2 min read

30 Reasons You’re Failing at Becoming a Freelance Writer

Are any of these stopping you from becoming a freelance writer online? Be honest.
Person pouring coffee into mug with 'ugh' text
  1. You haven’t started a blog on your writer's website because you think nobody will want to read it.
  2. You have no social media presence as you think building a healthy following will take forever.
  3. You don’t tell people you’re a writer; instead you tell them about the day job you hate.
  4. You haven’t pitched to guest blog on any popular blogs because you think they’re out of your league.
  5. You haven't pitched to clients yet as you think they won’t respond to your emails or will just outright reject you.
  6. You listen to everyone when they tell you that becoming a freelance writer as your full-time job is difficult/risky/just a pipe dream (delete where applicable).
  7. You can’t discipline yourself to work due to years of being conditioned to respond to being told what to do and when to do it.
  8. You think managing your own invoices, taxes and expenses is beyond a mind as creative as your own. (Ouch!)
  9. You think when you should be doing. And vice versa of course.
  10. You live beyond your means: you buy more things you don’t need (nor truly want), keeping you trapped in a financial situation you assume you need a salaried job to pay for.
  11. You compare yourself to everyone else.
  12. You don’t take the time to read up on your new profession, to study your craft and strive to be better.
  13. You don’t read very much at all.
  14. You don’t write every day.
  15. You see writing as a chore now.
  16. Deep down you don’t really want to realise this dream of becoming a freelance writer, you just want a way out of your current situation.
  17. You’re not prepared to sacrifice a little to achieve a lot.
  18. You don’t charge enough for your writing because you don’t take yourself seriously as a writer yet.
  19. You don’t write down your goals – whether that’s daily to-do lists or bigger, grander plans.
  20. You don’t make your own rules as you’re so used to somebody else making them for you. As a result, you never consider there could be a different, perhaps unorthodox, way to succeed.
  21. You don’t have supportive friends and family. (Although not essential, this one always helps.)
  22. You have no idea that becoming a freelance writer will take a lot of time and a good dose of effort, and you’re too impatient to keep working so hard when you can’t see what’s around the next corner.
  23. You have little faith in yourself – either personally, professionally or both.
  24. You refuse to step outside your comfort zone, no matter what the reward might be if you do.
  25. When you read about somebody else successfully becoming a freelance writer you assume it’s because they had special help/amazing confidence/skills you don’t have.
  26. You’re not nurturing contacts – a tribe – to support you and cheer you on.
  27. You haven’t got an email list of potential readers and/or clients.
  28. You don’t look for other possible revenue streams to help you out while you’re building your new career.
  29. If you’re honest, becoming a freelance writer actually scares you; you secretly can’t live without the security of a steady, salaried job.
  30. You think you have to live your life like everyone else expects you to, instead of how you want to live it.

OK, some of that might have been more about me than it was about you.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao.