Do you ever worry that your writing isn’t good enough? You’re not alone. Even the most talented writers suffer from self-doubt. I don’t understand the topic. I won’t be able to meet the deadline. Other writers are better than me. Sound familiar?
Confidence can affect every aspect of your freelancing life: how you describe yourself, which jobs you choose, how you negotiate prices, and how you handle feedback.
Perhaps you’re a perfectionist. You might lack positive feedback. Or perhaps you’ve had rejections. Many factors can crush your self confidence and ability to write.
Fortunately, any writer can build their confidence if they know how. Here are our top ten tips to becoming a more confident, prolific freelance writer:
1. Don’t Put Undue Pressure on Yourself
Clients have to juggle many different duties; working with freelance writers is a small part of their work. This is not to say that your writing doesn’t matter, or that clients don’t respect your work. It’s simply that you’re a small part of the machine.
You don’t need to be the world’s best writer to be successful. If you need a client to clarify a brief, that’s fine. Clients don’t need perfection.
2. Don’t Take It Personally
Virtually every writer gets rejections at some point. But it’s important to remember that it’s not you being rejected; it’s a business decision. Your idea might be great. Your writing may be faultless. Sometimes, the client already has something similar in the works, or they’re focusing on another topic. Rather than fearing rejection, treat is as an ordinary part of a freelance writer’s life.
3. Keep Things in Perspective
Sometimes you panic. You might think: I’ll never make any money from writing. I’m going to get blacklisted by all publishers because I asked a stupid question.
You’re unlikely to end up homeless because one editor rejected your idea, or because you asked a difficult question. It’s natural to worry, but focusing on unlikely negative outcomes will only breed self-doubt.
4. Build Your Knowledge
Sometimes, a lack of confidence stems from a lack of knowledge. Other writers know much more than me! It’s natural to think this. But it’s also true that you have the power to fill any knowledge gaps.
Keep learning about the art of writing and subjects that you could write about. For example, visit the Constant Content blog to learn how to add more punch to your writing. Research subjects you know nothing about. Google is your friend. Building your knowledge will increase your confidence.
5. Listen to Other Writers
Even best-selling authors have days when they want to quit. By reading about other writers’ experiences, you’ll realize your struggles are normal.
Search writing forums to learn from other writers. Look up quotes from famous authors about the writing process. Subscribe to writing magazines. Learn about motivation and rejection. For starters, visit the Constant Content forum.
6. Take Your Time
No writer can produce a perfect piece of writing in just one draft. By taking extra time to edit your work, you’ll spot clumsy sentences, improve your word choice, and tighten the structure.
Editing is your safe space. You’ll feel more confident when you know you’ve given your work enough attention.
7. Focus on One Goal at a Time
Do you have three articles and five emails to send by the end of the week? Break it down into smaller steps: Today, I’ll write one article. Tomorrow I’ll send the emails. Take the pressure off yourself.
8. Keep Track of Your Victories
It’s hard to keep going if you never celebrate your achievements. Maybe you sold two articles last week, or a client sent you some positive feedback. Keep a record of these little victories. When you feel writer’s doubt creeping in, you can take a look for inspiration.
9. Keep Writing
Ignore the little voice in your head that says you can’t do it. Get to work and prove to yourself that you can. When you’ve completed a tricky project, you can no longer tell yourself that you can’t do it.
With every accomplishment, you’ll build your confidence. Writing each day will help. Through trial and error, you’ll learn how to be a better writer.
10. Choose to Be Confident
The first step to becoming confident is deciding to be confident. It may take time to feel genuinely confident about your writing ability, but you have to want this to happen. It doesn’t mean you have to be a confident person all the time. It can simply mean learning to be more positive when you need to.
Self-Doubt is Normal
Many talented writers go through times of low confidence. Worrying that you could be a better writer can actually be a sign that you’re already pretty good.
Keep these tips in mind when you next doubt your writing abilities. You’ll grow as a writer, land better clients, and you’ll be comfortable charging more for your work.
Looking to land your next freelance writing client? Constant Content makes it easy for you to sell articles and land writing clients.