Not to Be a KillJoy – But Here’s the Truth About Freelance Writing Success

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It could be a fad or maybe I’m just more aware of it now. But does it seem like everybody and their brother are trying to sell you something?

Here’s my guilty confession.

Every morning when I open my email, there is usually about 90 spammy emails staring back at me. Except Google can’t catch the spammers I actually subscribe to.

I understand that everyone has to make money. And I bet a lot of those people are selling really good things. In fact, I would be lying if I said I hadn’t invested in a few.

But when I get emails on how to get more writing or join this and you will be a freelancing success, I’m a little more skeptical.

What Really Helped My Freelance Writing Business

When I ponder my life a few years back, the moment I really decided to give this freelancing thing a go, I remember how scared, naive and desperate I was. I took loads of classes-and actually got a lot out of a few. {A few out of the dozen or so that I enrolled in.}

But as I am writing this, I can finally say that my writing business is on its way to my own kind of success (with two new exciting projects in the works!). And when I think about what it was that got me here, I can’t really credit the courses I took. [Although they helped. And if you need a course on marketing or a touch up on grammar or how to write a query letter, you might still consider taking one.] *What I’m talking about are those programs that say they will help you make a 6 figure income in 30 days and what not. I would be leery about those.

What Worked:

1. Getting encouragement from wise women like her and her.

2. Learning to believe in myself.

3. Having patience with the process.

4. Honing my craft by writing daily.

I realized one night as I looked through my now 3 binders of writing samples, that it took all these things and having the courage to keep going to get to where I am today. It was good old fashioned hard work + perseverance with a sprinkle of faith that helped. Step by step. Day by day. Every project (no matter how small) got me that much closer to my dreams. It was worth it.

It was all worth it.

But maybe a little less money spent on those classes and programs that promised the world would have left more money in my wallet and more confidence back in myself.

That’s just my 2 cents.

If anyone out there has benefited from such programs, please feel free to comment below and let us know what worked for you. I’m always open to being proven wrong. =)

 

  • Hi Brandi. I think it has something to do with how we are wired. You know how there are those of us who learn by grabbing on to all the information we can get our hands on and those who like to just do it. And some of us (like me) who are a bit of both.

    I was the Queen of information gathering when I 1st started freelancing – to the point that I made a conscious budget decision to cut back on purchasing so much. I am a visual person so I like the written and visual form. But, I find I have a nasty habit of not finishing what I start-e.g., reading the book or the course I was taking or whatever. I want to just do it.

    I love learning new things so I am one of those who finds value in almost anything – even if it’s what NOT to do. :-)

    In the end, however, it is up to you to make it work. I always say being a freelancer involves a bit of a bulldog mentality. Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Brandi. Congratulations on your new projects!

  • So very true! I think most people who start freelancing will do this initially – lots of reading, subscribing, and paying for courses etc. Really, the only way forward is just to plunge in, & keep swimming, even against the current.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Nicky!

    Yeah I think it’s, to borrow your analogy, like dipping your toes in the pool before we jump. As Cathy wrote below, I think it’s some of our natural inclination to learn everything we can before we feel completely confident in what we do. I guess looking back I wonder how much was needed. Thanks for the comment!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Cathy!

    You sound so much like me! I think those courses seemed so attractive because I love learning new things too. At a certain point, at least for me, I started to wonder if all those things I was signing up for was actually taking away time from writing. I still believe in the importance of learning new things and I will probably take a course again. But I’m just more skeptical when it’s classes with a “get rich in 30 days” scheme. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned that way. =)

    Thanks as always for your wonderful comment! I always love reading them.

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