As the New Year dawns, are you getting super-serious about living your dream life? Freelance writers, I’m hearing a lot of this lately:
“I’m fed up with earning peanuts… and with being afraid of rejection. Fed up with listening to naysayers who say I can’t make a living as a freelance writer.”
“This is the year I go all-in on freelance writing, and earn a living at it. I’ve got to make it happen!”
Is this you? Or maybe you’re more in this boat:
“The world seems to be falling apart — and so does my personal life. Meanwhile, how can I make a career out of this, despite all the uncertainty? Writing is my dream…”
If you’re serious about claiming the freelance life of your dreams — in the coming year, not someday-maybe — I’ve got help for you.
In my traditional year-end message to my blog readers, I’ve got four big tips that should help you avoid wasted time and achieve your freelance goals.
Scroll down to view the video or take in my ‘show notes’:
4 Tips for freelance writers in 2020:
Not a video fan? Funnily enough, I tend to skim transcripts myself! Not a visual learner, so much.
I think hearing from me is more inspiring and motivating, but just in case you’re not into that, here are my show notes:
Tip 1: Commit to doing less of this
Don’t let the endless tweeting and 24/7 media hysteria derail you. Take time away from social media!
Whether you use apps that block Facebook or take at least 1 whole day per week offline (like I do), make sure you block out quiet time to reflect, get clarity, and pursue your writing. Stay on your own agenda and don’t get sucked down the social drain.
Tip 2: Prepare for the only sure thing
The only constant in the freelance marketplace is change. All freelance client relationships end. Job boards, bidding sites, content mills — they all come and go. And could ban you or give you a crummy ‘rating’ tomorrow.
With the economy looking more wobbly, it’s ever more important that you market independently, find your own direct clients, and stay diversified. That’s your hedge against the chaos of #recession2020.
Tip 3: Know your past, your path, and your guru
I know — this one has three parts, but they’re closely related. The first step is to reflect on where you’ve been, and the freelance habits that got you there. Assess where you are now, then do the following:
- Set goals for the coming year. Not resolutions you’ll forget 2 weeks into the year… instead, define what really matters, and post it where you can see those big-picture goals daily.
- Break down the big goals into weekly actions, and find an accountability buddy to keep you on track.
- Be careful who you take advice from. There’s been an online explosion in recent years of ‘instant’ faux experts with little actual freelance-writing experience or success.
- Read About pages closely, and unsubscribe when you find a self-proclaimed ‘influencer’ who was never very successful, or freelanced for only a short time before proclaiming themselves an expert. Stick with long-time pros who have freelanced through at least one economic downturn — they know how to get you through what’s coming.
Many writers I know are taking in way too much information, much of it from dubious sources. They’re overwhelmed, overloaded, and taking no action.
Simplify in 2020 by finding a leader you trust. Then, follow their advice and avoid shiny objects.
Tip 4: End the self-sabotage
A lot of freelance writers seem to be their own worst enemy.
I mean, take the negative self-talk (please! just stop!).
Or it’s buying into urban legends like ‘nobody makes a living as a freelance writer.’
It’s talking yourself out of sending that pitch letter, because you think you might possibly annoy someone, or imagining that one rejection (or non-response) means the end of your career.
If this is your year to shine, it’s time to kill the negativity and believe in yourself. Your gifts are unique, and they’re needed in the marketplace.
Be bold and start telling the world you’re a writer. When you start believing in your talent, others will, too.
And I’ll kick it off — I believe in you already.
What’s your top career challenge in 2020, freelance writers? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll give you some quick coaching on it.