You’re ready to get your professional life started –or perhaps, to ditch your day job. Wherever you may find yourself right now, one thing’s for sure: you want to make a living of your passion.
So you research how to launch your freelance writer career, how to avoid mistakes, how to create your portfolio, how you should name your business, and where, how, why, when…
You grow impatient. The more you picture all the things you need to do, the more far away your dreams feel.
Perhaps this is too hard for me after all, you might think… And then you succumb once again in the comfort of your everyday life.
Sound a little familiar?
Then hopefully, these tips will help you.
How much do you want it?
Ah, the wonderful freedom of self-employment. Being able to work wherever and whenever I decide. Work with people I actually like, earning what I deserve. What a lovely future. Do you dream something like this, too?
Well, stop it.
Studies show that fantasizing about your future is actually pretty bad for motivation. It creates an illusion that allows you to feel as if you have already succeeded.
This means you’ll spend too much time thinking about doing your dream job rather than how to reach that place.
So you become lazy –and when obstacles arise, you are unprepared.
A better motivation technique is mental contrasting.
Basically, think positively of your future as a freelance writer and then, think of the negative aspects of your current situation: If I worked as a writer from home, I would have more time to be with my kids. With my current job, I never see them anymore.
Contrasting allows you to focus more on the how, and in turn, keeps your expectations more realistic.
Allow yourself to take your time
If you’re anything like me, every day that passes without you actually writing something might get you anxious.
Yet Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it only makes sense to give you some time to build and learn.
Don’t get wrong. I’m not saying you should take forever. But you should definitely take some time to relax and learn everything you can before taking the leap.
Pick a couple of already successful freelance writers that also focus on teaching newbies. You’ll find that most of them offer free courses.
Give yourself a week or so to learn everything you can about getting on the right path. Study other writers: What kind of content do they write? How do they behave on social media? How much do they charge? How is their website structure? Etc.
Maybe you’ll need no a week, but a moth, and that’s okay too. It all depends on your needs and your learning pace.
And be organized. I know. Sounds pretty boring.
But it can also be pretty helpful. Think about it: If you devour all that information at once without any specific order… well, it’s a great way to get overwhelmed.
I picked four freelancer writers and enrolled in three quick courses. Then, I wrote down the most important steps and ideas in an order I would get, one page per course. It’s not even time consuming, because you can write as you read.
Writing down an idea can help you fix it in your memory. And if you do forget, you have something at hand you can always take a quick look at.
Okay, girl, now you’re just contradicting yourself. But hear me out!
When I say you should allow yourself some time to just learn, I meant it.
If you want to learn how to multiply, you have to learn numbers first. But teachers don’t expect kids to count up to 50685845 before teaching them the multiplication table of 2, do they?
You have to learn what’s up with the freelance writing world so you don’t come in empty handed, but you can’t learn everything before getting started.
In every aspect of your life, every day you learn something new. It’s the same for this. Even successful writers are still learning.
So don’t wait to feel like a master writer who can do no wrong before getting started.
You’re bound to make mistakes, just like everyone else. And it’s cool. Mistakes will only make you a better person –and a better professional, as long as you learn from them.
And remember: give yourself credit.
Have confidence! If others have done it, then you definitely can do it too.
Do you have any other tips that can help?
Share with us!
About the Guest Author: Marion Bea is a freelancer writer for hire, an aspiring photographer and a pop culture junkie. When she’s not working, i’ll be hard to get her away from animated and live series.
You can find her on Twitter