It’s tough being a new freelance writer. You’re trying to figure out the industry and what the job entails while 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 for a living has come as a bit of a shock. Or maybe it’s completely different from what you were expecting but in the very best way.
Does this sound familiar: you have some amazing, successful days where you truly believe in what you’re doing and trust in your talent as a freelance writer? But then you also have those days where you feel like a total fraud, your writing isn’t good enough and OMG how will anybody like your work when you’re not even sure you like it?
If so, don’t sweat it. It’s completely normal to have doubts in this business, which is also known amongst freelancers as imposter syndrome.
That said, it’s important that you don’t let them take over. That’s where I come in.
Here are 5 of the most common doubts every new freelance writer and how to overcome them. And always remember: you’re not alone.
1. “I Have No Idea How to Get Going as a New Freelance Writer – Why Am I So Clueless?”
Dude, can I just say something? You’re not clueless.
Everybody, I mean everybody, feels a bit all-over-the-place in the beginning as a new freelance writer. Nobody knows where to start. And the abundance of information out there on the internet at the moment can be rather 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. Having said that, actually doing it is a different thing entirely.
Pro tip: Before you take the plunge, make sure you have an expert-level of knowledge when it comes to everything freelance writing-related. I’m talking about 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.
Having said that, in my experience, you learn more as you go. For instance, I’ve been freelance writing for seven months at the time of writing this – and I’m still learning and adapting every single day.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is: try not to worry. We’ve all been there. 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 comparisonitis. This can be detrimental to your state of mind as you proceed through murky, new freelance writing waters.
Listen, learning the successes of other successful freelance writers out there on the World Wide Web isn’t supposed to hinder your experience. It’s supposed to help you and inspire you to try harder so that you can be better.
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 try to remember that they’re way ahead of you only because they’ve been doing the job way longer than you.Try not to compare yourself to others too much. I know it can be difficult because, as human beings, we naturally look to other human beings to set a standard for us. Click To Tweet
And don’t forget that 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.
However, 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, then why can’t you? All you need is drive and determination to succeed and you can do anything in life.
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 in that niche.
In the beginning, 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. However, 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 that 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 simply try something else. #JustSaying
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.
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 for a living.
Want to know the way I see it?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
Plus, 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 eventually earn the big bucks.
5. “I’m Going to Fail Miserably.”
Well, yes – you are with that attitude, new freelance writer.
Always 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 I could for extra cash whilst re-building my business. Then when I reached the point where I was making enough money from writing to cover my bills again, I’d simply leave the job that I didn’t care about.
Spoiler alert: perseverance is the key to this business.
If there aren’t any companies answering your pitches, keep going. Is a client unhappy with your work? Keep revising the piece until they’re happy. 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. No matter what you’re faced with, just keep going, pal – and you’re going to do great things.
Overcoming Doubts as a New Freelance Writer
It’s very common to have doubts about just about everything when you’re a new freelance writer, whether it’s your work, niche or being able to meet your business goals.
That said, as with anything life, you have to navigate through choppy waters before you reach calmer currents.
And when you eventually do reach that point where you’re a happy, full-time 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. Right?
Here’s to being a successful freelance writer!
How’re you finding life as a new freelance writer? Let me know in the comments!
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