Thank you so much for the detailed response. I am in my forties, so not young, but I hope I still have a lot of years of writing ahead of me! I have a love-hate relationship with the platforms, but the truth is if you are starting without contacts, they are necessary to get your first paying clients. My goal is to get away from the platforms as quickly as possible. I now have two steady private clients. If I could add one more private client, I would only bid on jobs I felt was an especially good fit. I appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge. Do you have any suggestions for networking, and eventually finding clients off the platforms? I don’t dispute your wisdom, but I am not sure I see the connection from a byline in a small weekly publication to paying clients? I have found that I use Medium as my portfolio with many clients (depending on the type of writing they are looking for), and it has paid off in spades for that. Thanks again for the great tips.