11 Ways to Stay Positive As a New Freelance Writer

You’ve finally decided freelance writing is what you want to do.

11 Ways to Stay Positive As a New Freelance Writer

No more working at your 9-5 job that has no relation to your skills and expertise. No. You want to write.

You want to make a living writing, but something is holding you back. You’re wondering if this is really REAL and if it’s really WORTH it.

And those feelings suddenly make you less confident of becoming a freelance writer.

Want to know something? I have been in your shoes more times than I can count.

Staying Positive As a Freelance Writer

 

I’ve had a writer say my writing is the equivalent to junk food – writing that doesn’t sustain you.

I’ve had a client rip my writing apart and ask for a complete re-write.

And I’ve felt I turned in my best work, only to have a client say nothing and just give me another project.

This all happened in my first year as a freelance writer – but I never gave up.

You might be in a different position.

Maybe you haven’t landed your first freelance writing job yet. Maybe you are at the pitching stage, and you are losing hope.

I’ve been there also, and I know if you stick at it just a bit longer, you’ll succeed. Here are 11 ways you can remain positive in your first year as a freelance writer!

1. Believe in Yourself

This might be hard if your freelance writing niche is something you have no experience with it. This is what I did.

I first thought my niches were parenting and health – two topics I know a lot about. But, as I researched more about freelance writing, I learned I loved marketing. I was very new to marketing when I first started, but I declared that as my freelance writing niche.

I believed in myself. I believed I could easily find more about the topic on Google or YouTube.

If a client gave me a difficult topic, I had the confidence in saying that I was not the right writer for them.

One thing you need to remember as a freelance writer is that clients see you as the expert. You are the expert finance writer, or you are the expert tech writer.

You are the expert in online writing, copywriting techniques, up-to-date industry knowledge and more. But, what if you are a brand new freelance writer? What if you don’t know all of that?

That’s okay. You are a great writer and researcher (all writers are readers and researchers).

Have the confidence to say you are the expert writer!

2. Be Honest With Yourself

Are you cut out to be a freelance writer?

It’s hard when you doubt your ability to pitch or even write. Doubt plagues you every day!

To help you overcome your doubt, you need to be honest with yourself and ask these questions:

  • Is writing enjoyable enough that I can write about the same topics as my full-time job (or side hustle)?
  • Am I able to deliver the right type of content to my new clients?
  • Can I work alone?
  • How will I handle rejection from a freelance writing job?
  • How will I handle tough or difficult clients?
  • Can I handle all the business side like accounting and invoicing?
  • Will my creativity wane if writing is my job and not just for fun anymore?

As a freelance writer, you’ll be in charge of a lot of tasks and wear many hats for sure. Make sure you understand your role as a solopreneur and what that entails.

3. Practice Writing

You need to practice writing every day as a way to improve your writing quality and skill. It’s not enough to write tweets every day; you need to write blog posts, guest posts, emails and samples!

Doing this one task every day will quickly improve your writing skill.

I own and manage several blogs, and I try to write a blog post daily, but it’s not that consistent. So, try to do what you can with your busy schedule!

4. Write Out Your Goals

 

Having goals as a freelance writer is important to help you succeed to the next level. When you write your goals, you give them a voice, and they suddenly become real.

Make sure to read your goals daily to give you motivation.

My initial goal when I started freelance writing was to land at least one freelance writing job within four months. I felt this goal was highly obtainable and easy. I didn’t want to make my goal too big or not relevant for me at that time (like making $5,000 from freelance writing by the winter).

So, if you find yourself down in the dumps about freelance writing, go back to your goals and focus on them! From there you can create a plan around your goals!

5. Have a Mantra

One thing I did when I first started out was to have a mantra to help me boost my confidence as a freelance writer. For me, a mantra is a positive saying about YOU that helps you identify your strengths.

So, my mantra when I first started was – no one can write like me.

I had to prove to myself that MY WRITING was worth it and I did that by telling myself exactly that!!!

To help you, here are some mantras that you can adopt when you aren’t feeling that confident about freelance writing.

  • All businesses need blogs, and all blogs need writers
  • Clients value my writing
  • My writing makes my client’s job easier

6. There Are Other Freelance Writers To Help You

You’re not the only one doing this as a side hustle or as a full-time gig. There are other freelance writers in the same position as you. By connecting with them, you form a tribe and a support network to help you when times are slow, or you need a pep talk.

To find your tribe of writers you can look to Pinterest or Facebook groups too!

 

7. Create a Rant Group

On another vein, you can round up other freelance writers and have a rant group. Use this group to blow off steam or talk ill about your current gig or anything that is making you frustrated.

I have a freelance writer friend IRL that I meet up a few times a year. We go to Starbucks and dish out our latest gripes or successes or just gossip about life!

It’s a great time to connect and talk to someone that is doing the same thing as me.

8. Find a Freelance Writer Buddy

If being in a Facebook group is too intimidating or overwhelming, why not seek out another new freelance writer? You can contact them via email or on social media.

When I first started out, I contacted several new freelance writers and asked them various questions. You can lean on this buddy, have them review and critique your writing and if you’re lucky, get gigs off of them!

9. Change Your Mindset

For many of you, the primary emotion you’re probably feeling is fear. Fear of failing or fear of putting yourself out there for nothing.

Instead of being stopped by fear, try walking into fear. Allow yourself to have that fear and then walk past it. It may seem uncomfortable in the beginning, but over time, it becomes second nature.

Treat every rejection as a blessing. Obviously, THOSE clients weren’t compatible, and because they rejected me, they opened the doors to better clients.

When you change your mindset, you become more successful!

10. Challenge Yourself

If you have a hard time changing your mindset, why not challenge yourself instead?

Give yourself a deadline for projects and tasks as a freelance writer. For example, give yourself two weeks to pitch 10x a day. Or give yourself by the end of the day to write a sample blog post.

By setting a firm deadline, you’ll be more productive and willing to take action!

11. Know that You’re Worth It

Knowing that you want to write for a living means you enjoy writing, others have told you that your writing is good and it comes easy to you.

If you find that writing is a challenge, that you don’t have a firm grasp of the English language or the thought of writing a 5,000 word article is daunting, then maybe freelance writing isn’t for you.

I’ve always loved and enjoyed writing. In high school, I wrote poetry and short stories. In college, I loved researching for my term papers and essays. Naturally, freelance writing sounded like a great gig to me!

So know that you’re worth it as a writer!

If All Else Fails

 

Well, if after doing all these things to stay positive doesn’t work, then fake it until you make it!

I did this, and it proved well. If a job ad asks for three years of freelance writing, I made sure that I mentioned that I do have three years….of writing 🙂 I’m not lying!

Okay!

Over to you – what do you do to remain positive as a new freelance writer?

Click the Image Below and Land Your First Freelance Writing Client as a New Writer

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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44 Comments

I applaud the ‘last gasp’ sage piece of advice with the (unofficial) Number 12 item on your list – If all else fails, fake it until you make it. This provides for a truly proven road [witness!] that will result in valuable experiences, at the very least.Reply to Miles
What a great point you made about fear and changing your mindset as a way to stay positive! Instead of seeing fear as a roadblock in your path, it very well could be a stepping stone to a better one! Thank you for the great advice!Reply to Beatrice
Hi Beatrice, You’re welcome! So happy you are channeling your fear into something more constructive. It’s hard for sure but what I said is right, you have to change your mindset and see the good out of all of the negativity!Reply to Elna
This article is just what I need now as a new and struggling freelance writer. Thanks so much for the great advice.Reply to Chinyere
Hey Chinyere, Hang in there! I see your posts in the Writeto1k Facebook group and you got this! Keep at it and be positive!Reply to Elna
Thanks for your reply. I really hope things get better for me though.Reply to Chinyere
Thanks dear for your inspiration. Hope to continue learning more from your blogs.Reply to JOSEPHINE
Elna, you really are a treasure with your support and CTA posts. I am tearing apart between my little son and finance job. Also my manager is quite a toxic person, so this made me look for new opportunities. Then one evening, quietly lying in my bed before falling asleep and trying to listen to my soul, I remembered how much I had always liked English (not my native), writing and typing:) And, like many, I got excited about the perspectives, but also started to doubt. Can writing bring enough money and am I professional enough? And then I really was blessed with finding you, who is so honest with us, loving mama, kind person and an inspiring teacher! You give a hope to escape from the system and raise from our knees. You opened the door to the world where I can try to give my kid more love and attention and share good vibes with other women. We feel your care and admire you. And in return, you know, I want to succeed in writing against all fears and doubts 🙂 Thank you for telling us the journey will not be easy, but it will worth it.Reply to Kristina
Hi Kristina, Wow! What a heartfelt comment I just read! Thank you so much. I’m humbled by all of this. When I first started this I was alone. I just sat at the computer and absorbed as much as I could about freelance writing. Yes, my husband was a huge supporter and helped a bit, but I had to learn all about social media and WordPress and blogging. It was all new to me. I’m glad I learned this world that way. I made a lot of mistakes but I feel having that perspective can help other writers not make the same mistakes I made! Thanks for sharing your story with me!Reply to Elna
Thank you so much Elna! I’m new to freelance writing and I’ve been feeling all that doubt and fear. This post is exactly what I needed. It came at the right time.Reply to Naomi
Hi Naomi, You’re welcome! Glad you found some ways to stay positive during the freelance writing roller coaster!Reply to Elna
I’m new to freelancing, I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks and doubting myself to the point I thought about giving up. But, this post was a sign or the blessing I needed to know that it’ll all be worth it and I’m worth it. Now, I’m going to go find a freelancing buddyReply to Quin
Hi Quin! Yasss! You are worth it! So happy you found this post and read it and it helped you! I love hearing this. Have the confidence and get out there!Reply to Elna
The best advice in this blog is “If a job ad asks for three years of freelance writing, I made sure that I mentioned that I do have three years….of writing ? I’m not lying!” I come up against so many ads that ask for multiple years of writing. While I’ve been writing for 5 years (just not freelance writing), this is a great response, Elna.Reply to Keith
Hey Keith, Thanks for agreeing with that notion! Yes, you DO have experience as a writer and it shouldn’t stop you from at least pitching to that job ad.Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and it has truly been an amazing guide for me as I’m starting up my own freelance writing business. I have my own website and blog, and I’ve been sending out cold pitches like nobody’s business. The only thing missing is a client! I am just very lost in what my next step is. Am I not looking for clients in the right places?Reply to Lissa
Hi Lissa! Thank you so much! So happy to hear you are taking action to becoming a freelance writer! As for the next step, have you considered enrolling in Writeto1k? It’s my proven blueprint to land clients and make a living out of this! 🙂Reply to Elna
I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993 and can tell you that the biggest factor thst has contributed to my success has been to belong to several professional writers’ associations. I’ve rec’d some amazing leads and help from my fellow members. Another bit of advice I have is to try and establish yourself as an expert in a certain field. That, too, has been a strategy that has enabled me to set myself apart from the rest.Reply to Doreen
Hi Doreen! That’s great to hear. A lot of new freelance writers or new online writers get stuck in low-paying gigs and lose motivation. Staying positive as a writer is a challenge since you are doing it alone. But, I like your idea of being a part of a group or writing association! Good tip!Reply to Elna
Thank you for such a positive post. As a new full-time writer, I am filled with doubts as I search for my first client. These tips are very helpful. Thank you!Reply to Deana
Hi Deana! I’m so glad this post resonated with you! Having positive thoughts while being a new freelance writer is hard and challenging! I hope these little positive ways can help you stay motived to keep going!Reply to Elna
You are someone I have been looking for, to reinforce my feelings about freelance writing. The information you gave, challenged me to move on out there and do the job I feel I am capable of doing. In all my writings, I haven’t had confidence in my grammar skills. I have let this hold me back, but I have worked daily to improve my attitude and ability to master or not be afraid to ask for help. Your blog covers so much of what I need, to put on my positive page. When I speak or counsel someone, I always say, “Don’t let anything or anyone on your positive page.”Reply to Betty
Hey Betty! That’s great to hear that you’re working through you confidence. It is a journey and will take time. But, the more you write for yourself and show yourself as a legit freelance writer, the more confidence you’ll gain! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I am a new diver coming from the land of nowhere willing to shift this kind of new discovery learning. Your blog post seems to be my physiologic needs on how to be a great freelance writer someday (maybe tomorrow). Maybe one of my basic foundation to write as this is MY BASIC which is the passion of writing. I write a lot since middle school and want to published my ever dreamed book but it fails. So I try to get up, fix my self and ready for the next battle of my life. Thanks for this kind of purposeful post. Let’s make a shot that will lead to history. cheers!!!Reply to Mar
Hi Mar! I’m glad this positivity post helped you become a confident freelance writer!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Your article is packed with great value that will positively impact your blog readership. There many takeaways here, but I only want to comment on the “Parctice Writing.” This is in fact, the most important for me, which is why I singled it out. Let look at it this way, if your writing sucks, no some will hire you, and that’s a fact. My friend Ryan Biddulph always emphasize this point in his articles, and when you visit his blog you’ll see that he is posting 2~ 3 of posts everyday. The point here’s not for you to post 3 articles per day, but to set attainable writing goals by at least writing 500 ~ 1000 words everyday, and if that’s a challenge for you then challenge yourself to do it. However, do not over stress yourself. Make sure to maintain a writing frequency. This, as you mentioned will dramatically improve your writing and help you land writing gigs.Reply to Moss
Hi Elna! Your site always leaves me with a few good gems. Really enjoyed this! I’ve decided to take the plunge and freelance full-time. As always, thanks for providing such quality content.Reply to Ty
Hey Ty! That’s great to know! So happy you want to become a freelance writer 🙂 Enjoy learning about freelance writing and you can email me if you need more help!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Thanks for the super useful tips. It’s a great reminder to always believe in yourself because seriously, if you don’t, who will? I love the bit about developing self-affirming mantras to remind myself of everyday. Mine has become “I have a lot of wisdom and love to offer the world and the universe is ready and waiting for me to crank it out!”Reply to Katey
Hey Katey, You go girl! Great mantra!!! Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
This is an awesome blog post. I have almost given up on freelance writing. It sounds sad? I had put in a lot of effort in this thing – I mean a lot . Shock on me! My up work account was closed when I just landed on my first gig. I don’t really know how to pick myself up. That rejection really hit me hard. Ouch!Reply to Rachel
Hey Rachel, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Upwork is not the best place to market your freelance writing. So, in a way, be grateful that the Universe gave you a strong message 🙂Reply to Elna
Regarding #7, thanks for indirectly mentioning me. 😉 May I make a suggestion? Link to that post on Francesca’s blog about HOW TO DIVERSIFY YOURSELF AS A FREELANCER. I actually earn way more from doing that!Reply to Lorraine
Hey Lorraine, Thanks chica! Love hanging out with you and gossiping and talking biz!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Your site is a great place to get motivation to start writing even for those of us who haven’t written much outside personal exams and projects. I am also getting a lot of practical advice in my ambition to do freelance writing from your blog. For staying positive in the world full of opportunities to get negative is not easy. Here are my keys 1. I keep off from people who have negative thoughts or are very skeptical new things and in this case about writing and getting income online. 3. I visualize what happens if I succeed in my online writing… can you imagine. 4. I do self-appraisal in areas that I really have to improve like consistency in writing. I award myself points and when I hit multiples of thousands I buy candy or have lunch at a special place, all in the name of celebrating a mile stone.Reply to Daniel
Hi Daniel, Great suggestions for staying positive as a writer! It can be a challenge since your writing is an extension of you as a person. I really had to disengaged myself from my writing when I wrote for freelance writing clients. Of course I had personality and story-telling elements in my writing, but I didn’t place emotion towards my writing. So if my client didn’t like my writing it was just that and not because they didn’t like me as a person!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, How do I know I have a firm grasp of the English language? I know I should be proficient in using grammar, vocabulary, etc – In fact, I’ve been into a project with a client to teach English to the second language speaker… I guess sentences that are easily understood are not enough. So, I believe there ought to be other measurements of one’s English understanding, right? Another thing is that most clients seek native English speaker. How can I sound like native even if English is not my first language? Thank you very much!Reply to Shierly
Hey Shierly, You seem to grasp English well. I think if you have guest posts and a blog to showcase your writing, prospects can easily tell if you are a proficient writer!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna ur post couldn’t have come at a better time. My article just got rejected yesterday & I kept doubting my self and wondering if I’m cut out to be a writer and if this was a fantasy dream about to fail. Thank you for this post! God sent. Now to answer your question…since yesterday was my first rejection, the one thing I did besides feeling sad was that I googled “How to deal with rejection” and that’s pretty much what I do, I research other freelance writers journeys , failure, rejection & success stories. And unexpected emails as these reminds me I’m not going through these alone 🙂 that’s how I stay positive.Reply to Emma
Hi Emma! That’s great to hear..not the rejection part but the pick me up part! I also read other people’s stories to help ground me and realize I’m not doing this alone!Reply to Elna
My freelance fears are holding me back — big time. Thank you so much for these tips, Elna. You’re the best.Reply to Tara
Hi Tara! You can do this!!!! Trust yourself as a freelance writer!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, wonderful blog post. The “if all fails” conclusion really caught my attention. I’ve just began freelance writing a couple of months ago and I notice most clients want a few years of experience as mentioned. Well, I’ve been writing stories and poetry almost my entire life and never considered to include that as “professional experience”, but, if you said it worked for you then I might just include it in my next pitch.Reply to Jonathan
Hey Jonathan, Whatever way you can spin a story eh? Prospects see us as the expert WRITERS 🙂Reply to Elna