Earning money while writing: Becoming a freelancer

A second, very real possibility to generating income while writing is to become a freelancer. I’ve dabbled in freelancing and working on multiple projects for different companies, and have good experience of organising my own time from doing my PhD.

The more practical question is: what areas would I want to freelance in? Here are a few ideas.

  • Tourist Guide in Scotland: The next round of application to become a ‘Blue Badge’ guide (= accredited qualification to become a tourist guide) is on just now, with the 2-year-course starting in spring 2010. I know people who guide and the job is well paid – plus, you get to travel all over Scotland, with meals and accommodation paid for! The only snag is that the course is very expensive (over £5,000) and labour-intensive (I would have to sacrifice most of my week-ends)
  • elancing: The site (google ‘elance’ – I no longer provide links from my blog hehe) unites people offering online freelance work with those seeking it. It’s a bit of a hassle, since most are short-term projects and you have to submit proposals, likely competing against many others wanting the same job. On the positive side, I do have qualifications to shout about, and a very good track record working online from home in various different jobs – so at least I should be in with a half decent chance
  • Female driving instructor: The thought crossed my mind that another way of picking up regular money (and more reliable than elancing) would be to qualify as a female driving instructor. There might well be demand for it – women who want to be taught by another woman, or men who are more comfortable with a ‘soft, friendly, feminine approach’ to teaching (which they won’t get from me – I’m a hard bitch hehehe).

I’d see my potential income coming from a variety of sources, not just one, that can be combined as and when (e.g. the guiding likely to be full on during the summer season, with less interest during the autumn/winter).

Unfortunately I won’t be able to quit my full-time job until I’ve sold my house in Italy – which requires a steady, considerable source of income to pay the mortgage (and for another 10 years, if I don’t manage to sell).

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