7 Inspiring Posts For Fearful Freelance Writers

Carol Tice

Scared freelance writerWhat’s holding you back from pitching editors?

Are you afraid you don’t have enough experience? That your ideas aren’t good enough? Editors won’t like your ideas or your writing?

Even if you get the assignment, do you worry you won’t have the chops to pull it off?

Or maybe there are just too many things you could write about — so you don’t end up pursuing any of them.

Whatever your fear block is, don’t worry — we’ve gathered a compendium of the most popular posts we’ve ever had here at Make a Living Writing on how to move past your freelancing fears:

  1. How to Get Over Your Paralyzing Article Writing Fears: Carol looks at some of the most common writing fears she sees and walks you through how to end their power to stop you.
  2. How to Stop the Psychodramas and Get Your Writing Done: Do you have trouble writing at certain times? These patterns can run deep — but you can change the rules and write when you need to get the work done, not just when you feel ‘inspired.’
  3. How to Avoid Overwhelm and Launch Your Freelance Career: Are you completely boggled by all of the information out there about getting started as a freelance writer? Learn how to cut the clutter, prioritize, and get your freelance writing career going.
  4. Why You Need to Go For Your Freelance Writing Dream Now: Carol looks at one particularly damaging fear in this post: the fear that you will fail and destroy your fantasy of the life you might live as a freelance writer. But that fantasy will not pay your bills, so follow Carol’s advice here for making your career a reality. Time’s a-wasting.
  5. Is This Irrational Fear Crippling Your Freelance Writing Career? When you say you’re afraid of freelancing, are you clear on what you’re afraid might happen? Turns out not a lot of writers are. Carol looks at what writing fears are really all about.
  6. How Writers Can Stop Being Crushed by Fear of Rejection: One man embarked on a quest to get rejected repeatedly. Sound crazy? Find out why it helped him become a success — and how you can stop being afraid of rejection, too.
  7. The Advice I Wish I’d Had as a New Freelance Writer: A glimpse back in time at Carol as a newbie freelance writer and byline junkie. Learn the lessons she wishes she’d known when she started — and read the advice from other readers, too.

 What are your biggest fears about freelancing? Tell us in the comments below.

Jennifer Roland is a freelance writer and the guest-blog editor here at Make a Living Writing. She focuses on edtech, lifestyle topics, marketing and public relations, and content creation. Her latest book, 10 Takes on Writing, will be out in late 2014.



  1. Mridu Khullar Relph

    It could be just me but I think the link to that second post is broken, Jennifer.

    Great list, though. Looking forward to digging into it!

    • Carol Tice

      Dang — you’re right! Fixed now. 😉

  2. Patrick Icasas

    Great compendium post, Jennifer! Number 7 is my hands-down favorite of this list, although the other 6 are also quite inspirational.

    • Carol Tice

      Yeah, everybody loves to see that picture of me as a young wannabe writer-dork, eh?

      The real joke is that baby just re-shared that post for me on Twitter this week…he’s my social media manager now. 🙂

  3. Michelle Baynes Owens, M.Div.

    Kudos for posting the picture!! I too had a pair of THOSE glasses!

    And thank you so much for this post. Confession: my fear is paralyzing. But I am chipping away at each immobilizing glob of mud one day at a time. I can’t wait to become a “success” story on your site. —

  4. Rob S

    Liked the pic on #7! Every six months or so I dust off an old folder that contains copies of my first published articles. Whenever I pick it up and thumb through it, that feeling of amazement comes back to me. Did they really publish that or was I dreaming? Yes, they did. I have the proof. For some reason, seeing my work in a print publication is still more gratifying than seeing it online – even if it’s 15 years old.

    • Carol Tice

      I’ve got that old portfolio, too, Rob. It’s fun — and confidence-building — to look back over those physical clips.

  5. Sharilee Swaity

    Thank you putting together this wonderful roundup post, Jennifer. I am a brand-new freelancer that has been feeling very overwhelmed at all there is too learn in this career. But I do see how my fears really are irrational. I loved the post about how there really is nothing to fear — NOTHING! From the inspiration I had from reading through these posts today, I made my first submission today. I entered a little story into the Chicken Soup series, a place I have wanted to write for years. It took me all of one hour to write the little piece, and then another hour to edit it. And it’s done!

    What has been my biggest fear? I think it’s that no company or editor will ever want me to write for them, and that I will spend years pursuing something that leaves me more broke than when I started, and all those who never believed in me, will be proven right! But if I have really tried, it will have been worth it. Just making that one submission today makes me feel much better!

    • Carol Tice

      Good for you taking action and sending in that essay, Sharilee. I wish essays paid more, but they usually don’t earn much.

      The bulk of the paying gigs are in reported, journalistic nonfiction articles, and in writing for businesses. Keep on learning and exploring where the money is in this field, and you’ll find more opportunities. Trust me, there are clients who need you out there.

      PS — be sure to put the // in your URL next time, so people can click and check out your blog.

  6. Neal Hardy

    It is really scary. Especially if you’re not even sure if you can consistently deliver.

    • Carol Tice

      I’m never sure I can deliver…that’s never going away, Neal. You just learn to take it on and do your best. Mistakes will be made…but we’re human, and it’s OK.

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