Have you been thinking about becoming a freelance writer, but something is holding you back?
Have you already started, but are lacking clients and regular bank deposits?
Are you marketing yourself, but only spasmodically?What is holding you back from being a freelance writer?Click To Tweet
I want you to think about it carefully and be brutally honest with yourself. Are you simply making excuses and procrastinating? Or is there more to it?
I will tell you the number one thing that was holding me back.
I kept telling myself that I didn’t have the time, I was too tired, I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t have the experience necessary to be a freelance writer. But I can tell you all now, and myself, that these were just excuses to stop myself from putting my work out there.
It was fear that stopped me from writing and seeking out clients.
Once I overcame that fear, once I put my foot down and stopped procrastinating, my freelance writing business really started moving forward. I landed some big gigs; repeat clients and I was even asked to guest post for another freelance writer!
The secret to launching your freelance writing career……..overcoming your fear!
JUST DO IT
It is time to stop making excuses and simply put yourself and your work out there.
Yes it is scary, daunting and overwhelming.
But the only way you will truly fail is by not trying in the first place.
Set yourself a goal, such as 3 cold pitches in a week. This is a relatively small and achievable goal. You can do it. Then the following week you can set yourself the goal of 4 cold pitches. Gradually increase until you are sending as many as you think is possible.
You will soon find that you will have people responding to your pitches and your business will be growing. Stop telling yourself you do not have the knowledge and skills necessary to be a freelance writer.
Stop studying, reading blog posts, buying books about writing and taking course after course.
There comes a point where you need to just dive in and start pitching, writing and marketing yourself.
One of the best things about freelance writing is how much you learn as you go. Naturally you need some skills and knowledge around writing, however the only way to become an expert is by doing!
So just do it.
There are several blogs that I follow about freelance writing that contain great advice, tools, tips and stories. They provide sound advice to help overcome barriers and great starting points for your freelance writing business.
If you find you are being overwhelmed and fear is holding you back then have a look at different freelance writing blogs. Find a few that resonate with you and follow their advice.
It can help to have someone provide a framework and starting point for you to launch your business.
Download your FREE list of great websites for freelance writers to get you started!
This is a difficult concept. It is not like we have an in built switch that will turn off our worry and emotions.
Worry can lead to fear, that can hold you back from achieving your dreams.
Do you find you worry about pitching?
That you are constantly second guessing yourself, what you have written, who you have pitched too, that you are not good enough, and etcetera?Acknowledge those worries and fears, and then try to put them to rest.Click To Tweet
Every action you take, every piece of writing you produce and send out there, every email written, moves you forward.
You will learn from each and every action you take. What worked, what didn’t, how you prefer to write and who for. So do not let your worry and fear stop you, try to remember that it is all a learning curve and practice makes perfect.
A lack of confidence is usually the main cause of fear.
So how do you build your confidence in your writing and freelance business when you are brand spanking new to it all?
I found several different ways to help build my confidence, and now that I am writing more and being paid consistently for my work my confidence is here to stay!
One particularly helpful way I found to build my confidence was to have friends and family read my work before I shared it. Particularly my husband, who is great at constructive criticism and brutal honesty, and my mum who is a teacher so is very helpful with grammar, spelling and editing.
There are many writing groups, online and in person, who can also offer constructive criticism. The groups can have specialized topics, or niches, and tend to be based around longer works like fictional novels.
I personally have not hired a “beta reader” before, however I have heard and spoken to many people who have. A beta reader reads through your work and provides criticism and reviews.
The number one way I found to build my confidence was to be hired for writing projects.
And the only way for this to happen is to put yourself out there! Once the work starts rolling in, your confidence will be boosted which in turn will help you write better and pitch more often.
STOP HOLDING YOURSELF BACK!
Your fear of making mistakes, being embarrassed, and criticism is natural.
But I am here to tell you that despite all of that, you can do it. Do not let these fears around writing and starting your own freelance business hold you back from being a success.
Not every job interview you attend leads to gainful employment, just like not every pitch you send out leads to a publication. However, with each job interview you learn something about yourself.
You will improve each and every time until you are an expert.
So don’t live with regrets, don’t reach the end of your life and be disappointed that you let a little fear hold you back from striving to achieve your dream of being a freelance writer. Just do it.
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Rachel specialises in writing for small businesses in the health, fitness, pregnancy and parenthood industries. She is a mum to 2 beautiful (and highly energetic) children and a registered nurse. She advocates for all women and mums and is passionate about building community and solid networks.