Are you one of those freelancers in the writer’s dojo who secretly thinks you’re too weak at this writing thing to earn a living?
Maybe you’re scared you’ll screw up, suck at getting clients, fail to deliver high-quality work, and basically punch yourself in the face.
Or maybe you’re overwhelmed because you’re trying to learn pro-writer combos and strikes before you’ve learned the basics.
I know what it’s like to be one of the white-belt freelancers on the mat staring down opponents like Fear, Self-Doubt, Procrastination, and Lack of Direction.
It’s scary. It’s frustrating. And if you don’t do something about it, those bad guys from the Dojo of Doom and Failure will take you down.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. After some training, practice, and a few blows to the head, I learned five moves freelancers can use to beat fear and doubt.
Starting out as a freelance writer can be tough. It can take a long time to start earning a good living.
But you don’t have to starve while you’re waiting for your freelance writing career to take off. I built my business while I was still working a day job.
I got to “retire” from it at the end of 2014, so I could do full-time freelance writing.
After nearly 10 years as a financial adviser, I’d found myself growing more and more unhappy.
First, I tried to change that by taking a certification program and working to become a stronger contributor at my office. But dedicating myself to my job didn’t make me fall back in love with my career. In fact, it did the exact opposite.
It was time to look at alternatives.
Writing has always been my passion. My research showed me it’s a viable way to earn a living. So I got started.
Here are the five things that helped me to go from zero to full-time freelance writer:
The freelance writing game is a bit of a puzzle, isn’t it? One of those big, 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles that are half solid blue sky, I think.
There are a lot of different things to know — the lingo, the scams, who’s a good client. It’s hard to know your best way to break in. Or, if you’re already started, the best way to grow your income.
There are so many things you need to figure out to create a thriving freelance writing business. What niche should I be in? Why aren’t my query or pitch letters getting any response? How can I overcome my fears of rejection and move forward?
I’ve been doing a lot of jigsaw puzzles over the winter with my husband and kids, and as I sat pondering those frustrating little pieces, I started to think the puzzle-solving process is very similar to the process of putting together your freelance career.
Here are ten similarities I’ve found:
Freelance writing is a tough career. I think that’s true at every stage — whether you’re a brand-new writer, returning to freelancing after a hiatus, or you’re a displaced journalist learning to freelance. Google and social media keep changing. Print…
When I started this blog, I thought I would put my posts together into an ebook at some point, and then the ebook would make me bazillions and I’d be all set. That was my whole, grand business plan for…
I’ve learned something in the past week: My blog readers can really write. More than 40 writers entered the essay contest to win a year free in Freelance Writers Den I hosted with Other Den Mother Linda Formichelli. And I’m…