Close to Giving Up, or Not Starting, Your Freelance Writing Career? Here’s Some Advice from a Freelancer with Over 20 Years of Experience

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I’ve been freelancing since 1993. I’ve held some full-time, part-time and commission-based jobs during this time. In 2007, all that changed. I’ve been a full-time freelance writer since 2007 – and, knock wood – hope to never have to go back to a 9-to-5 ever again.

As an aside, I never say never because you just never know what life is going to throw at you.

So what changed for me? What was the one thing that made me take the freelance bull by the horns, wrestle his a** to the ground and say:

Look, this is GOING to work. I will not go back to working for someone else ever again. I will not!?”

Well, I blogged about it in a recent post, A Freelance Writer With Over 20 Years Experience Tells The Most Important Thing She’s Learned About NOT Giving Up. But there are a few more thoughts I want to add to this topic.

What to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your Freelance Dreams

I’m going to get a little spiritual here, so if this is not your thing, then feel free to tune out. Here goes …

Sometimes, when you’ve given your all to something and it’s just not working out, then ask your God, the universe, the Power Superior – whatever that higher being is for you – to guide you. Maybe it’s not your path; maybe something else is in the cards for you.

It make take a while to get your answer because I believe that higher powers respond when you’re ready to RECEIVE and ACT ON the advice; not when you just want to “get” the advice. But trust me, you’ll get an answer if you keep asking and keep LISTENING for the response.

Following is how I got the answer to what I’m supposed to be doing at this time in life, ie, be a writer (and yeah, I believe your purpose may shift over time).

How I Found My Calling as a Freelance Writer: Hint – I Kept Getting Fired!

I’ve been fired from a few jobs and left some others – mainly because I have a temper and just can’t keep my mouth shut when I feel like something is not right, or just have a strong opinion on something.

Advice for Freelance Writers on "Giving Up"At the time, it friggin’ sucked because I had bills to pay. But when I kept getting fired (or downsized – which was an economic thing), I was like, “I need to find some way to make money under my own steam because corporate America is just not for me.”

So when I got downsized out of my last job in 2007 – which was a “dream job” as far as jobs go for me (read why in Living the Freelance Life, the free ebook you get when you subscribe) – I made up my mind soon after that that was it.

I was sick and tired of having my financial future tied to one company, ie, in someone else’s control. And while it’s been a lot of work building my writing business – a lot! – it’s been worth it.

If I hadn’t kept quitting and getting fired over the years (and losing my last job due to the economic/housing crash back in 2007/2008), I probably would still be there – unhappy, but earning a good salary.

When I look back, I see that all of those quittings and firings were preparing me. God (the higher power I believe in) was showing me, “Hey little one, this isn’t for you. And even though you keep trying to make it work, I keep trying to SHOW you that it’s not for you.”

I finally got the message.

I know that I could probably go back to corporate America and earn probably five or six times what I earn working for myself. But there’s no amount of money in the world that could make me do that. And the main reason is, I know it can all be taken away.

But a career – one I build myself – well no one can take that away. And not for nothing, this career suits my working personality, ie, being given a project, a deadline and then being left alone to get it done. That’s freelance writing in a nutshell. So my creator knew what he had in store for me — WHEN I was ready to listen and act.

How to Know When You’ve Gotten Your Answer

How do you know when your Power Superior has answered you? Well, what patterns do you keep repeating that keep you from achieving your dreams? Look back over your life with a microscope. What is it you really want to do that you keep making excuse NOT to do, eg, I can’t afford it, I need training, I need to wait until the kids are older, I’m too old to [you fill in the blank].

All of these are excuses.

When the Power Superior reveals your destiny to you, s/he’s already mapped out a road for you to get there. But, you have to trust that. Now I don’t mean blind trust. But accept  your path and ACTIVELY prepare to take it. This is what I mean when I say that “higher powers respond when you’re ready to RECEIVE and ACT ON the advice; not when you just want to “get” the advice.”

I know all of this may seem a little preachy and intangible. But trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve doubted. I’ve tried to take other roads. But once I KNEW that this was for me — and moved heaven and earth (ie, worked my bum off to make it happen) — it was easy. And by easy I don’t mean not hard work, but easy in that hard work was ALL I had to do.

The Secret to Success — It’s So Simple You’re Gonna Shake Your Head

You see, the real secret to success for most of us is trying to figure out what the heck it is we really want to do! It’s NOT doing the actual work. Turns out that’s the easy part. Who knew?!

Is Freelance Writing REALLY for You?

In closing, I just want to say – most new freelancers quit WAY too soon. It’s like they expect jobs to come to them, or they do very little to get – and keep – them flowing in. It’s work, and you have to be constantly on the marketing grind.

There’s never, ever (IMO) been a better time to be a freelance writer, and the main reason is content marketing and social media. Companies need content like a runner needs water these days – ie, constantly. So the “There’s no (good paying) work out there” excuse is just not true.

There is PLENTY of well-paying freelance writing work out there. I know; I’ve done the research. Proof? Read 2014 Trends in Freelance Writing: 6 Things Every Freelancer Should Know.

But you have to be proactive in going after the work; it’s not going to come to you. And, you have to be proactive all the time. FYI, Nick Usborne, a successful freelance copywriter, also wrote an excellent piece recently about why there’s never been a better time to be a freelance writer.

But, if freelancing is not working out for you – and you have truly given it your all – as the freelancer in the post I referenced on e-Junkie said he had, then maybe freelance writing isn’t for you.

It doesn’t mean that working for yourself isn’t for you, it just might mean that freelance writing for clients isn’t for you. Maybe writing ebooks and self-publishing them is, or doing webinars, or success coaching, or starting your own blog, or consulting, etc., is your calling.

But look within – and ask the universe, your creator, your God, YOUR Power Superior* what your purpose is. Then listen – and be prepared to act when you get the answer.

Should You Become a Freelance Writer? Take This Test to Find Out

FYI, here’s an assessment test of sorts I put together to give you some insight into whether or not freelance writing would be a good career for you.

A Word about the “Power Superior”

I’ve used this term a few times on this site and one or two people have asked me about it, so following is where I get it from.

My ex-husband, who’s from Argentina and was raised Catholic, is more spiritual than religious. Like so many, he just could never get comfortable with organized religion. So he always calls his God, the “Power Superior.”

Many people get turned off by religion – and I get it, even though I’m a Christian. So I like the moniker “Power Superior.” If that doesn’t say God or Greatest or Creator, then I don’t know what does – and it leaves the religious aspect that makes so many uncomfortable out of it.

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    1. I tried to be a health coach, a personal chef, and a number of other things before I finally decided that writing was the thing for me. The other things were interesting, but I just couldn’t seem to get enough business going to make a decent living out of it. After a while, marketing for these other businesses seemed more like a burden than a pleasure.

      It wasn’t until I wrote my women’s health e-book that I realized that writing was something I had always wanted to do. And since I’m a health writer, it allows me to utilize a lot of the knowledge I have gained over the years in health and creating delicious recipes that are deceptively healthy. I still enjoy teaching cooking classes from time to time, but I don’t expect to make a bulk of my income from it. And truthfully, I can’t wait to hit the phones to see what jobs I could find for myself. I liken it to deep sea diving — you have no idea what you’ll get (sometimes nothing…) but you’ll enjoy the dive.
      Halona Black recently posted…The Truth About Writing Original Blog ContentMy Profile

      • Great for you Halona on finding your true calling.

        I think most of us know what it is all along, but we find sooooooo many excuses to NOT pursue it. Most days, I post a success quote on Twitter. Yesterday’s sum this post up beautifully IMO; it’s “There is no passion so contagious as that of fear.”~Michel de Montaigne [via @thequotemaster]

        Keep enjoying your “dive.” 🙂