Is there an aspect of writing or your writing career you feel you cannot conquer? Are you faced with a “writing nemesis”? Most writers face challenges, but the nature of those challenges varies, depending on your writing goals. Professional writers deal with challenges regarding the needs of clients and their business, while writing hobbyists face motivational challenges. In many cases, these challenges overlap, especially for people who write for a living and for personal reasons. Luckily, it is possible to conquer your writing nemesis.
Do you struggle with the craft of writing? Just because you have a passion for writing does not mean you are a great writer, but you can become one. As a matter of fact, learning the rules of writing is easier than building a passion for writing. There are plenty of resources that offer writing tips, including a variety of online classes. Enrolling in these online courses helps you improve your writing in your own timeframe.
Participating in writing groups is another great option for improving your writing. Feedback from your peers helps you learn writing skills without text books or dry lessons. Practice makes perfect, or at least improvement, so if you love writing, keep it up!
Finding the motivation to write can be tough, even when you are a passionate writer. Unfortunately, a career in freelance writing sometimes means you must write about things that are less than thrilling. Over time, professional writers can target niche markets, allowing them to focus on topics for which they have a passion. Be patient. Early in your freelance writing career picking and choosing might not be an option.
If lack of motivation is your writing nemesis, keep writing! Plow through the tough assignments and create ways to write about things you love. Reward yourself with these fun writing projects to keep things fresh. You can turn these fun writing projects into paid assignments over time, so never feel as if you are wasting your time when writing for fun.
Taking a break from writing can also boost motivation. A day away from the keyboard does wonders for one’s desire to write. Writers have a tendency to focus on cerebral activities, neglecting their physical needs. Go for a walk, head to the gym, or join a sports team. A few hours of physical activity keeps you balanced and energizes your writing.
Obviously, professionals are the only ones who face marketing challenges, but it is one of the biggest beasts to slay. Professional writers must learn the art of selling. This begins with confidence in your writing and leads to creating the perfect pitch for every client. It takes time for professional writers to overcome their marketing fears, but it is the only way to build a successful freelance writing business.
I’ve been writing professionally for nearly a decade and doing it full-time for three and a half. I enjoy marketing my business, but I still find it challenging. As a matter of fact, my marketing campaign is just beginning to gain steam. The good news: after years of writing, I have a portfolio filled with samples and I can focus on a niche in which I have a great deal of experience. The bad new: I could have started a full-force marketing campaign years ago and my freelance writing business would be better off today.
If your writing nemesis is marketing, you are postponing success by not conquering your fear. I challenge you to do these two things this week to overcome your marketing fears:
1. Create the skeleton of a perfect pitch for projects. Incude your writing experience, your experience with the topic, and your terms of service. You should always tailor each pitch to the specific client, but a standard base saves time and helps you organize your thoughts.
2. Reach out to one new potential client. Think of a niche you would like to target and cold-call or cold-email a business owner in that niche. Tell them what you do and offer your services to their business. Your goal is to get a feel for the process, not to land the client, but you might be surprised by your success. If you need help with this, or with creating a general pitch, let me know.