The creativity, tenacity and patience that most freelance writers possess is admirable. They wake up each morning without knowing where their next job is coming from and they work towards their goals without looking back. In truth, writing is a creative job that doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. After all, you probably come across flawlessly written pieces every single day without even realizing. That catchy advert jingle that you can’t get out of your head, that noticeable headline in a magazine and the blurb from your favorite book are all written recipes that were conjured up by writers just like you. Whether you’re a new blogger or a struggling copywriter, you are going to come across a number of hurdles during your career. It is important to understand the issues you might face and workable solutions to get you out of them. Pursuing a career in writing is never going to be a piece of cake, but with the right attitude, skills and knowledge you should be able to showcase your writing abilities seamlessly.
1. Standing Out
Nobody wants to hire a writer that doesn’t bring something unique to their project. Sending out your CV to hundreds of prospective clients can be a laborious task that never gets you very far in the end. Why not inject a little life into your pitches and stand out with an innovative presentation? You can create amazing presentations that are loaded with creativity; showcase your portfolio in an eye-catching way using graphics, images and intriguing fonts. Portraying your brand as a writer is much easier when you’re willing to put in that little bit of extra effort to stand out. A perfect presentation or neat portfolio might just be the ticket to sealing your next writing deal.
2. Getting Paid
The awkwardness of working for free is a real struggle for the writing community. People don’t always value the time and effort it takes to construct, plan, edit and create a piece of writing that meets a specific purpose. Writing is truly an undervalued skill in our society and you should never be made to produce content for free. Stand your ground and start to value your own work and others will hopefully start to adopt the same attitude.
3. Pleasing Clients
In truth, you will never be able to please everybody. Don’t take criticism personally. There is a lot you can learn from client feedback, so you mustn’t take it to heart. Every time you receive a piece of constructive criticism you should turn this into a positive. Make a conscious effort to change your techniques in the next piece of work you produce and you will soon build upon your weaknesses.
4. Writer’s Block
Every writer has been there in the past. You have an impending deadline and you have left your work to the very last minute. The more you try to concentrate on the task at hand, the harder it is to be creative. Writer’s block always appears at the most inconvenient times, but there are a few ways in which you can overcome it. First of all, don’t leave your work until the very last minute. You need time to mull over writing pieces rather than splurge words onto the page forcefully. Carry out mundane tasks such as washing up, walking the dog or taking a shower; this is when your most creative ideas will spring into your mind.
5. Writer Envy
Getting jealous of other people’s successes is present in every industry. You think in your head, ‘I could’ve easily written that,’ yet you still aren’t given the chance. Being bitter won’t get you anyway, so work towards those lost jobs and try to land the next one. Stop wasting time thinking about what you could have done and just do it!
6. Moral Dilemmas
Writing about a subject matter that feels uncomfortable to you is a tricky situation. On one hand you want to please the client and add another writing credit to your name. However, you don’t want to sacrifice your integrity or slander your brand before it has even had the chance to become well known. In these situations you need to weigh up the pros and cons. If you think a potential writing job is going to damage your future career, it is probably best to steer clear from it.
There have been times in your career when you have felt like giving it all up; you don’t feel good enough and you aren’t landing the job roles you envisaged. The self-doubt that freelance writers go through on a daily basis isn’t surprising. You put all of your time and effort into carefully crafting a seamless piece of copy, for it to be ripped to shreds by an editor or client. Beating yourself up about failed attempt at an article, a novel or even a short piece of copy won’t help your self-esteem. Reignite your passions for writing and just scribble down some words for fun sometimes. Whether you jot down a poem or create a short story for enjoyment, you should always remember the small pleasures that writing gives you. Instead of seeing it as a continuous effort, you should see it as a gratifying part of your life.
It is not uncommon for freelance writers to quit after their first challenging hurdle. If you have spent the majority of your career working towards being a writer, then you don’t want this to happen to you. Remember that there are many people in the same boat as you right now. They stay up until the early hours of the morning surrounded by crumpled pieces of paper covered in meaningless words, doodles and scrawls. In truth, this is what being a freelance writer is all about. It’s certainly not the glamorous life you might have expected, with book tours, photo shoots and spreads in the newspaper. It truly is hard work that is filled with rewards and satisfaction along the way. You can never predict where your freelance writing career is going to take you. However, you can be prepared for the potential challenges surrounding clients, competitors and yourself.