Josh Whitworth

Aviation and Writing Lifestyle Blog

Getting Started as a Freelance Writer

I know you may see me as a fitness person, but secretly, I’m a nerd. I like writing and do freelance writing as a side gig.

Man, it feels good to get that off my chest. 

If you haven’t read the “About Me” page, then it’s a good way to get to know me. But you’re not here to hear all about me…most likely. Actually, you probably clicked on this article because you were like, “Wait a minute. I like writing and not having a boss. Maybe I could be a freelance writer too.”

Long story short: yes. You can also start freelance pretty much right this second. 

To give you a bit more context on my background though; I’m a flight attendant with a degree in English. I started pilot training, but that is kind of pricey. To help pay for my flight school, I started doing freelance writing to supplement my income. I landed on freelance writing because I wanted to be a writer before realizing I loved aviation. I wasn’t using my degree as a flight attendant, but I missed it. 

Freelance writing gave me a way to work on writing and still live my dream of aviation. 

To some it up, it’s a way to fund adventures. Plus, I can work from anywhere (I’m writing this from Myrtle Beach with a view of the ocean) and I get free travel working for an airline.

Actually, I get paid to travel. Sometimes it’s a bit brutal, but mostly I get to write from the coolest places. 

Why Start Freelance Writing

Now I have to go watch Back to the Future. BRB.

That’s my story, now here’s the thing. I know not everyone wants to work two (or more!) jobs. Some people don’t want to work their butt off at a 9-5 every day either. But also, some people do want to do that. Which is totally fine.

But if you don’t want to work a 9-5, then here is the sign to start pursuing an alternative. 

I think the Pandemic taught people a lot. It also amplified a ton of negativity for some people, but I don’t want to talk about that…

I’m focusing on the fact that the Pandemic taught people that working from home was a viable option. Some companies are trying to get people to come back to the office to work, and that is okay for some people. I know plenty of people that work better by going into an actual office to work. 

I don’t really think forcing people back in the office is a super great idea, but I’m just a flight attendant.

Seriously though, people don’t have to be in a set location to work. I recommend looking for remote jobs then. 

A lot of people like to be able to roll out of bed and work in their pajamas. There are some jobs that you can set up your own hours even! A travel agent doesn’t have to go into the office, but they kind of have to be on call a lot. That might not work for everyone for that reason. 

The main reasons I would suggest people get started with freelance writing:

  • You want to set your own hours
  • You want to set your own rates
  • You don’t want to have a boss
  • You can work from any location

There are tons of other reasons, and every person will have their own reasons too. A small reason I do freelance writing is that I like to know stuff and when I get to write about something, I get to learn more about it. 

Everybody has their own goals and reasons, so maybe ask around and see if it’s right for you.

How Do I Get Started

Euphoria is straight fire, so y’all should watch it.

You might be thinking that you actually kind of like the idea of financial freedom and not being dependent on a single company to keep your job. Plus, being able to work from a beach sounds pretty cool too. 

I think really getting started is kind of difficult. I’ll do a more in-depth post about this later, but a shortened version about the actionable things to do is to create free accounts on websites to get yourself hired.

There are a few different websites you can use to get started. First things first, create an account on Upwork, Fiverr, LinkedIn, and There are a ton more options for you to sign up to, such as Jooble, but these are the biggest 4. 

You can create a FREE profile on these sites and start applying to jobs pretty much immediately. Fiverr is a little different because you create a posting of your offer and the jobs come to you. 

Regardless, these are websites that are totally free to use. They offer payment upgrades, but you can start for free. If you don’t do this, then you won’t really ever get started. 

Wouldn’t it be terrible to not achieve your goals simply because you’re nervous or scared of what others will say? It boils down to going after your goals full force. I’m talking putting all potatoes in the gravy; all the dressing on the salad; full-tilt boogie; um…I guess a lot of effort… I couldn’t think of anything else funny there.

Building Clientele 

If you’re a fan of slapstick comedy, Buster Keaton is the man. Here, he says “nope.”

Now, that you got started and have your profiles, you have to actually have people pay you. The easiest way is to hope for the best. 

That’s far from the most effective though. 

Marketing is what some people might call this, but you need to start spreading the word. You should put it on all your social media. Tell your mom, your dad, your mom’s dad, your brother’s friend’s sister’s acquaintance. I mean tell everyone and their dog that you have started freelancing. 

On top of that, focus your social media (unless you’re like me and just kind of using social media for funsies) and make that an extra way to spread the word about your work. 

Another idea to help is to create a blog and use that as a way to build and host your portfolio. People like things to be easy cause they’re lazy (no judgment, just facts), so having your portfolio and a blog on the same website makes it easier for clients to get a feel for your voice. 

To help pad your portfolio, offer work to people you know or businesses you see that have terrible representation of whatever you offer. You can use this and your results to increase your likelihood of getting new clients. 

Basically, make yourself good and what you do and you will be marketable and make tons of side cash. I guess you could also make main cash. It’s kind of up in the air.

Staying Healthy & Fit as a Flight Attendant

Look, we all love to travel (just check out the ‘about‘ page if you don’t believe me), but being healthy while doing so is really hard.

The pandemic pretty much shut down travel for a while, but things are beginning to open up and the future looks bright!

Then again, some readers may be like me and have travel as the primary form of income, whether that’s as a flight attendant, pilot, or as a travel writer.

No matter what gets you traveling, it’s no secret that it can be hard on your body.

I mean, changing timezones, lack of good food on an airplane (or in the car for you road trippers), poorly equipped hotel gyms, and, for my fellow flight crews out there, the wear of constant altitude and pressure changes.

This crazy lifestyle doesn’t mean that we all want to be unhealthy. In fact, it’s usually travelers and flight crews that seem to want to be in the best shape so they can properly enjoy the places they go.

Maybe I’m projecting because that’s how I feel about it.

Either way, I have my own little routines and such that I use to help get healthy when I fall off the wagon (Memaw seriously has the best holiday treats), but, more importantly, they help me STAY healthy with my hectic schedule. 

Keep in mind that I’m just a guy that does these things to help myself. Every person is different, so every person will respond differently to different stimuli. That being said, always consult a professional before making any crazy life changes. I mean, talk to your doctor for general health, a personal trainer for physical fitness, a nutritionist for food needs, and psychologists for mental health. 

Physical Fitness

I’m going to disagree with some people here and say there is not a single style of fitness that is superior to any other. Ultimately, do what you enjoy and will consistently stick with to actually get results.

I mean, lifting weights one time doesn’t really do much besides make you sore. And that freaking sucks.

For my schedule, I do a lot of sitting on flights. Well, I like to stand a lot instead, but it’s still a lot of time where I can’t go outside for a walk or anything like that. 

To counter this, I like to really challenge myself in the gym. My body responds very well to heavy weightlifting. The issue is I don’t really have access to huge amounts of weight because of these hotel gyms. So, what I do is a full-body routine that hits all the major muscles and is functionally applicable. This means I do overhead presses, pullups, pushups, rows, squats, deadlifts, and jumping with variations built-in.

Don’t worry, I’m not dumb and going to say that only one specific kind of training is ‘functional training.’ People have different lives, so functional means something different for everyone. 

My definition is going to be ‘multijoint movements that use two or more muscle groups in each lift.’ My lifting schedule is anywhere from 2-5 days a week and each gym session lasts about an hour.

I don’t lift crazy heavy, so I manipulate total volume by hitting higher reps or switching up the timing of the reps to really get a good pump. 

Something that has always haunted me is doing cardio. I think it’s just absolutely the most boring health thing ever. I truly can’t stand treadmills for this reason. There’s just nothing happening! You don’t even have things to look at!

I’ll get off my high horse now and say that I do some sort of cardio workout 2-5 times a week anyway. 

Because I’m on an airplane so much, I like to do outdoor running or hiking or just go on a walk so that I can be outside and get some sunshine also. 

Side note: I’m training for 10K in September, so my outdoor running is higher than normal right now.

The last thing I do is yoga or stretch literally every day. 

I say “or” because sometimes I’m not in a mental spot to stop and commit 30 minutes to an hour to yoga, so I just do a quick full-body stretch instead.

I also do this because being sore absolutely sucks and flexibility helps that.

Nutrition/Food on the Go

Food prep – That is all you need to know and thank you for coming to my TEd Talk.

In all seriousness, meal prepping is absolutely key for anyone in the aviation industry.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of the “freshman 15,” but that also exists for first-year aviators. Both pilots and flight attendants at airlines have the same issue of being stuck on an airplane and trying to eat healthily. Usually, airlines don’t really sell healthy food because it doesn’t really bring in money and isn’t able to stay good for very long. Instead, airlines opt for foods that are full of preservatives, sugar, salt, and other things that make them last forever.

Not healthy stuff. 

A good rule of thumb is that the less packaging involved in food, the healthier it is.

That being said, when I food prep, I use a ton of simply steamed veggies and shredded chicken. It’s super easy to cook chicken in a crockpot/slow cooker and then when there is only like an hour or two left, add the veggie. Then I can put the food in it the containers and freeze them to help them stay good as long as possible.

Also, that makes the food not be disgusting and go bad if it unfreezes/refreezes because you never know the quality you will get with a hotel fridge/freezer. 

Just remember to try and stick to whole, natural foods. They typically pair well together. Also, if you don’t use much dairy for food that goes bad if it gets warm, then you can easily meal prep for trips of almost any length. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to eat perfectly all the time. A big reason people want to be healthy, at least why I want to be healthy, is so I can live the most exciting and fun life! 

This means you have to go out to eat when you’re in cool places! Go do fun stuff. It’s a big reason we even get into aviation, and it introduces you to new cultures which is always super freaking dope.

Mental Health

This can be a bit of a touchy subject, so I won’t pretend to be an expert even a little bit. 

I do know that people need to take care of themselves though. You can’t pour from an empty cup!

Simone Biles drew a lot of conversation about mental health with her recent issues that caused her to pull out of the Olympics.

I am by no means comparing what anyone does to what anyone else does. There are some people that get incredibly stressed with something that may be incredibly easy for someone else! Comparing stresses is like comparing people’s favorite colors; there’s no point because people have different opinions. 

I will say that some people have serious stressors with the job of flight attendant or pilot. People suck sometimes. People are awesome sometimes. People will pass out in the middle of a flight and not speak the same language as the crew to help the problem sometimes. And sometimes you hit birds during takeoff and have to land in the Hudson River (shout out to fellow Texan, Captain Sully!). 

Basically, any job can be stressful and you need to find a way to take care of yourself.

A lot of people in aviation turn to alcohol because you can get that at literally every hotel and it’s easy to go with your crew to the hotel bar.

Instead, find ways to work on your mental health in better ways. 

Sure, go drink with friends every now and then, but don’t make it a habit because it is expensive and can be very destructive long term. 

I’m pretty strongly an introvert in the truest sense. I like to be by myself to recharge my batteries. 

I also am very blessed to enjoy my own company. I think I’m entertaining, so I like hanging out with myself.

Some things I do to help clear my head are meditating, hiking, workout in general, walking/urban exploring (not where I go into an abandoned building and stuff, I just walk around in a city to explore), prayer, writing, journaling (they’re totally different), reading, and just whatever I feel like doing to be creative (am I hinting at a YouTube channel in the works?).

Just do things that get you in a good headspace and are stress relieving. I know lots of flight attendants and pilots that enjoy going to different spas while traveling to do a couple of cool things at the same time!

As long as you find what works for you and your mental health, it will help you to be better at staying physically healthy too. 

Everything works together I promise.

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