It’s tough being a new freelance writer.
You’re trying to figure out what it means to be a freelance writer and what the job entails, whilst adjusting to a new way of working, and ultimately a new way of life.
Perhaps, like me, you were so used to working in the office environment that freelance writing has come as a bit of a shock. It’s completely different to what you were expecting – but in the best way.
You have some amazing, successful days where you truly believe in what you’re doing like never before, and you trust in your talent as a freelance writer; but you also have those days where you feel like a total fraud, and your writing is not good enough, and OMG how will anybody like my work when it reads like a two-year-old toddler wrote it.
In other words, it’s obvious that you’re new to this and you’re still learning – and you can’t help but feel scared and unsure about your future as a freelance writer.
It’s normal to have doubts in this business, and a surefire case of imposter syndrome, but it’s important that you don’t let them take over. Here are 5 of the most common doubts you have as a new freelance writer and how to overcome them.
1. “I have no idea how to get going as a new freelance writer – why am I so clueless?”
Dude, you’re not clueless, can I just say.
When you’re a new freelance writer, it’s so important that you do your homework. Make sure that you’ve done the relevant amount of research required before you launch into it as a full-time career, otherwise you will struggle. #JustSaying
Everybody, I mean everybody, feels a bit all-over-the-place in the beginning. Nobody knows where to start. And the abundance of information out there on the internet at the moment can be quite overwhelming.
There’s a good chance that you’ve been studying and picking up tips and tricks for a while now about how you could make the freelance writing dream a reality; however, actually doing it is a different thing entirely.
Before you take the plunge, make sure you have an expert-level of knowledge when it comes to everything freelance writing related: what it takes to be a new freelance writer, how to get started, and where you can find work and win those gigs. Essentially, the trick is knowing what you have to do before actually doing it.
That being said, in my experience, you learn more and more as you go. I’ve been freelance writing for seven months now – and I’m still learning and adapting everyday.
Basically – don’t sweat it, bro. Keep learning and evolving like the rest of us – and you’ll be just fine.
2. “I’ll never be as successful as other freelance writers.”
Ah, the old “compare and contrast” game. This can be detrimental to your state of mind as you proceed through murky, new freelance writing waters.
Listen, the other successful freelance writers out there on the world wide web aren’t supposed to hinder your experience. They’re supposed to help you through it. In fact, they want to help you through it, which is why they share all their tips and tricks via their blogs, websites and newsletters when it comes to freelance writing.
As you bumble along as a beginner, you’ll come across professionals in our industry who have been in the game longer than you, seem to be super successful, and claim to be making six figures annually. It’s good to look up to these freelance writers, and have similar goals to work towards but remember that they’re way ahead of you in the game.Try not to compare yourself to others too much. I know it can be difficult; as human beings we naturally look to other human beings to set a standard for us that we should be working towards. Click To Tweet
Just remember: you’re at the very start of your freelance writing journey. You’ve still got a long way to go if you want to get to the six-figure mark.
But, if you truly want to get to that point, then there’s no reason why you can’t get there eventually. I mean, if other freelance writers have done it, why can’t you? All you need is that drive and determination to succeed.
3. “Am I choosing the right niche?”
The thing is, it’s difficult to know whether you’ve picked a profitable niche as a new freelance writer until you’ve started accepting work and writing within it.
When you’re a new freelance writer, it’s all about trial and error. You figure out what’s working for you in the general business sense very early on, and you have to adapt and move forward accordingly, otherwise, you’ll struggle to grow financially.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a niche, but you can get a good idea of what types of industries are the most profitable just by poking around on Google, as well as joining Facebook groups which encourage interaction between freelance writers.
If you’re struggling to find high-paying work in a particular niche, and you’ve been trying for several months or even years, then it might be time to become a freelance writing chameleon, shed that skin and try something else.
4. “My writing just isn’t good enough.”
Seriously, my friend?
If you’ve managed to obtain just one client already, then that’s a good sign that your writing is good enough. Keep at it, brother!
It’s true that writers are their own worst critics. I know that I absolutely hate reading back my writing sometimes. I’m very harsh on myself, I think that nothing makes sense, and other people will think: “how is she making a success of freelance writing when she just sucks so much?”
I manage to shake off these negative thoughts most of the time – well, I kind of have to, otherwise, I would never be able to continue doing what I’m doing.
The thing is: if you take the time to learn, develop, and hone your craft, then there’s no reason at all why your writing won’t be good enough to earn you those dollar dollar bills Y’all.As long as you're passionate about your writing, then that passion will shine through your words, and people will be interested to read what you've got to say.Click To Tweet
5. “I’m going to fail miserably.”
Well, yes – you are with that attitude, new freelance writer!
Just remember that failure is subjective. What’s the worst that could happen if you don’t achieve your personal freelance writing goals? Just sit back and think about it for a second. Prepare your mind for if the worst happened.
For most of us, the worst case scenario is not being able to make enough money to pay our bills every month and having to get another job. Sure, needs must, but that’d only be a temporary situation.
If this ever happened to me, as soon as I’d managed to secure a part-time job and eliminate the financial issues from my life, I’d just write as and when for extra cash whilst re-building my business. Then, when I’d reached the point where I was making enough from writing to cover my bills again, I’d simply leave the job that I didn’t care about.
Spoiler: Perseverance is the key to this business.
If there aren’t any companies answering your pitches, keep going. If a client isn’t happy with your work, keep revising the piece until they are. If you can’t find an answer online when it comes to creating and sending invoices, keep looking until you do.
It’s your drive, your ambition, and your motivation to succeed that will make you successful as a new freelance writer. Just keep going, buddy – and you’re going to do great things.
And when you eventually do reach that point where you’re a happy, successful freelance writer, making all of the money, it’s going to feel even more amazing knowing that you worked hard and hustled your little hiney off to get there.
Just make sure that you don’t forget the little people who helped you to get to that point. (Ahem!)
How’re you finding your freelance writing journey, folks? Be sure to let me know in the comments! 🙂