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By William Ballard
As if being a newbie freelance writer weren't hard enough, there are always people, even other writers, who are ready to tell you what they really think about you and your writing business. Here are a few of the negative thoughts you'll hear coming from others when you make the decision to leap into freelance writing or when you start having success -- and what you can do about it.
Reason #1 -- "You Won’t Want to Hang Out With Me Anymore"
Many, many people will say they want to be freelance writers and start their own writing business, but most of them would rather talk about it than really put forth the action necessary to achieve such a dream. If you are one of the few who have the abdominal courage (guts) to move towards your writing dream, your less passionate and motivated friends may feel threatened. "She won't want to hang out with me anymore, and won’t want to gripe about how much we hate working at Denny’s," they'll think. Or, "He'll become too successful to want to hang out with little old me."
What is a newbie freelance writer to do?
If you do want to stay friends with your old coworkers, schoolmates, and so on, let them know by telling them: "Every time I get closer to reaching my dream of being a successful freelance writer, you seem to become upset. I want you to know that I want to stay your friend no matter where our career paths may lead. And I know you're also sick of working at Denny’s just has much as I was. Can I help you brainstorm ways to start your own writing business or find a new job?"
Reason #2 -- "I Wasn't Able to be Successful at Freelance Writing, So You Won’t Either!"
In reason number one, we are mainly talking about people that are already considered your friends. Or at least, they are friends that you have had prior to you becoming a full-time writer (friends from your past profession). In this reason, we are talking about new “friends” or acquaintances that you encounter when entering this new profession of freelance writing.
Believe it or not, you'll find that there are many bitter people in this profession. Perhaps, they were burned one too many times, or just weren't able to make it work--so if you show the slightest bit of success in your writing business and efforts, they'll make it their ultimate goal to make you sure don't succeed. They'll insist that there's no way you can make it without a trust fund, or point out that the markets you're writing for aren't exactly The New Yorker.
To be honest with you, I have reason to believe that if they put even the slightest amount of effort in what they do to make sure you fail in their own writing business and entrepreneurial efforts, they too may even succeed. Sometimes people just put the right energy in the wrong place.
In my opinion, these kinds of people aren’t really “friends” at all, but haters. They are simply those that have failed and are reminded of their failure every single time they see someone (you) overcoming all the road blocks they were unable to get through and succeeding where they fell short.
What is a newbie freelance writer to do in this situation?
First and foremost, you need to understand that haters and critics are inevitable. Believe it or not, they actually come with success. I look at them as ways in measuring success. In other words, the more haters and critics you have, the more success you will have. Instead of being afraid of these individuals, when they come, see them as measures to gage just how successful you are becoming.
Moreover, trying to cheer up these downers doesn't usually work, and he or she certainly doesn't want to hear your advice on how to reach the same level of success that you're now enjoying and experiencing. So, instead of trying to change them, listen to what they tell you not to do, or where you are going to mess up, and do the opposite.
Bonus: If this is something that you are experiencing often, then I would highly encourage you to invest in the following offer. Believe me when I tell you, you will be glad you did!
Reason #3 -- "We are Afraid That You Will Be Hurt if You Don’t Succeed”
Now understand, your friends and family love you, and they want the best for you. They know that becoming a successful writer is very difficult, and take it from someone who is doing it; it is very difficult at times. They would just rather see you stay in the safe zone of your cubicle than venture out into the dangerous waters of entrepreneurship.
What is a newbie freelance writer to do in these situations?
I always find that it helps to point out that you're actually more secure as a freelance writer than as a 9-5er working for someone else. You see, if you're a W-2 employee, someone else in mere seconds can shut down your income faster than you can blink. And most of the time it is when you least expect it. At one minute you're “securely” employed, and the next you're in the street holding a box of your office supplies. However, as a freelancer writer, if you lose one client you lose only part of your income, and you can more easily find a new client than you can a whole new job.
Trust me when I tell you, writing for a living isn't easy. And it is not for everyone. But don't let other people make it even harder for you. With a spirit of compassion and excellence, you can get your loved ones (and even your frenemies) on your side.
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About William Ballard
Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Professional Blogger, and Author of the True Writer's Life, William Ballard, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs, like you, broadcast their message across the Internet (and offline) and be seen as experts in their field. He has recently been dubbed the Expert Marketer of Writing.
William, a writer and content creator since 2007, enjoys sharing with others his experience on how to become a successful writer, blogger, and author. View more about William Ballard →