Section One: Mindset and Expectations

I’ve seen so many people enter the freelance writing world with visions of working from exotic locations, setting their own hours, and picking only projects that ignite their passion. Sure, these are totally attainable perks, but the reality often involves hard work, perseverance, and the patience to learn.

Tips for a Good Mindset

I wish someone had given me these quick tips back when I first entered the industry.

Beginners: Focus on learning and growth. Rejection is not failure; it’s a step toward your next success. Treat everything as a lesson to better yourself, and you’ll surpass everyone else pretty quickly.

Mid-Career: Diversify your skills and projects. Choose one new skill to study and learn every month. Stay open to feedback and continue to refine your craft.

Experts: Share your knowledge, mentor others, and continue to challenge yourself with new projects and opportunities. Fifteen years ago, I wasn’t exactly sure where to put a comma at times. Now, with a decade and a half of relentlessness and experience, I’m sharing everything I’ve ever learned in helpful courses like this one!

Setting Realistic Goals

I’m an advocate for setting goals, but they need to be realistic to keep you motivated and on track. Goals that are too big can often scare us away from putting in the work. Likewise, small goals can sometimes make us feel like we’re not living up to our full potential. Like anything, it’s all about finding balance.

Examples of Short-Term Goals for New Freelance Writers:

  • Complete a professional writing course.
  • Create a portfolio with at least five strong samples.
  • Network with other writers and potential clients each week.

Examples of Realistic Long-Term Goals for New Freelance Writers:

  • Secure at least two consistent clients within the first six months.
  • Increase income by 10% each year.
  • Publish in a major publication within the first year, even if it’s a free contribution.

Tip from a Pro: When setting goals, come up with a timeline to complete it, then double it. This gives you the mental space to put in your best work with the possibility of finishing ahead of schedule.

I spent far too much time beating myself up for not meeting my own goals when the real problem was that my expectations were too harsh. I cannot write a great article in one hour, but two is doable, and the end result is far better for it.