The life of the freelance writer offers challenges and rewards. As a writer, you can set your own schedule and don’t have to worry about pleasing a boss. On the other hand, you have to face a set of difficulties that are unique to the freelance style of work. These difficulties are discussed below.
1- Looking for clients –
Finding clients is the top difficulty that freelance writers face. As a writer, you are not just expected to focus on work, but also marketing yourself so that more clients can find you. Also, you have to find the right people to work with. Some clients can be difficult. Your task is to find clients who are fair, pay reasonable rates for work and appreciate the effort that you must put into your work. There are solutions for this problem and you have to focus on the right approach if you want to find clients easily.
Freelance writers often complain about difficulty in finding clients and lack of work. On the other hand, once work starts coming in, you might be caught unprepared. If you don’t free up your schedule, you might have to turn away clients and very rewarding projects. You might have to burn the midnight oil to keep deadlines, and you would need to put off many of your pending projects.
This is one of the difficulties of the freelance writer’s life, but depending on how you handle it, the rewards are many. Also, overwork leads to stress and exhaustion and might even lead to burnout. As a freelance writer, you should always be prepared for unexpected workloads. You should also be willing to outsource some of the excess work to other writers, and this could be a win-win solution for many of your problems. Then again, if the client has awarded the work specifically to you impressed by your qualifications, you might be violating their trust by letting other people handle the work. You would need to either politely tell clients to defer their deadlines, or you could look into letting other writers handle extra workloads with client consent.
3- Lack of Inspiration –
There is nothing as bad for business as the writer’s block. When you find that ideas just refuse to come to you and your hands sit idle on the keyboard, you know that the dreaded writer’s block has arrived. Depending on many things, this can last for a few minutes or can take up a better part of the month, or even many months. Some of the greatest writers have had to deal with the lack of inspiration. They have handled it through a change in routine, or reading, and other habits that would help inspiration flow again. You can look at options such as travel, spending more time on your hobby, and light reading, to get new ideas. For a writer, it is important to spend more time on getting to know the right people, so that you can find encouragement and new ideas.
4- Time management –
Even if your workload is very light, you will find that as a freelance writer it is difficult to manage your time sufficiently well. If you are working at your home office, it can be very hard to draw the line between work and personal life. With people visiting, phones ringing, and children crying, it might seem impossible to be able to find time to write. Writers must, therefore, create an office space free of distractions and enlist help from family so that they are able to work in peace. While you can manage your outer environment, finding the inspiration to work can be doubly challenging. You have to set yourself a schedule, just like you would at a regular desk job so that you can manage your time better. Using a simple kitchen timer can help you put in effort easily, and make time management easier.
5- Isolation –
As a freelance writer, you might be spending a lot of time working in your room, away from family and friends. You don’t get to socialize with coworkers like you would in a regular job. This can lead to feelings of isolation, and if not tended to in time, writers might find themselves feeling miserable and depressed. The solution would be to identify the feelings of depression and misery well in time. If you don’t enjoy your work anymore, or you don’t like to do the things you once enjoyed, and there has been a marked change in your sleeping and eating patterns, for the worse, then you might want to communicate more with family and friends, to break the cycle. While you have to take care of mental health, it is also important to be vigilant about your physical health. Taking breaks from work when needed, exercise and time to indulge in activities you like are important to becoming a successful freelance writer.
These are some of the difficulties the freelance writer faces on their journey, but like all hardships, these can become the stepping stones to a bright future. With skills, dedication and the right attitude the freelance writer can build a rewarding career.
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