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5 Freelance Writing Fears & What to do About Them

freelance writing fear

I’m not sure that freelance writing fears are worse than say sales fears or CEO fears, or teacher fears.

My hunch is we’re more aware of our fear than others, partly because we are freelancing. That means we’re responsible for our income in ways that are very different from having a regular paycheck.

Plus, as freelance writers, we have fewer interruptions which means more time to notice that we are afraid. As we sit there in front an empty file, our fears come up and stare us in the face as it were. We can’t hide from them, not really.

Either we face them and learn to let go or we give up freelancing and get a job.

Here are five freelance writing fears and some hints on how to let them go so you can write.

I’ll never get a client or have a query accepted

This one stops you before you even begin. It’s probably the ultimate poor self-worth fear for would-be writers. A lot of this fear is more habit than anything else, which isn’t to say it’s a conscious choice or that it doesn’t feel awful. My all-time favorite way to break up fear is to write down three ways the world is a better place because you’re in it. You can get details here.

Three in a row

The following three are similar to each other:

I don’t know how to start, so I don’t

I don’t know how to write it.

I don’t know how to make it good enough.

Each of these, in one way or another, is true for every writer every time. None of us were born knowing how to write. We didn’t and sometimes don’t know how to start or get it written or if it’s good enough.

We write anyway! Take that in, please. Writers write. Somehow some way we get it down, first in rough and then with improvements… lots of improvements. We recognize that no writing is ever perfect – whatever that might mean. We write, we market, we submit, over and over again.

I’m afraid the client or editor won’t like it

Sometimes your client or editor will not like what you write – it’s a fact of the freelance writers life.

Sometimes, though, they will like it – which can be scary in itself.

Get over yourself. Write, and if you can’t or won’t, and still want to become a writer, find a therapist or support group that will help you crack through that fear so you can write.

If you let that fear that you won’t please someone stop you, you’ll never even find out if you’re good enough. My hunch is that if you really want to write, if it’s not just some vague dream, you either are good enough already or you’re on your way to becoming good enough. Believe me, not many people really want to write. Your desire means something.

So find a way to write – you’ll be glad you did.

What gets in your way the most?

I’m putting together a class on Freelance Writing Business Solutions. Get early notice for free simply by signing up.

Anne Wayman freelance writer








{ 2 comments… add one }
  • I believe I have experienced most of these fears from time to time. However, I have realized that being discouraged and afraid or feeling that you cannot succeed is part of the freelance writing process (I guess).

    So If I just accept that from time to time I may feel a bit discouraged and frightened because it is a really difficult task to be a freelance writer, then the fear usually subsides. At other times I think “Ok I may be discouraged at the moment but it’s not the end of the world”.

    Another fear that comes to mind is exposing myself, my thoughts and my emotions through my writing, which I guess is similar to your last point Anne. But again I feel that If I realize and accept this fear it becomes less intimidating.
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