Are you one of those freelance writers who panics about not being good enough? And so shies away from seeking out new clients? Or from raising your rates? Going after bigger, better work?
I’m betting you are. I mean, there’s like an 80% chance that you are. Unless you’re not a writer and are just here for the awesome logo (LOOK CLOSER) and witty repartee, in which case, well, hi, I guess.
But back to the 80% – I know you. I’ve met many people like you. The lack of confidence – lack of belief in your own abilities. This is most people, as I’ve learned from working one-on-one with hundreds of aspiring freelance writers.
Well, listen. There’s something I want you to remember. It’s very important, so consider getting it tattooed onto your wrist. Or perhaps on your face in reverse. Print it off and pin it above your desk. Make it your phone’s background. Whatever. Just put it somewhere you will see if every day so you don’t forget. Are you ready? Here it is:
Most people can’t write for shit.
Truly, most people are terrible writers. I was just chatting with one of my old students – someone who’s a really good writer – and he’s worried he’s not good enough to find better clients. But he definitely, definitely is – all he needs to do is try and keep trying until he finds them (this is key, btw – you can’t just expect people to recognise your magnificence and appear in front of you with thousands of dollars of work). His sister, on the other hand, as he has just informed me, believes there should be a space before exclamation and question marks. Like this ! Can you believe it ?
There are people out there who don’t know how basic punctuation works, let alone the difference between a colon and semicolon and a fucking comma. A comma! Imagine. There are people who don’t know which words you’re supposed to capitalise and when. And let’s not even talk about how to turn a damn fine phrase.
Now I know what you’re thinking: but if there are so many terrible writers out there, maybe I’m one of them? Well, yes, maybe you are. Not gonna lie, cupcake. I don’t know you. There’s a chance you’re just deluding yourself with this whole freelance writing thing. BUT! On the other hand, in my experience, the ones who worry the most about being good enough are often the best writers. And you know why? Because they care. They actually give a shit about whether their writing is good or not.
So what you have to consider is this: if most people can’t write for shit… does that mean that your skill is… holy shit… is it worth something? Should you be charging more for this? ARE YOU WORTH HIRING AFTER ALL?
P.S. How to Build a Badass Freelance Writing Business is currently open for registration. Class begins on 1 March. I’ll work one-on-one with you to set up a freelance writing website from scratch, and at the end of six weeks you’ll be ready to hunt down your first clients.