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What’s holding you back as a freelance writer (and how to stop it)

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You want to be a freelance writer, but there’s something holding you back. It’s one thing, and here’s how you can stop it.

What exactly is that one thing holding you back as a freelance writer? Think carefully about your own life. Is it your skill, or your experience? Maybe it’s a lack of time to actually get out there and market.

The truth is it’s none of them.

The number one thing holding you back as a freelance writer is fear.

That is what’s telling you that you can’t write. That’s what is telling you right now that you don’t have the time to get out there to market to clients. It’s got nothing to do with the perceived problems. It’s the fear. And it’s time to stop letting it hold you back!

But how do you stop the fear? Here are three effective—yes, really—tips to get rid of the fear.

Just do it!

Ask Nike says, “just do it!” It’s time to get yourself out there and forget about the fear holding you back. Don’t give yourself the reasons to not go for that job or to not contact that client.

It’s time to take a deep breath and put yourself out there. You’ll soon find that you will have people contacting you about freelance writing projects. They’ll want you to become their writer for hire.

Yes, there are good reasons to say no to writing projects. And I’m certainly not telling you to ignore those reasons. But when you have other reasons that don’t match up to the reasons to say no, you need to jump in with both feet.

Build your confidence as a freelance writer

Fear is often there due to a lack of confidence. The number one problem is a lack of confidence in your writing skills, especially if you’re a new freelance writer*.

It’s time to build your confidence. But how exactly do you do that? There are a few ways that you can:

  • Hire someone to beta your work before it goes out. I have a friend who betas all my fiction writing before I share it. It helps to keep continuity in longer pieces that I write. It’s no longer part of building my confidence, but to help with fluency and quality.
  • Read the comments that people are leaving you. Sure, at first you may not get any but you will soon find that they help you continue. However, learn to spot trolls and ignore them!
  • Ask for constructive criticism. There are a lot of writing groups out there that can help. They’ll tell you how to improve your writing, so you become a better freelance writer.

As your confidence builds, the fear will dissipate.

Acknowledge why you’re scared

What are you really afraid of? Is it of failing? That’s the most common reason.

It’s time to acknowledge your fear as a freelance writer and face it. This will give you the chance to remember why you shouldn’t be afraid of “what ifs.” You can also set up plans in case you do find yourself sinking. Putting plans in place will help prevent your fears from coming true.

But you can’t do that if you don’t face your fears, can you?

MORE: 4 things people forget about freelance writers

So, what’s really holding you back as a freelance writer? Chance are it’s fear, and it’s time to stop it in its tracks.

What are you struggling with as a freelance writer? Let me know in the comments so I can help you.