How to Avoid Overwhelm and Launch Your Freelance Career

Overwhelmed? Tips to Launch Your Freelance Career. Makealivingwriting.com.NOTE: Fear and overwhelm might be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to building your freelance career. But it doesn’t have to be. Read this to find out how to finally get the ball rolling. Enjoy! —Carol.

The Internet has made some things about building a freelance career as a writer a lot easier.

You can investigate what a magazine has recently written, for instance. Or find an editor on LinkedIn.

But in other ways, our Information Age has caused problems for writers.

I know because I keep hearing comments from new freelance writers like this:

“There’s so much to know and the world of freelance writing is rapidly changing. I feel so behind and don’t know how I’ll ever catch up. Can you help?”

Wondering if you can really jump in and build a freelance career as a writer, even though you don’t know everything right now?

I do have a tip on that.

Admit it’s a bottomless pit

Stop imagining that if you study study study — you read enough blog posts, buy enough books about writing, and take enough courses — there will be a point where you will feel you know “enough” about freelance writing.

And then, boom! You will dive in and be writing up a storm.

This will never happen.

You will not look up one day and realize you now know everything you need to know about blogging or writing magazine articles or whatever your chosen niche is, and now you’re ready to do this writing thing. Because new blog posts and e-books come out every day, with new tips for freelancers and solopreneurs.

So how can you kick your freelance writing into high gear?

The reality is, you have to start writing and marketing, and learn as you go. Yes, you will feel nervous that you don’t know it all. But that’s the only way you will move this forward.

Here’s a simple, five-step plan for cutting the overwhelm and getting your freelance writing biz into gear:

1. Find an expert to help you build your freelance career

There are a million people who blog about freelance writing on the Internet. There are books, and videos, and e-books. Figure out the mode in which you like to learn, and then find one or two experts who deliver advice in that mode, and whose advice really resonates for you.

Check out their credentials. How long have they been freelance writers? How successful are they?

If they’re the real deal and you love what they have to say, then commit to reading (or viewing) them closely.

Next, look at what else you’re consuming, and start trimming it down. Yes, even if that means you’re going to unsubscribe from my blog.

You want to go from the spurting firehose of way-too-much information of various quality levels down to a small trickle of high-quality stuff.

2. Look for action items

As you read your chosen gurus, look for actionable advice. Something simple and practical you could do right now, or that you could put into practice soon.

Maybe it’s just one tip, or maybe it’s a whole article writing class that’s a perfect fit to give you the chops you need to quickly move up to better-paying markets.

Now that you’ve found your action item, stop reading.

Yes, let those emails you subscribe to pile up for a few days or even months. (I’ve been known to end up with more than 1,000 email newsletters piled up to read when I’m ready.)

3. Stop worrying

The thing that keeps many writers frozen is that they’re worried the action item they’ve chosen isn’t the best one. You might feel like you’re flailing around and wasting time.

But this will never be the case. When you take action, you are learning — even if it’s learning that plug-in doesn’t work for you. That still moves you forward.

And if that action item spoke to you and made you want to stop reading and go “Oh man, I’ve got to try that!” it’s probably something you need. Trust your gut on that.

4. Take action

When you’ve found one writing prompt that speaks to you, a great social-media marketing tip, or that perfect class, stop reading.

Now, go and execute on that.

Put everything you’ve got into that class. Or go download that plug-in you want to try. Implement that one new design trick on your blog.

5. Repeat

Now you’re ready to come back to your experts and read some more. You’ll be surprised how much more efficient this is if you do it in batches instead of reading a bit every day.

Taking breaks when you’re not in ‘learning’ mode will also help you come at the advice with fresh eyes. You’ll be able to spot that next great action item more easily.

Keep at this, and you have the perfect recipe for a thriving freelance writing business. You’re taking concrete action to grow your freelance business and improve your craft, and you’re continuing to learn how to do it better.

How do you avoid overwhelm and move forward with your writing? Let’s discuss your approach on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Get paid to blog: Get a free e-book (100+ Freelance Writing Questions Answered by Carol Tice) and free updates! Sign me up!

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49 comments on “How to Avoid Overwhelm and Launch Your Freelance Career
  1. Nadia McDonald says:

    I agree with Abby. Action is the key to getting things done. I wrestled with some ideas to begin an article. I wanted to include poverty in my niche. But I realized I have skills in being a creative arts director. There are so much storylines. When I narrowed everything, I concluded an article here and there with some research should be a good start.

  2. Darlene Strand says:

    I feel a healthy mind in writing can be achieved by exercising that mind . Preparing every day with ‘reason’ and ‘purpose’ best suited for how you are feeling from ‘one ‘ day to the ‘next’. Forgetting about the many ‘barriers’ in life that keep you from expressing yourself in word and content!

  3. Nadia McDonald says:

    I agree with your comments Carol. Lengthy emails only propels impulsive reading.
    Thanks for the sound advice.

  4. Stephen Quinn says:

    Great post, Carol. I realize after your post that the best learning mode for me is the webinar recordings for the Bootcamps. In the Freelance Business Bootcamp I notice these recordings effectively introduce me to ideas and concepts that enhance concepts that you write about in your blog posts.

    Likewise, I just listened to “How to Avoid the 12 Biggest Mistakes of Freelance Writers to Earn Big” that begins another Bootcamp. For some reason this learning mode appeals to me.

    In both Bootcamps I have listed at least a dozen actionable steps, and with some I will need to find out how to do. Also, in this blog you have saved me some time by recommending focusing on only a small number of experts – before I subscribe to everyone.

    And, thanks to this blog and “How to Avoid the 12 Biggest Mistakes…” I will set up my website later today, even though I feel like I don’t know enough (an actionable step). What you and Laura say about just getting it up there for the reasons you both give makes sense.

    I like that trial and error idea as well. Take on assignments first and I will sooner or later discover my niche. This is also about taking action instead of hemming and hawing about “what is my niche”.

    At the same time, I see I need to learn to write kickass query letters – which will also put me ahead of the pack (from the sounds of it). Is there anything about query letters in The Den or related blog posts?

    Also, from the responses I realize I probably need to start making a daily list to guide me.

    This is great – I too have been spinning my wheels due to all there is that I “must” learn. It’s time to get into action and cycle through the above five steps as recommended. Why do I suddenly feel lighter? 🙂

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Stephen —

      We have a “Query Letter & Letter of Introduction Review” forum that ought to help you in the Den! You can post proposed queries there for critique. We’ve had a lot of success with helping writers learn this format and start getting responses and assignments!

      On the learning styles issue, I recently had a chance to do a project for an online learning company, and got to learn about VARK — how different people learn in visual, auditory, read/write, or kinesthetic (hands-on) ways, or a combination of those. You are probably a good auditory/visual learner if the Den bootcamps help you. Other members I know swear by reading the transcripts — they are probably read/write learners.

      • Stephen Quinn says:

        I have one caveat.

        Because of my interest in science and the related (free of charge) articles that I wrote, I ended up subscribing to a number of scientific journals.

        Well, my AOL email account is packed with emails from these journals – and a Google notification for a certain science subject when it occurs in the news.

        When I get up to 500 or more emails I get nervous and start to delete some the most-oldest ones. However, it doesn’t take long for it to reach 500 again :).

        I have never been able to keep up with all of this. So, I am already familiar with this experience, but in another area. Well, I’m not going to worry about keeping up with it anymore !!

        I can always go to their website and “search” the archives anyway.

        • Nadia McDonald says:

          Stephen in my opinion, you have given into fear and overwhelm. Reading your comments, you were on the right track. When you saw the lengthy emails, you panicked Stephen. What are your thoughts Carol?

          • Carol Tice says:

            I think Steve is AVOIDING overwhelm by letting go of his newsletters and realizing he could always look up the information he needs on his favorite blogs later on. Nice job, Steve!

            The turning point for me was realizing that just because I’ve subscribed to someone doesn’t mean I need to read all their stuff. Or read them this month. I started just picking and choosing from my newsletter cache and reading what sounded of most urgent relevance to my current situation. That has allowed me to move forward on this blog a ton, versus continuing to obsess on whether I know enough about nofollow links and split testing and so on.

      • Stephen Quinn says:

        And I have started to unsubscribe. It will happen little by little.

        • Carol Tice says:

          Feel free to declare bankruptcy and delete them all — once I started doing that it was so empowering! Also, it makes you notice who you’re deleting and never reading, and helps you figure out who you should just unsubscribe from.

          There are lots of people I subscribe to and *wish* I was reading…but it doesn’t happen.

          My own metric now is — does this topic impact something I am doing RIGHT NOW? If not, I’m deleting it. My brain can only hold so much.

        • Nadia McDonald says:

          I agree with Stephen Carol. When enormous emails pour in, it overwhelms a person. Personally for me, I take sharp breaths when I see pending emails. How do you know which email is pertinent? There are so many links and website addresses being posted on-line. I have lengthy web addresses in my address book to conduct research. The information is lengthy and tedious. How can one narrow the scope of the search engine Carol?

          • Carol Tice says:

            As Linda F taught me to say…set phasers to ignore. Find one useful, actionable article, and then stop reading and go take action on it.

  5. Tanya says:

    Thank you for this wonderful piece, Carol. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and you described me perfectly in this article. I feel that I need to learn everything and then there’s always more and more and more. It’s never ending. And, the books (Yow!) Right now my e-mail box has 700 unread e-mails, and I felt I was falling behind and have been at a standstill. Your advice came just in time (hey! are you in my head?). I was just thinking that I should unsubscribe to all those “must read writer e-mail lists” and clear out the e-mail and stick to a couple of experts to follow. I thought I’d miss something if I did this and then the one day I check my e-mail box in days and there is your post giving me permission and the best advice ever! Of course, you are one of the experts I will definitely keep following. Thank you so much for this post. I will follow it: steps 1 through 5. I can’t say thank you enough. (I still think you were in my head.)

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sounds like it’s time for email bankruptcy, Tanya!

      Freaked me out the first time I did it, and now I have no shame. My rule now is: Just because I subscribe to this doesn’t mean I have to read everything they send. I can skip some. I can only learn so much at a time.

      One other danger sign for me is when I find myself skimming and skimming posts from my newsletters and 10 minutes later I don’t even know what I read! I see things I should learn, and I have no bandwidth to go walk through it on my blog or implement it in my organizational system. That’s the sign you’re tapped out on learning. Let them stack up a while or just delete everything and start again.

      I gather all the big blogger types do it – you can see them tweeting about declaring email bankruptcy. I’m in a blogger mastermind now where 300 comments could pop up overnight, and sometimes I just come on and search for my name, and if no one asked me anything specifically, I just say, “Boom! Bankruptcy. Starting fresh here…” It’s OK. We can’t do it all!

    • Nadia McDonald says:

      I am ready for action! Like everyone else, yes, I am overwhelmed. I don’t know what to expect. I have targeted my niche. Social media will be a fantastic way to draw an audience. Writing an article shouldn’t be so hard, but with the expert advice from Carol and her mentors, monies should be coming in at a speedy pace.

  6. Ann-Louise Truschel says:

    With respect to your title, did you really mean to say “How do you avoid [being] overwhelm[ed] and move forward with your writing?

  7. I just sold hundreds of dollars worth of ‘how-to’ writing books back to the book store for a nice four dollar return. New ‘how-to’ writing books come out every minute. Learning as you go is the key, and a money saver.

    I’ve unsubscribed on sites to cut down email traffic, but this won’t be one of them.

    Your open, honest, dialogue is too good.
    David Gillaspie recently posted…THEFT IN SPORTS, THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE BESTMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Glad to hear I make the cut, David!

    • Stephen Quinn says:

      Dave,
      I really enjoyed reading that you returned all those books for a $4.00 profit (with a chuckle). I can understand your motivation – I’ve read the “how to” books in the past.

      I think going back to college took the place of these “how to” books. So, I might have one or two on hand myself, if not for college (where I write “scholarly” works 🙂 ).

      Finally, getting out there and “doing” really makes sense. It is part of the process. It seems this is probably the one secret that all those successful writers and “how to” authors kept to themselves (or I missed the message 🙂 ).

  8. I am pretty guilty of this syndrome, so I can benefit from this post plenty.

    Sometimes I barely read material about writing at all, and then I hit an obstacle–an article that gets killed, stuck with a looming deadline, less profit than usual in a month, that kind of thing–and then I go running to the experts all over again, and then spend more time reading about writing than actual writing.

    The best tools for me to stop the cycle are managing my time with online calendars and timers. And meeting a deadline boosts my confidence as well.
    Rebecca Klempner recently posted…When writing shifts from a hobby to a job: my new essay in TabletMy Profile

  9. Tom Bentley says:

    Carol great and clear advice: pare down distractions, focus, act—and repeat. You get that deep reinforcement—because you’d made choices and acted—that you are at the helm of your work (and career). That pattern can build on itself to great effect.

    I’m still battling the “I’ll just get this one last (ebook, webinar, blog post, slide deck, et al) out of the way and then I’ll be golden” effect. The gold, as you say, is in the doing.
    Tom Bentley recently posted…How to Successfully Write Like a TurkeyMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Maybe I feel for this issue so much because it’s totally how I was about blogging. It was all new! There was so much to know!

      And then one day, I unsubscribed to Problogger and went “I know enough for now.”

      I’d come home with a stack of action items from conferences like SOBCon, but keep reading all those newsletters, too. It was too much. Then I vowed when I came home from conferences, I had to implement all my top items before I delved into anything else. Made a huge difference in how much I’m implementing and just my overall sanity level.

  10. Very interesting. I was always of the opinion that I needed to get more under my belt for ways to develop the story and whatnot, but I am mostly a fiction writer instead of a freelance article writer. I might just have to change the thinking though, since it seems this came at a perfect time for me.

    Thanks for sharing this, I’ll make sure to put this into my favorites to refer to in the future.
    Matthew Eaton recently posted…12 Steps of a Successful Writer: VisualizeMy Profile

  11. Willi Morris says:

    Carol! I’m sure you had this written a while ago, but it’s like you were reading my mind LOL. I took your advice from the loyalty post and it happened again. Bleh. So now I’m floundering again as to what to do. In the midst of my worrying, I read this. I just need to do one thing – get my testimonials and start scheduling marketing posts. I just have to do it! I also need to find some more businesses to pitch to.
    Willi Morris recently posted…How to Make Affiliate Marketing Less IckyMy Profile

  12. Abby says:

    This post could not be more timely for me — I just graduated from college and have been looking into starting a freelancing business as my permanent career goal. I started on bid sites just trying to make a little extra money while I was in school, then I found your site through the advice of an old journalist pal of my mom’s. From this site, I found The Renegade Writer, who is also super helpful — but that’s when things started to get out of hand.

    I found a niche I wanted to focus on and I found so much specific stuff online that I didn’t know where to start. I’ve read hundreds of blog posts and dozens of free e-books, and all I have to show for it, really, is a lot of spam and, frankly, discouragement. I’ve been feeling like I need to be in a “learning phase” right now to avoid making any more stupid mistakes (like spending 20 hours a week on oDesk and getting paid for five of them) and to get my marketing materials together. But I’m going crazy! I’m a writer. Writers gotta write!

    Today, I start the Great Inbox Cull of 2014. I think this newsletter is a keeper.
    Abby recently posted…The Nosh Files: Vanessa’s Dumpling HouseMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yay!

      You should see what my newsletter email folder used to look like, Abby. I used to go on vacation with a goal of reading 1,000 email newsletters while on vacation! That’s when I saw something had to change.

      I declared email bankruptcy – deleted them all. Then took a hard look at what I was getting and cut some things. Then more things. Until now I have a small selection I actually have time to read, and I ignore the rest.

      There’s a Talmudic saying: “Too much and the mind cannot absorb.” By trying to learn it all, all at once, I think we end up learning nothing. And that leads to more nervousness that we don’t know enough, and more compulsive reading, and less action. We have to be selective about what we take in and look for what we can take action on constructively, or that really helps us have insights that make our freelance journey easier.

      There’s a ton of mediocre info out there by people who’ve been freelancing for about 18 months that I think you can skip in favor of working your marketing plan. 😉

    • Nadia McDonald says:

      Unlike most inexperienced freelance writers Abby, you are on the right track. I admire your energy and passion to make things happen. My greatest weakness is putting things into action!

    • Gwen Boyle says:

      Hey Abby, your situation struck a chord – I just graduated from college and am starting out as a freelance writer as well. I made loads of mistakes in the first couple of months (including the wasted hours on oDesk)! Now I’m learning more about building a freelance writing career, and it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking “but if I just read one more book…or read through these old blog posts…I’ll know everything I need to know.”

      I found it helped to commit to writing something short for myself (anything at all), so I wrote a 300-word piece last week on a recent trip away. Once it was written, it seemed a shame not to polish it up according to all the advice I’d been reading, and look for somewhere that would like to publish it. The email cull’s a great idea too…so much can just be deleted on sight, really.

      Carol, your advice here gave me just the kick I needed last week to finally take some action. I sent out my first three article pitches and, within a few days, got two positive responses! Thanks very much for the great advice in this post and elsewhere on Make A Living Writing. I’m learning a lot, but trying not to let ‘learning time’ overtake ‘doing time.’ It’s difficult to avoid getting overwhelmed, but making a list of small steps always helps – especially if those steps involve writing rather than reading.

  13. Elke Feuer says:

    Great article! I avoid overwhelm by having a plan and taking action. I pick through the information to find things that fits my goals, or that I want to add to my bucket list, and then move forward with 1-2 things.
    Elke Feuer recently posted…Deadly Bloodlines is going global — Book Blitz!My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Right on, Elke — I’m a big fan of “If I can just get this ONE thing done today…”

      The big thing I’ve learned running the Den is that the sense of completion is very powerful. If we can check things off, no matter how small, it builds our confidence. And of course is more likely to get results than doing zero things toward our goals. 😉

  14. Thanks for the fantastic reminder of THE process that works for getting stuff done. It seems simple, but now more than ever there are so many ways information overload can get us distracted, stuck, or off-track.

    It’s a huge challenge for me, and I feel certain it’s common for most curious + conscientious types. I also tend to get stuck when my list of action items gets too long. The only way I can combat overwhelm is to take a step back, pare my to-do list WAY down, prioritize it, and then shut out all incoming “temptation” until I get the list done.

    I love your process because it can be applied to so many situations. Whether you’re freaking out about all the things you need to learn + do to launch your business, starting a long-term writing project, or just feeling overwhelmed in your personal life, it always helps to stay focused + take things one (or two or three) at a time.

    Finally, I love that you addressed worrying. When we’re feeling overwhelmed, worrying only makes it worse!
    Lana Richards recently posted…The 3 Pillars of Content CreationMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m a bad worrier from a worry family…I can remember my father walking up and down the sidewalk around our corner house growing up, just worrying and worrying over things. It’s something I’ve worked hard on to let go of as I age, because you see what a complete waste of time and energy it is.

      I once saw a great analogy about worry in Al-Anon literature — that it’s like rocking a rocking chair. It makes you FEEL like you’re doing something, but you’re not really getting anywhere.

      • Nadia McDonald says:

        Worry is a negative mechanism. In the game of life there are obstacles and challenges. My greatest fear is earning potential. I want to do well, but sometimes I feel like the weight of the world falls on my shoulders. There is so much pressure to succeed and overcome the odds. Yes, the incessant information is intimidating. However, I always ask myself this: “Will I fail or succeed?”

        • Carol Tice says:

          Well, if you just keep reading and never execute on anything, you’re guaranteed to fail. That’s the thing. We have to take action to get anywhere.

  15. Beth Morrow says:

    Really great advice, Carol. The speed of life and constantly-morphing world of freelancing lends itself well to analysis paralysis, which only adds to the frustration and level of internal fear of making the ‘wrong’ choice.

    I wish more folks saw act of making a mistake as the best kind of teacher, not as something to avoid at all costs. We can worry til the cows come home, but that doesn’t help us make a better, more informed choice about our careers in the long run.

    Only by taking action will we learn. Worry does not lend itself to learning and accomplishing (a topic I covered last week in my column in the Camp Business Magazine blog), but when we do *something* in the direction of our goals, even if the outcome is not what we anticipated, we get a clearer picture of what *will* work.
    Beth Morrow recently posted…The One Secret to Smashing Stress You Haven’t TriedMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I just wrote a guest post for another site where I talk about fear of being embarrassed or making mistakes as the one fear you should get over right now — because I guarantee you, it’s going to happen. I’ve made so many spectacularly embarrassing mistakes in my journalism and blogging career! Accept that reality instead, and just keep going.

      One of my recent favorites is often when I’m siting photos for blog posts, I just write the text “bla” so that I can justify the photo correctly, and then write it over later. Because WP bloggers probably have noticed that if you try to situate the photo before the text, it messes up later when you put in the first line of text.

      After publishing one post to my 10,000-person email list, I discovered the “Bla” had just been pushed down to the bottom of the post, so it ended with “Bla.”

      Oh, swell! But on we go.

  16. Penny Hawes says:

    Carol, this couldn’t have come at a better time – I think you’ve saved me from ransacking my cabinets looking for those couple of Valium tablets lurking somewhere.
    Overwhelm perfectly describes my situation.

    I’m happy to say that I had (pretty much) begun to limit my educational excursions to the bootcamps and courses on The Freelance Writers Den, but even there, there’s so much info!!

    So, I’m just focusing on finishing the website bootcamp for now and will catch up with the others once my site is up and reviewed and tweaked. I know “perfecting” my site is an ongoing process, but what I’m going to charge or how I’m going to negotiate contracts are irrelevant if no one knows about my business in the first place!!

    Thanks for pointing me in the (one) right direction.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m always begging Den members to take one bootcamp, then execute on it. And to not feel you need to consume every hour of Den content! Just listen to the ones that are relevant to where you’re at right now. Go do stuff. Come back for more once you see how those action items worked out.

      We all have to stay out of the bottomless pit of learning and take action. I was just joking yesterday that I should do a post about all the things I have yet to learn about blogging — how to do A/B split testing of my landing pages (I know!), using virality mills to get more social shares, using more planning tools…I could write a book about everything I’ve simply passed up delving into because I don’t have time to do it all or know it all.

      So I blog the way I blog, and find the readers I do. Maybe I could have twice as many if I knew more tech stuff! But it’s not my interest to be the most tech-savvy blogger on the planet, and I’d rather just serve the readers who’ve found me.

    • Nadia McDonald says:

      Penny raised some relevant questions Carol.2 How does an inexperienced freelance writer go about a contract?

      • Carol Tice says:

        Glad you ask, Nadia! In the Freelance Business Bootcamp we’re running in Freelance Writers Den, we have a Contracts 101 module where we go clause by clause through all the standard items you will encounter, and we’ve got 4 contract templates for our students to use for those cases where writers are asked to be the one to prepare a contract. As it happens, we’re doing the contracts broadcast tomorrow! I’ve been loving laying out all the business basics in this crash course, and students have been really using the modules — lots of writers are creating business plans and really taking their business seriously for the first time in it. Awesome to see.

        We have all kind of useful writer basics like this in the Den…if you’re interested to join get on the waiting list…I’m hoping to have a chance to reopen to new members in about a month or so.

    • Nadia McDonald says:

      In the beginning, I was naturally overwhelmed. Recently, I was offered to write an article for a guest post. How amazing is that? Furthermore, a writing network I am affiliated with has also offered me a portfolio, including a blog to manage and do all my settings. I am sitting here in disbelief. The moment of truth has arrived. It is time to dip my foot in the water. Time to launch my skills into the real world of freelance writing. Carol I am constantly reading, and learning everything you have taught me.

  17. Janice says:

    Carol, you could’ve been describing me perfectly in that first part here. I’ve been guilty of the “shiny object” syndrome, where I think just studying just one more program is going to bring me to the magic moment when I’m ready.

    Truth is, I’ve been ready, and I’m just looking for a reason not to start because I think I don’t have enough experience/knowledge/confidence/drive/name the excuse here. It’s only this year where I’ve taken concrete steps to really move forward with my self-marketing and query publications I was too chicken to approach before.

    For me, just doing one small but significant action every day keeps me from getting overwhelmed. Whether that’s writing a blog post, sending out an email or making a phone call, I can at least pat myself on the back and say “You’re moving forward. Now keep going!”
    Janice recently posted…Email marketing success, part 3: segmentation and value propositionMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      One small but significant thing a day can really add up over time, Janice. 😉

      And the thing is, every day you don’t start because you don’t think you have enough knowledge, is another day you don’t start.

      A formative interchange for me was an old Dear Abby column where someone wrote in saying their dream was to be a doctor — but they were 50 and felt they’d be too old by the time they went through the 7 years of training. Abby’s response: “And how old will you be in 7 years if you DON’T go to medical school?”

      These are the few and precious years of our lives, and I’m here to support writers getting out there to earn from their craft while they can. Why not spend your time going for it? The time will fly by either way.

    • Nadia McDonald says:

      Janice’s comments applies to many new freelance writers. Stepping into the threshold of freelancing is a frightening experience. Fear is spoken into our spirits.
      You have no experience. Whose going to read your work? What methods do you have to wow the niche? I am just learning, and I have excellent content. The underlying problem stems from the fact that I don’t know what to expect. How will I get over the hump?

  18. *How do you avoid overwhelm and move forward with your writing?*

    I avoid feeling overwhelmed by having a plan.

    You have to wear a lot of different working-job hats as a freelancer. However as long as I stick to the schedule I have set myself, (and tick off the key tasks on my to-do list), I feel in relative control of the direction of my freelancing career.

    My advice on avoiding overwhelm… keep a regularly updated to do list. And first thing in the morning, complete the most important task on that list (it will usually be the one task you are procrastinating the most over). Once that is done, the rest of your working day will seem easier to handle.
    Katherine James recently posted…Get Paid To Write Articles by Checking These 5 Job Boards DailyMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m a big planner person myself, Katherine. I like to make a list before I leave the office at night so it’s ready to go in the morning. 😉

    • Nadia McDonald says:

      I agree. You can’t begin a task without a plan. There are millions of things to write about. Once you are overwhelm about a particular task, it hinders progress. Therefore tackle the most difficult assignment on your-to-do list.