I’ve been freelancing for so long that maybe I’m a little jaded. About once a week, I’ll receive an email from a wannabe freelance writer in essence saying they’re scared to start; scared to “pull the trigger” as Christine from SelfMadeChick.com says.
My response is, “Scared of what?”
Scared it might not work out? Scared you won’t be able to pay your bills? Scared you’re not talented enough? Scared clients won’t like your work? Scared you might not be able to get clients? Scared you won’t be able to make a real go of it?
My advice, “Get over yourself and get on with it!” Harsh? Maybe.
The Advantage of Poverty (and not, it’s not an oxymoron)
I grew up poor and didn’t have the luxury of fear. My parents taught me and my siblings that education and working hard was the way out. Fear never even entered the equation. I don’t wait for anyone to advise me, guide me, show me or tell me.
If I want to do something, I make up my mind, do the necessary research (the Internet is truly a Godsend) and get on with it to the best of my abilities. And, I’ve failed at plenty – probably more than most have tried. BUT, it’s never stopped me from moving forward.
How to Confront Your Fear of Starting a Freelance Writing Career
The best way to confront your fears of starting a freelance writing career, trying to make a go of blogging – or anything you’re afraid of – is to just do it. No one can hold your hand through the process. You have to have the balls to do it yourself.
Yeah, it takes balls to in essence say, “I’m taking charge of my career; I’m going to be a freelance writer.”
You can read all the books in the world, research your niche until your eyeballs pop out, and consult with experts until your bank account is dry – but if you’re not willing to get started, it’s all for nothing.
That being said, following are three things you can do to get over the “I’m afraid to make the initial leap” jitters. These are all things any half-educated shrink will tell you, but just in case you haven’t heard it before, here you go:
1. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of: You have to know what your fear is to deal with it. Write it down; don’t just say it to yourself. Writing it down will help you with the next step, which is . . .
2. What’s the worst that can happen: If your fear came true, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Usually, it’s not as bad as you think. And, if for some reason all your fears materialize, do the following . . .
3. Plan of Attack: If the worst comes true, come up with a plan of attack — beforehand. A Plan B, if you will. Preparation is the great equalizer when it comes to confronting any fear.
Speaking of preparation, before you start your freelance writing career journey, do as much preparation as you can, eg, target a niche, build a website, get some writing samples together, etc.
BUT, don’t let preparing be an excuse for not starting (eg, I’ll start marketing when I finish redesigning my site).
Life is short . . . extremely short. If you live it in a bubble of fear, you’re going to miss out on at least half the fun of it. In the case of starting a freelance writing career, it’s just that – freelance writing. It’s not life and death.
And if you fail, so what?
Cry, log back on and get moving again!