For freelance writers (and other creative professionals) to ditch queries, cranky editors and the starving freelancer existence, they must first change their mindset. To accomplish this, their mission needs to be ditching the notion of depending on the whim of large publications and / or companies to make a living .
I've conversed with many freelancers about the number of large, national publications / companies that want quality writing, design, artwork, etc. for their publications, but take months to answer questions, make freelancers wait even more months to be paid, pay paltry for the assignments to begin with, cancel gigs for no reason at all and treat freelancers little better than unnecessary cogs in their money-making wheel.
Freelancing is extremely competitive. Here, freelancers (writers, editors, web designers, illustrators, etc.) need to think beyond traditional outlets for getting work. This way, they become less dependent on the "majors" (eg, national magazines, blue-chip companies) for their living. There are so many ways for freelancers to use their editorial and / or creative skills that they do not have to turn their power over to any one company or publication.
Below are some of the more nontraditional ways that I've written about to make money if you are an editorial and / or creative professional. Eg:
Start a Virtual Assistant's Business
Niche Writing for Business Professionals
Start a Joke Site
Create Online Educational Seminars
The list is endless. So, instead of composing a query and waiting months just to hear if you got the assignment – much less how long you are going to have to wait to get paid for it – QUERY YOURSELF about how you can make freelancing a profitable way of life, not a starving existence. Happy writing (editing, designing, illustrating, etc.)