they can quickly decide if it works for them or if there’s another angle that might be more appropriate. 

The same goes for your actual writing. There’s no need to fill your article with fancy words or rambling. Introverts are also huge readers, so think about your writing from that standpoint, too. Don’t you just hate it when the blog or book you’re reading gives you lots of words with little substance? So trim it up and give your readers what they want — quality content. 

The more you practice writing, the easier this will become. As a freelance writer, you also have to be your own editor in that regard. Read over your work and ask yourself: If I were reading this, would it be useful to me? Do I get bored, or does it keep my attention? Then rework anything that you wouldn’t like to read yourself. 

Ready to Give Freelance Writing a Try? 

Intrigued by a freelance writing career and want to give it a try? Remember to lean into your introvert superpowers of creativity, problem-solving, and making meaningful connections. And remember, you don’t have to make one huge leap. Make it your side hustle for a while and get a taste of what it’s like so you know how to pursue it full-time. 

You can start with just one small step. Choose what kind of writing you want to do or what topics interest you the most. Start looking into publications and editors in those areas. And most importantly, just start writing!

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