5 Ways to be a More Confident Writer, Blogger, or Freelancer 13


5 Ways to be a More Confident Writer, Blogger, or FreelancerI’m a full-time freelance writer and blogger who needs these ways to be more a confident writer more than anyone! My husband and I just bought an expensive house in Vancouver (like, over a million buckaroos, my friends).


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You know how unstable a freelance writing career is – especially if you’re a writer like me, who chooses to earn the bulk of her income from blogging.

Anxiety and me, we snuggle every night.





What if my blogs implode? What if I made a mistake by letting go of magazine writing to focus on blogging? What if we can’t meet the mortgage payments? What if the water, heat, and natural gas bills are higher than we anticipate? What if the housing market collapses, and we lose hundreds of thousands of dollars?

No sleep for me.

But today, I decided to take action. First, I re-read my favorite parts of Think Confident, Be Confident: A Four-Step Program to Eliminate Doubt (it’s a fabulous book for people who need to fire up their confidence!) Then, I brainstormed these ways to be more confident, which apply to all types of writers and bloggers…

5 Ways to be a More Confident Writer, Blogger, or Freelancer

1. Acknowledge cold, hard reality. My income is no longer the gravy that complements my husband’s meat-and-potatoes salary. Now, my income matters. A lot. That’s the reality that I’m beginning to accept, and I’m beginning to feel better! If you’re a freelance writer, you must accept that competition is stiff. To succeed, you must treat freelancing writing like a business. If you’re a blogger who hopes to earn money from blogging, you must realize it takes lots of time, energy, and trial-and-error to earn even just a few hundred dollars a month. Acknowledging reality makes you more confident…unless you get stuck in the judgment trap.






2. Accept – don’t judge – your situation. Calling our ginormous mortgage an “albatross around my neck” and saying “Omigosh omigosh omigosh, what have we done?” a gazillion times a day isn’t helpful. Instead of judging, I need to focus my energy. I need to find ways to be more confident — such as making a plan for my blogs and taking action. If you’re a freelance writer, don’t judge the magazine market (or editors) as good or bad…it is what it is. If you’re a blogger, don’t be discouraged or afraid that it takes time to make money blogging. See your situation for what it is, without letting doubt, anxiety, fear, or self-criticism hold you back.

3. Keep doing what works. I’ve learned a lot about freelance magazine writing and making money blogging over the past couple of years; I know a lot about what doesn’t work and a little about what works. Part of my action plan is to create – and regularly revisit – the things that work. For instance, I blogged about what works in 5 Tips for Advertising Amazon Products on Your Blog. But instead of just blogging about it, I’m creating my own notebook of what to do and what not to do. If you’re a freelance writer, do you learn from your successes and failures? Do you apply what you know – or do you keep making the same mistakes? Find and do what works.

4. Be open to new ways of doing things (abandon what doesn’t work). I’ve decided that this mortgage is a source of healthy stress. It’ll force me to take my blogs and writing career a step further. I’m out of my comfort zone financially, and I will take my blogs of their comfort zone, too! If you want to be a more confident writer, blogger, or freelancer, you need to keep stepping out of your comfort zone. You need to try new ways to pitch article ideas, find sources, and edit your writing. Instead of being paralyzed by fear and anxiety, see your situation as one big fat open door!

5. “Don’t overthink. Let passion override your fear.” This is a direct quote [email protected]; I saw it on Twitter as I began writing this post. It’s perfect. My husband and I decided to purchase our new house because it’s got two different views of the ocean and mountains, it’s all wood post and beam with floor-to-ceiling windows, and it’s bright, spacious, and airy.  I am passionate about this house – I love it – and I’m passionate about my blogging and writing career! Instead of snuggling up with fear and anxiety, I’m going to stay focused on what I love. Fear and anxiety can go play outside for awhile.

What about you – do you want to be a more confident writer or blogger? I’d love to hear from you below…


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13 thoughts on “5 Ways to be a More Confident Writer, Blogger, or Freelancer

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  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Hi Nonyameko,

    Thanks for buying Fire Up the Muse — I hope it keeps you motivated and inspired to blog and write!

    Your blog sounds so interesting, and I look forward to seeing it grow and blossom 🙂

    Laurie

  • Nonyameko Afiya

    Hi, Laurie
    This is really a good post. Just wrote my first blog at word press. (just a intro.) I want to blog because I believe people want to hear what I have to say. I have a passion for farming in an organic way. That means farming/gardening without the use of harmful/dangerous pesticides and herbicides that stay in the soil and the human body for years.

    So many people have asked me start a blog so others can get simplified inforamtion about how to grow organic foods and other products. I love talking about organic agriculture and sustainable ways to live without spending alot of money. Now, I am ready to blog about it! I just bought your e-book and I carry it with me everywhere. The book is a great help for a novice writer/blogger like me!! Currently, I am a Farm Manager for major university organic farm and I love it. “But”, I am at the point of my life where I don’t need or want “a boss”. I will “never” leave agriculture because I truly love the land and nature, but my income from now on will have to be on my terms.

    Thanks so much for your adventurous spirit to help others along their writing journey. You’re definitely a big help and information source. I’m excited about the new changes in my life, especially my blogging and writing journey.

    Excuse me for writing such a long comment.

    Nonyameko
    Root Wombmyn Organics (Founder/creator)

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Rhiannon,

    Thanks for your comment! It’s nice to hear I’m not alone….and I hope this post helps you when you need a boost of confidence!

    Yes, helping people is definitely one of the joys of writing, and it’s so nice to hear you weigh in. I hope to hear from you again soon.

    All good things,
    Laurie

  • Rhiannon Paine

    Laurie, thank you for writing this. Like you, I love writing, but the more I write — books as well as blogs — the more I have to cut back on the job that pays for my beloved house. I waver between fear that I’ll have to sacrifice one of them and determination to make it work. I’ve printed your blog post to read whenever the fear starts to take over. So you’ve helped someone, which is one of the joys of writing, no? Keep it up!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Thanks for your comments, Vangile and Kathryn!

    I like the idea of tracking your progress, such as with Google Analytics if you’re a blogger or detailed spreadsheets if you’re a freelance writer (or novelist hoping to land an agent or publishing contract!).

    And, pursuing what you’re passionate about makes all the difference in the world. To be more confident as writers, we need to stay focused on what we love.

    I love writing, and I love blogging. What do you love? 🙂

  • Kathryn Lang

    Point #1 and #2 both involve thoughts – and staying focused on the good, the positive and the uplifting will go a long ways towards changing my course. Thank you for reminding me, yet again, that the things that I focus really do matter.

    I also enjoyed points #3 and #4 – do what works; don’t do what doesn’t work. Now, to REMEMBER that daily!

    Point #5 probably means the most to me. A life without passion will never be satisfied. Finding my passion and pursuing that passion will be the key that leads to a life of peace, joy and prosperity.

  • Vangile Makwakwa

    This post really speaks to me, because we are constantly providing information to the professional poets in our community on being confident – especially those who often perform spoken word poetry. But writing is a big part of what poets do, and the confidence in necessary to let the creativity flow and stick with the dream regardless of what others think.

    In particular, your tip #3 is important and I wanted to offer a bit more advice to help writers find out exactly what works. Be sure that as you work, you are using some sort of analytics to keep track of what you’re doing. This could mean something as in-depth as Google analytics or something as simple as creating a trackable URL with Bit.ly. Regardless, it is hard to know exactly what works when you’re hot tracking your progress. Also use tools such as polls and reader comments to get a better idea of what inspires your audience to interact more with your writing.

    Also tip #2 is of vital importance, particularly when it comes to what others around you might think of your career choice. In order to be a successful writer, it is important to be comfortable with your choice to be such so that the opinions of others won’t get you down. Planning is key. You are much less likely to judge yourself (or others to judge you harshly) when you know your situation, the potential risks and have a plan of action to make it work. There is nothing wayward about a writing career. It may not be a traditional path, but who says tradition should rule every part of one’s life? Just be sure you take the time to plan and learn what you can when you can so that you give yourself the best chance for succeeding.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Interesting, George — I hadn’t thought that a writer’s lack of confidence might be sensed by readers, editors, publishers, and potential clients. Hmmm….yet another reason to be a more confident writer!

    Tammi, I totally agree with you. If a writer or freelancer isn’t fully committed, then she may not focus in the same way…and thus may not be able to support herself financially (or emotionally).

    And Deborah, thanks for your comment and fantastic quotation!

    🙂

    Laurie

  • George Angus

    Laurie,

    This is a big issue. I think readers (and potential clients) can sense a lack of confidence in a writer. Maybe it’s writing too much in the passive voice or maybe it’s more subtle. I would give the advice that I give my public speaking students: Fake it ’til you make it. Act “as if” you are already there and it will show up in time.

    George
    .-= George Angus´s last blog post ..Is Your Passionate Writing Fueled By Anger Or Inspiration? =-.

  • Tammi Kibler

    I think I just need to stop riding the fence and throw myself fully into this. Like you said, it “is no longer the gravy.”

    As soon as I can fully embrace the life and refuse to contemplate other options, I will have the focus I need. It’s second guessing that saps my forward momentum.
    .-= Tammi Kibler´s last blog post ..Ideal Customers – Miss This and You Will Miss Them =-.

  • Deborah Wall

    Great blog post. I love that you have come from a place of positivity especially that reminder that we don’t need to judge everything that happens. A little trust goes a long way.

    This ones a keeper.

    Thanks
    .-= Deborah Wall´s last blog post ..To fall in love is easy, but it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes the person one desires to be. — Anna Louise Strong =-.