You know you’ve done it.
We’re all guilty of it.
We’ve all lied to ourselves (and maybe even to others) when it comes to being a freelance writer.
The problem is, we don’t always know that we’re lying, and sometimes these lies end up getting in our way and holding us back in our freelancing career.
The way we think affects the way we feel, which influences how we accomplish our tasks, such as writing. The mindset we bring to freelance writing can make all the difference between success and failure.
Are you guilty of any of these lies?
- I’m not good enough.
- I don’t have enough time to be a freelancer.
- It’s too hard to get started.
- I won’t be successful at freelance writing.
- My friends (parents, loved one, person on the bus) don’t think I’ll be successful, and they’re probably right.
- I don’t have the necessary skills.
- I haven’t written since college.
- I don’t know anything about SEO (Or social media).
- I don’t have the right equipment.
I’m calling B.S. on all of these; let’s break these lies down and kick them to the curb!
Lie #1: I’m Not Good Enough
So, listen- none of us are as good as we could be.
We can all get better, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not good enough right now.
In another year of freelance writing will I have better skills? Yes. And if I stop myself from trying now, I can’t develop those skills.
Telling yourself you’re not good enough not only holds you back, but it’s simply not true.
Lie # 2: I Don’t Have Enough Time to be a Freelancer
Yes, you do have enough time to write and search for work.
You just may be spending that time on other things.
Many people start freelancing when they already have another job. If you also have hobbies, a family, or other responsibilities, it can feel like you don’t have enough time.
Guess what? You need to prioritize.
Shift what you’re spending your time on, and think about how you can be more efficient.
Stop making excuses that there isn’t enough time.
If you’re not making the time, you might not be that motivated to be a freelance writer. That’s okay, but be honest with yourself.
Lie # 3: It’s Too Hard to Get Started
Do you have access to the internet?
And a device that you can create written content on? (Computers are great, but a smart phone could be sufficient too).
Do you have an interest in freelance writing?
Congratulations, you have what you need!
Bonus points if you have a network of people that you can inform about your freelance writing career.
Getting started really doesn’t require much except for some time and energy.
Lie #4: I Won’t be Successful at Freelance Writing
Well, with that attitude you won’t!
But seriously, let’s look at that lie.
Why won’t you be successful? What makes you think that?
Maybe because it’s something new, or it feels like there isn’t a clear, direct path?
To me, that unclear path to success makes it more likely you can be successful.
You can pave your own way and create a path that works for you.
So many people need freelance writers: why can’t you be one of them?
Think for a minute: Have you been successful at other things in your life? I’m guessing you have.
So why can’t you also be successful at this?
Stop lying to yourself and start putting your energy into being a freelance writer.
Lie #5: My friends (parents, loved one, random person on the bus) don’t think I’ll be successful, and they’re probably right.
We already blew up the lie that you were telling yourself, so don’t let your friends and family make you believe that lie again, and don’t let them put that lie in your head in the first place.
Though well-meaning, sometimes people dissuade us from doing something because of their own fear or discomfort with it.
Maybe they’re worried about you not having a steady income; perhaps they don’t understand the idea of working remotely and don’t understand how you could hold yourself accountable for the work.
This is their baggage, not yours.
Kindly thank them for their opinion, and then use it as fuel to prove them wrong.
Lie # 6: I Don’t Have the Necessary Skills
Yes, you probably need to be a decent writer to be a freelance writer. However, there are people who can edit and copyright your work. And, with practice, you can improve.
Don’t let your lack of writing skill hold you back. Take the time to get into a class, find a writing buddy, or do your very best work and hire out to polish it up.
Create some strong samples and develop your skills.
Stop making excuses.
Skills can be developed, so take the time to honestly assess where you are and then make a point to work on your skills.
Lie # 7: I haven’t written since college
Your writing in college may not have been that great anyway.
I don’t know about you, but the topics we had to write about were often boring, the guidelines felt restrictive, and then length was often overwhelming.
Freelance writing isn’t often like that.
Think of the positives of taking that break from writing: You now have more knowledge, experience, and life perspective.
Taking a break from writing may mean that you’re a bit rusty, but it’s often like riding a bike: you can get back into it, but you just need to do it.
Lie #8: I don’t know anything about SEO or social media
You may have noticed that some jobs mention additional skills like knowledge about certain social media platforms or SEO (Search Engine Optimization, if you were wondering. Check out our guide to SEO for freelancers).
Feel like you’re clueless in these areas?
Don’t let this hold you back.
Not only can Google be your friend in this area, but often times what people are really looking for is your ability to create content that people are going to want to read, search for, and share.
You can likely already do that since you know the topic area you’re writing about.
Now, I’m not advocating you lie and say you’re an expert, but do a little reading to give you some starter knowledge in the area and then ask more about what they’re looking for.
Don’t convince yourself you’re not qualified before you even try.
Lie #9: I don’t have the right equipment
No offense, but this isn’t brain surgery.
You really don’t need much to get started.
Don’t have a computer? Your local library likely has one you can use for free, or use your phone if it has a note-taking feature (Try an app like Evernote).
If you have a computer at work, consider asking your boss if you can stay after hours and use it for your writing.
You don’t need anything fancy to be a freelance writer, so stop lying to yourself that you need a bunch of stuff, and simply get started.
Even a notepad and pen are a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Yes, you’ll need a bit more equipment to search for and submit work, but to get started writing, you can always go back to basics.
Time to Ask Yourself…
Are you guilty of any of these lies?
When it comes to being a freelance writer, we need to be able to deal with that negative voice that creeps in.
That negative voice is normal, but we don’t want to let it take over and stop us from even trying.
Stop yourself from repeating these lies and see where your freelance career goes.