A Pep Talk for New Freelance Writers

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Hey, there. I’m Angela.

Maybe you’re diving into the freelance lifestyle for some extra side cash, or you’re launching a career, like I have. Kudos to you. You’ll learn and grow in ways that were never on your radar, and make money doing it.

There’s no nagging boss. No time clocks to punch. All the goals you strive for are set — and crushed — by you. It takes stamina, ingenuity and guts of steel to forge ahead with something that’s all your own.

Don’t run away just yet.

You’ll also fall in love with the siren of success when those first payments hit your inbox or readers (yes, you will gain those) start commenting on and liking your posts. You’ll feel this weird satisfaction stem from solo moments in your head that spilled onto your keyboard, gaining recognition by people all over the world. It’s ok to have a minor panic moment.

Public recognition is part of the gig, and it’s amazing.

I started this post with one single point that I wanted to share and I suppose I should get to it now. I was chatting with a writer friend on Twitter this week and she mentioned she feels icky sharing links to her writing online. Self-promotion is hard and may drum up ego or self-centered worries. I reminded her that she’s selling a service, and needs to show others what she does, so they can buy that service.

Freelancers are business owners.

Whether you sell one article a month, or a day, you’re still offering a creative product and making money from it, so own that shit. Please. Chat on social media about your latest essay. Share links to that content marketing project. Screenshot your byline and post it to Instagram. (I do.) You are a business owner selling your words. Show what you can do with them! Publishers can’t buy a product they’ve never seen, right?

A writer needs an audience.

Part of writing is growing a loyal base of admirers who benefit from what you do. So, dear freelancer friend, do your thing and tell everyone about it. I know we tend to be quiet folks pouring hours of solitude into our latest pieces, but after you hit that publish, submit or send button, share, share, share. Talk about what you do. Be proud of your skills.

Offer your services to others.

When you get stuck in the loop of wondering if you’re good enough to do all this, remind yourself WHY you’ve pushed forward with this dream. Is it for the cash? The flexible schedule? The public praise? The bylines in cool publications? To pay the bills? To have a creative outlet? To show your old college roommate that you finally ‘made it’? Whatever it is, keep it in mind when you start to feel invisible, burnt out and worried you can’t make this go. Your internal drive and consistency to your craft are what sets you apart from others in this industry. Keep on, keepin’ on, my friend!

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