If a person came up to me and asked how to become a freelance newspaper writer, my most important suggestion would be to brainstorm on what is going on in the world today. Everything from current events to what holiday is coming up has to be thought about. Once you have tons of ideas, the fun can begin. If you study anyone who is good at what they do, it is because they love what they are doing. Because you are freelance writing, you can pick what you love but you also have to have a pulse on what your reader wants to read at that particular moment in time. You also have to be able to approach many newspapers and tell them what you want to write about and give them an idea of what you want to write and why you expect your article to be read by people.
When deciding which one of the tons of ideas you will write about, you have to keep an open mind. This is a very important skill as a writer. You don’t want to impose your ideas on the reader unless you want to write “letters to the editor”. You want to create an article like a painter creates a portrait. You want the reader to be able to take away from your article something they can relate to from their own imagination and experiences. You must be able to portray this to the editors and peak their interest. You must sell your article to the newspaper first or readers will never get the opportunity to experience your writing.
You must also be prepared to “pound the pavement” and give editors and other powers-to-be little pieces of your work and peak their interest. You have to understand that it takes time and persistence before editors will begin to take you seriously and realize that your articles want to be read by readers.
One final suggestion would be to create a portfolio of your best works. Show these articles to editors and anyone who will read them. Impress on them that you can do the same with events that are going on in the world today. Show the editors that articles are only words on paper until a reader finishes reading it and it has enriched their lives in some way.
Having a pulse on what is important to readers, being persistent in getting your articles in front of editors and never giving up on what you love to do will get you a lot closer to be that freelance newspaper writer that you dream about.
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