Like any other noble undertaking, freelance writing comes with its own challenges. And sometimes, the challenges can be enough to make you question your decision. In today’s article, we’ll be talking three of these challenges — and how to cope with them.
Challenge #1 – Health Problems.
Let’s face it — as fantastic as freelance writing is, it’s not exactly the healthiest job in the world. After all, you DO spend several hours sitting in front of your PC typing and typing away. That leaves very little time for exercise!
My advice? Set aside at least an hour every day for physical activity. You can, for instance, blow off steam at the gym, or play a sport you like.
You can also get creative by building a table over your exercise bike, so you could keep working on your laptop while you’re pedaling. Or you could take your mobile phone with you as you bike around the neighborhood, making your important phone calls through a headset.
Also, try to stay away from junk food — while they make good treats while you’re working, they often make you feel tired earlier. Switch to healthier alternatives, such as fruit, veggies, and nuts.
Challenge #2 – Toxic Clients.
Sometimes, you may get the bad luck of signing on to a project with a bad client. These are the clients who pay too little, ask for too much, or set unreasonable deadlines. Basically, these are the clients you DON’T want to see online on your Skype list!
Most times, dealing with these clients is easy enough — after you finish the first project, decline any other repeat projects from the client. But what if you sign on to a toxic project that lasts several months, or — worse — is ONGOING?
I suggest you keep things professional. Check your contract (if any) and see if there are any special conditions to satisfy before you opt out of the project. Sometimes, all that’s necessary is submitting a politely-written two-weeks’-notice.
Giving your client two weeks to find a replacement should be enough time, and you can part ways on good terms by helping them look for a replacement.
It may be tempting to just abandon a project you don’t like, but trust me, it’s bad for your reputation.
Challenge #3 – Criticism From Your Peers.
If you’re new to freelance writing, it’s likely you’ll face a lot of criticism from friends and family. They’ll question whether it’s really worth leaving the security of your day job. And the more “high-value” your day job used to be, the harsher the criticism will be.
For instance, I’m currently a licensed and registered architect. But when I realized that I like the freelance writing lifestyle a lot more, I decided to make the move — much to the chagrin of my peers.
(Most notably my mother, who found it hard to believe it’s possible to make money off the Internet!)
My advice? Don’t let them get to you. You’re a freelance writer — you write your own destiny! In a few years’ time, when you’re well into living the lifestyle you’ve always wanted, you’ll be showing the world how you made it — ALL BY YOURSELF!
It’s precisely during these trying times that you have to develop an unshakeable belief in yourself and your capabilities. Trust me, the world needs strong, capable, determined freelance writers — it’s really, really one of those businesses where only the strong survive!