Writing Fears: 13 Scary-Good Tips to Unmask Freelance Success

Evan Jensen

What are your most terrifying freelance writing fears?

You know…the kind that keep you up at night.

The kind that turns your stomach in knots.

The kind that makes you want to tear your face off, scream into a pillow, or run away and never return.

Only you can’t, because you know you’re meant to write.

Freelance writing isn’t for the faint of heart. At every corner there’s an insidious monster…waiting, lurking, whispering, taunting you like a demonic doll with hollow eyes trying to steal your soul.

You can’t do this.
You’re going to fail.
Who do you think you are?
Nobody’s every going to hire you.

When you meet the dream-killers Fear, Self-Doubt, and Rejection face to face in that abandoned warehouse, a dark alley, or a dense forest with seemingly no way out on the road to freelancing, what’s your plan?

Run, hide, surrender, accept your fate and sink into oblivion?

If you’re serious about freelancing, you only have ONE choice. Fight back. Face your writing fears, and keep going, keep pitching…until you find a way. You can do this!

Check out these 13 scary-good tips to unmask your worst writing fears for freelance success.

1. Freelance writing fears: A writer’s doubt-filled path to success

Freelancer writer Heather Ritche was haunted by Fear and Self Doubt…for years. These monsters were holding her back, made her physically sick at times and even contemplate quitting.

Here’s how she out-maneuvered them, along with every excuse in the book.

2. When freelance writing jobs go terribly wrong: Steal my recovery plan

What if you completely bomb a freelancing writing project? You miss a deadline. You ghost a client. Your deliverable fails to meet their expectations…whatever. You can’t let one mistake send you to freelancer hell.

Every writer makes mistakes. And even if something goes terribly wrong, you can still recover. Here’s how:

3. 5 karate-inspired moves to beat fear and doubt for freelancers

John Makohen knows what it’s like to battle demons, hit rock bottom, and question everything. But he used those life experiences to fight back, rise up, and build a successful freelance writing career.

Check out the moves he used to make it happen.

4. Is this irrational fear crippling your freelance writing career?

Ever wake up feeling melancholy? Like your freelance writing career is about to implode. You think you’ve had a premonition something bad is about to happen, like some unseen evil force is following you around.

These are the kinds of writing fears that can strangle success. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

5. Writers work: 3 freelancers reveal how to smash your income goals

Ever felt stuck earning pennies per word? Afraid to raise your rates or drop crappy clients? Tired of working for content mills, but scared you can’t land better paying work?

Freelance writers Neil Pope, Celeste Altus, and Georgie Smith have been down that dark alley littered with fear, self-doubt and rejection. But they decided, enough was enough and found a way to smash their income goals.

6. Writing fears? 4 tips to obliterate freelance-introvert shyness

Are you practically afraid of your own shadow? The kind of freelancer with writing fears about talking to people, pitching, introducing yourself, or sharing your expertise about freelancing?

If you want to make a living writing, you can’t hide in the shadows forever. Follow these four steps to obliterate your freelance fears.

7. Quit your job to freelance? A teacher’s 5 sink-or-swim moves

What if you were so sick of your 9-5, you quit your job? Scary, right? That’s where freelancer Cevia Yellin found herself after a long career as a teacher.

But she decided to just give FEAR a nod and keep going. Here’s how she did it.

8. Ageism in freelancing: 5 wise ways to get more writing jobs

Think you’re too old to start freelancing? Maybe you’ve put it off for work, raising kids, or some other reason. And you keep talking yourself out of it…afraid no one will hire you. Maybe you don’t have any experience, or maybe your clips are from a lifetime ago.

Face it…you’re too old to keep wasting time, right? Here’s what to do.

9. The swift-kick move to triple your income for freelance work

What if you were afraid to fail, backed-into-a-corner, but desperate to move up and earn more? That’s where freelance writer Tara Malone found herself…stuck…frozen…unable to grow her income.

It was a terrifying place to be. And the swift kick she gave her freelance writing business, was even more terrifying…but it worked.

10. How to be a freelance writer: The Mindset Manifesto

You’ve seen the horror movies…In every one there’s a survivor…the person who manages to cheat death at every turn eve in the face of terrifying circumstances.

They’re resilient, resourceful, and hold on to hope at all costs. And that’s what it takes to be a successful freelancer. Here’s how to get your mind right.

11. How to make the terrifying leap to charge higher freelance rates

If you want to get out of the rat-race of working for lower freelance rates and bidding low so you don’t lose a gig, you have to make a mindset shift. Freelance writer Kaitlin Morrison knows how scary it feels to step outside your comfort zone. But when she finally did, some pretty crazy stuff happened.

Ready to take a leap? Here’s how she did it.

12. Solutions for the top 5 worries that terrify new freelance writers

Have you been cowering in the corner afraid to show up, afraid to fail, afraid to put yourself out there? Maybe you’ve been sitting on the sidelines…terrified, worried, and fearful about freelancing.

If you’re tired of playing small, here’s how to stop letting Fear, Self-Doubt and Rejection from running the show.

13. Dealing with rejection: 5 bulletproof strategies for writers

What if fear of rejection is the thing that keeps holding you back? You can’t muster the courage to send a pitch, raise your rates, go after better-paying clients. It feels like you’re standing in quicksand, flailing as you sink to the bottom. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Ready to punch Rejection in the face to move up and earn more? Here’s what freelancer Michael Alvear recommends.

Inaction: The most terrifying choice for freelance writers

Fear, Self-Doubt and Rejection are the regulars that keep freelancers stuck. And then there’s the most terrifying villain of all…Inaction. What’s it gonna be? Are you gonna sit there and do nothing or rise up and face your fears? NOW is always the best time to decide.

What are your most terrifying writing fears? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultra-marathon.

Grow Your Writing Income. FreelanceWritersDen.com

7 Comments

  1. Dr. Nabankita R. Chowdhury

    This blog post is a huge motivator for freelance writers! Thanks Evan for creating and publishing this wonderful blog post!

    Reply
  2. Michael L. Preiss

    Great headline! I love the not-so-veiled references to Halloween and Covid-19.

    Reply
    • Carol Tice

      Got to credit my blog editor Evan Jensen for this one! He’s coming up with great stuff lately. See the punk-rock self-publishing post for another great example!

      Reply
  3. Irene

    Thanks for this post. It tags at my mind as though it was specifically meant for me.
    Personally, what I’m really struggling with is fear of the unknown.
    What if this isn’t really meant for me?
    What if I can’t keep up?
    What if I can’t get clients?
    These are the questions that keep playing in my mind over and over….

    Reply
    • Carol Tice

      They do that, Irene, because you’re not out taking action and finding OUT the answers to those questions. Many writers stay stuck in fear and take no action, rather than learn the answers to those questions.

      I began in songwriting. I got out and started playing smoky clubs at 2 a.m. I found I hated that! And also having to trust that the drummer would show up to my gig instead of say, taking the overnight party bus to Vegas and psychedelic mushrooms instead. (Really happened.)

      I wrote an essay, someone published it, and it was like the light dawned. I found a type of writing I liked better! And I went that direction.

      Until you get out and start experimenting with writing for clients, doing different types of writing, you can’t find out if you would like doing it for a living. You can make the unknown the KNOWN by taking action. The process may lead you in directions you never expected. But the sooner you go for it, the sooner your fantastic journey to who you’re meant to become as a writer can get underway.

      Reply
  4. Kim Christos

    Thank you. You posted what I needed to hear.

    Reply
    • Carol Tice

      Glad this resource-roundup helped you, Kim!

      Reply

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