You’ve finally decided freelance writing is what you want to do.
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!
Over to you – what do you do to remain positive as a new freelance writer?