Freelance writing, and freelancing in general, has a lot of negative connotations. In fact, Chuck Wendig once wrote an article called “Want to Be a Freelancer? Just Punch Yourself in the Face, Instead.” Yikes!
So why am I writing about the freelance writing life here on A Novel Quest? As readers, we all know Monique is all about positivity!
Because freelancing – though admittedly tough – really is a positive career quest for those willing to make the journey. It can be one of the best decisions a writer can make.
Sometimes as a freelancer, it’s hard to let life love you. You’ll end up feeling like a failure because you didn’t produce enough content that particular week, or you didn’t finish the book you were trying to write in-between your other writing tasks, or because you didn’t earn enough money. A certain personality type – perfectionists – is drawn to this lifestyle: And we’re friggin’ hard on ourselves!
But the thing is, none of those “failures” are actually failures. Not if you keep trying. Because, if you keep trying, you will succeed at all of your goals eventually. You’ll produce a massive amount of content, you’ll write a book, and you’ll earn some sweet coin.
Most of those “failures” are actually just fears.
Writing comes with its own set of fears; however, freelance writing takes all those fears, amplifies them to the max, and then adds a new set of fears of its very own. Not only do you have to face the usual fears that no one will like – or even read! – what you write, you now have to worry about that same writing feeding yourself and your family that month.
Forget those fears. They’re only holding you back!
That’s right: Forget your fears about rejection. Forget your fears about clients. And forget your fears about career instability.
The only real thing you need to fear as a freelance writer is burnout – from trying to do too many amazing things at once!
As an Editor, I’ve had to reject literally hundreds of writers. Rejection is definitely a possibility when you pitch your work. But it’s not something you have to let get you down.
Either you pitch and get rejected or you pitch and get accepted. But if you don’t pitch at all, you’re automatically rejected. So why fear trying? By not pitching, you’re already living your worst fears.
A rejection from a publication doesn’t mean banishment forever. It just means “not now” or “not this piece.” Keep trying. And keep learning.
The Feast or Famine Cycle can be tough at times, but it’s not the end of the world.
The honest truth is: You will always have job security. Clients come and go but the only way you’ll ever lose your job is if you quit. That’s one of the primary benefits of becoming a freelancer!
The only stability you need to worry about is that of your own mind.
Things can never get worse than they are right now. You can’t go backwards. Either things stay the same or things get better.
Freelance writing is like walking — you keep moving forward.
For those who are willing to make the journey, there are few career quests more positive than that of a freelance writer. Take it from one who knows.