I've never told anyone this, probably because I wanted to avoid being stereotyped as a writer with her 'head in the clouds'. But after some encounters over the past few days, I'm feeling the need to bring it up:
I never write solely for money.
There are so many other, dreamier reasons that I write. To figure things out. To share information. To help. Reality check: as a freelancer, I need to earn money. BUT, I've never begun a writing project for the sole purpose of making money.
Take the Freelance Writing Jobs blog, for instance. It was begun because the writer genuinely wanted to share writing job information with some of her friends. Three years later, that desire has translated into a couple of thousand visitors daily and professional recognition by the freelance community. If the blog weren't begun out of her genuine desire to help, I don't believe she would've been this successful.
It seems that anything successful starts with excitement, and I'm not talking excitement about how much money/recognition the project's going to earn; there's usually a deeper purpose (just ask successful marketer Seth Godin, whose blog my writer friend Carmen got me hooked on).
I'm far from an expert on freelancing, but it seems important that freelancers try to keep this deeper purpose in mind. Otherwise, the writing life could easily turn into the equivalent of a 9-to-fiver.