The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Overcoming Self-Doubt
Ordinary working stiffs have many things that freelance writers do not, but the most prominent asset that regular Joes take for granted is the support systems in their offices. If a 9-to-5’er has a bad day or if he or she is under the gun, there are co-workers and superiors to help them move past their problems and keep a positive attitude. The same is not true for freelance writers. When you work by yourself and for yourself, it’s very easy to let mental issues get in the way of your work. Even if you’re the best content writer in the world, you’re liable to go crazy without a reassuring voice to keep you sane.
Consider this your best friend when you fall into a rut and find yourself questioning your own ability. Take a deep breath, take a different approach, and take charge of the situation.
– You Have Too Much Work: Congratulations! You’re in high demand because you’re a great writer and all of your clients know it. Consider it a tribute to your ability and professionalism. Now quit complaining about your good fortune and get back to work!
– You Have Too Little Work: Go party!!! Sometimes the universe has a way of telling us we need to take a break. Take the hint and do something besides sitting in front of the computer and waiting for work to arrive. It’ll get there when you’re ready, and not a moment sooner.
– Your Work Got Returned for Revisions: It’s natural to feel horrible when your work needs to be revised. After all, it’s a form of rejection. But it may not be your fault. Be brave enough to open that email and see what happened. Odds are good that it wasn’t entirely your fault; even if it was, it’s probably not as bad as you think. And you’ll feel a million times better when you finally get your piece approved.
– You Got Fired by a Client: Good riddance! Now you have more time to spend on the clients that actually appreciate your ability. Be sure to end things on a positive note, though, as you never know what the future will hold.
– You’re Suffering from Writer’s Block: We’ve all been there before, and it’s awful. It also doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. Put the job to the side and work on something else. Anything else. Even a simple email to a friend can be enough of a break to get your creative juices going again.
– You Can’t Get Any Peace and Quiet: Spinning your wheels in an untenable environment will just make you crazy. It can also make you wonder whether or not your lifestyle is amenable to freelancing. Don’t go into life crisis mode just yet. Instead, wait until you can get some quiet time to pick up your work, and use your limited time window to your advantage. With a deadline looming, you have no choice but to simply bang out your best work.
– You’re on a Cold Streak: Sometimes you write and write and nothing works out. But what you don’t realize is, the very fact that you recognize that your work is subpar means you’re a great writer. Most people get discouraged and assume they’re no good. Don’t be one of those people – just keep plugging away and things will turn around. Promise!
It’s so easy to feel alone when you’re a freelancer. And it’s true – in many ways, you are alone. That’s why it’s extra important that you don’t turn on yourself. You need to have a great attitude about yourself in order to succeed, so don’t let these little things get in the way of your appreciation of yourself and your talents. Remember, only you control whether you succeed or fail as a freelance writer. Don’t prevent yourself from achieving the things you deserve.
Bryan B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.