How to Fail at Becoming a Freelance Writer

Becoming a freelance writerI’ve talked a lot about lifestyle businesses lately; this concept of styling a business around a life filled with purpose and adventure. Becoming a freelance writer really can make this into a reality.

I know what the alternative is because for the best part of a decade I lived the nine to five grind while trying in vain to crowbar my love of travel and writing into this existence.

It wasn’t working for me though and I wasn’t happy.

So I focused more on becoming a freelance writer instead.

I started simply by aiming to earn more of an income from freelance writing work than I did in my nine to five job.

Within a few months I had worked up enough to live on. Within six months I had replaced my nine to five salary and within eight months I had surpassed it completely.

How did I do this?

A big part of how I did this was by changing my mind-set; through reading, learning and taking a few risks, I completely changed how I thought about money and challenged my limiting beliefs about how it can be earned – and how much I could earn.

Also, I quit my day job.

And you can do the same.

All that talk about this being irresponsible or unrealistic is simply not true.

I know a few of you will be thinking, ‘I can’t just go and quit my job tomorrow and be a full time freelance writer just like that.’

And to a degree, you’d be right.

Because it’s not easy. There’s stuff you have to think about, talk through, plan for and put in place.

It’s not easy at all – in fact, it’s bloody hard work.

But it’s not mysteriously complicated and it’s certainly not ‘impossible’ or a pipe dream that only ‘other people’ do.

It’s just good old-fashioned, nose-to-the-grindstone hard work. And yes, there may be a few obstacles and issues you need to overcome before you have a breakthrough with it.

But you wouldn’t let that stop you from becoming a freelance writer – from doing what you truly want to do – would you?

I’m guessing that you’re no stranger to a bit of hard work anyway. I’m taking it as a given that you’ve had a few knock backs and problems in your life but that you’ve persevered anyway. I’m guessing you’re getting up each morning and working hard in the day job you’re currently in. I’m thinking that on more occasion than one you’ve not wanted to drag yourself out of bed and get your backside into work.

But you did it anyway (mostly). You did what needed to be done. You persevered.

Well that’s all it takes when becoming a freelance writer full time. In fact, that’s all it takes to become or do anything you want. You simply switch the focus of your relentless efforts onto something you actually like doing. Something that creates meaning and purpose in your life and something that makes you happy and suits (and funds) the lifestyle you want to have.

Something that’s worthwhile in the long run and something that’s all yours.

So what’s the very best way to fail at becoming a freelance writer?

Stop focusing your efforts in that area. This will quickly and easily achieve the effect of giving up on your new life before you’ve even given it a chance to begin.

If you’ve kind of got your heart set on becoming a freelance writer though, instead switch your focus completely on it, learn constantly and work at it always.

It’s also good to remember that you cannot fail too.

You can give up, give in and quit focusing on becoming a freelance writer, but you cannot fail if instead you keep going and work on it every day.

Once again; you cannot fail if you never quit at it. To do so would be ‘impossible.’

Want more? Check out these ridiculously useful resources for writers.

If you want to learn more about becoming a freelance writer or about how to build a lifestyle business that you can operate from anyway (either at home in your pajamas or from an exotic beach) join us and click here now.


  • Geek Girl

    Reply Reply May 8, 2013

    I agree that mindset is half the battle.

  • Jeri

    Reply Reply May 8, 2013

    At times I wonder if I ever would have taken the freelance plunge if my husband’s health insurance through this job did not cover me. But why spend time wondering about what already is? I’m so happy I’m not tied to a workaday world schedule anymore.

  • Susan Cooper

    Reply Reply May 8, 2013

    You post so resonated with me. I have been struggling with what I should do with my work. I have been encouraged my many to take my art and creative skills to a new level. I think you right about a mind set change. We get stuck sometimes in our own erroneous belief and it take reading something like this to consider what I need to do. 🙂

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply May 9, 2013

      I’m so glad this resonated with you Susan.

  • Mary Slagel

    Reply Reply May 8, 2013

    I’m pretty sure I’m one of those people you are directing this post at. I would love to freelance but I also like the job security. But really, in this economy, what job is ever secure?

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply May 9, 2013

      Exactly Mary. I’m working on book about this very subject at the moment…

  • Jon Jefferson

    Reply Reply May 8, 2013

    Hard work is that key ingredient that scares off most people from following their dreams in life. Usually it is when things get tough that most people throw in the towel and think it wasn’t meant to be.

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply May 9, 2013

      Exactly Jon – and that’s precisely when they should keep going and work harder usually.

  • Amanda @

    Reply Reply May 8, 2013

    I’m with you Kirsty! I think this applies to everything. If you’re not ready to commit, you’re not going to make it very far!

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply May 9, 2013

      Great, thanks Amanda!

  • Johnny Bravo

    Reply Reply May 9, 2013

    It would be fun for me to be free like you are. But to be honest, I love my job. As a sales person I love what I sell and the people I work with. Don’t get me wrong, they drive me crazy sometimes, but I imagine that is no different with you.

    Love your perspective though. If anything were to change for what I’d consider the worse, this definitely would be my next course of action. Maybe I can do both?….

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply May 9, 2013

      There are people doing both and they love their lifestyle. It’s great that you love your job Johnny. I honestly believe that the self-employed life isn’t for everyone – it takes all sorts after all – I just know that being a self-employed writer is definitely for me 🙂

  • Debra Yearwood

    Reply Reply May 9, 2013

    I really like your point about focusing on what you want. Most things in life worth achieving don’t come easy, so why would a great and rewarding lifestyle and career be any different? If you don’t, as you said, put your nose to the grindstone and work hard, then why would you end up with what you want?

    If for some reason the perfect life fell into your lap without focus and effort, you probably wouldn’t enjoy it, in fact, you probably wouldn’t notice.

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply May 9, 2013

      Exactly Debra – couldn’t agree more with you on that. Great point.

  • Barbara Hockley

    Reply Reply May 9, 2013

    Inspiring stuff! I’m stepping onto that path, although I already work for myself so I can ease from one job to another in my own office (at least that’s the theory). Agree – you need to be relentless and I’m hoping I will be! Will take a look at your other topics – especially as you’ve clearly made the change – that’s what I want to read! Thanks

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply May 9, 2013

      Glad to be of assistance Barbara! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Elizabeth Scott

    Reply Reply May 10, 2013

    I believe that the wrong mind set can make anyone fail. I find that it is easier for me to stay focused when I have an inspiration partner that I check in with. She is a wonderful partner that helps by bouncing ideas, making sure I am staying on task, and ultimately is my cheer leader.

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply May 10, 2013

      Great point Elizabeth and something I didn’t bring up in this post so thanks for adding it. A great team or partner can really make all the difference. Thanks for sharing.

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