Day 20 – staying motivated as a freelance writer.
Launching your freelance writing business is one thing, but once you’ve launched it you need to continue finding clients and growing your business. Aside from marketing to grow your business, you also need to deal with yourself. Yourself who’s a stubborn fuck at the best of times. Yourself who sometimes loses motivation (without warning). I’m talking from experience here.
I spent two months building my writer’s website, establishing credibility, and cold pitching to land my first high paying clients. I wanted to achieve my dream of self-employment and location independence. The excitement was there. I was riding a wave; a wave that felt like it would never end. And when I announced I was self-employed (yes I announced it on Facebook), I felt proud and even more excited.
Then, a funny thing happened: a few months passed and I lost motivation.
Had I worked myself too hard? Was I getting bored? What was this feeling? I decided it was time to take five days off to regather my thoughts. I went away with a friend for the weekend and I didn’t touch my laptop. Upon returning, I felt a little spurt of motivation, but nothing compared to the initial wave I was riding.
I realised: the excitement came from working towards self-employment and location independence. Once I achieved it, it was almost like, now what?
Well, I’ll tell you now what. I have a business and I need to treat it as such. It’s not always going to be pretty. My motivation levels won’t always be there. This isn’t possible. We are human and our feelings shift from one day to the next.
What I can tell you is what carried me through the period (and continues to give me motivation). That’s simply: I remembered why I started. I remembered I wanted to be self-employed and location independent. I didn’t want to sit in an office every day. I wanted to be able to live and work from anywhere. I wanted to be in control of my life. It was a lifestyle choice.
Side thought – This reminds me of a letter from Hunter S. Thompson on finding your purpose and living a meaningful life. Aside from the contents of the letter, what’s even more remarkable is that he was 22 years old when he wrote it in 1958. In it he mentions, “Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living.” This has always stuck with me.
This is why I’m so set on your why. This is why when I created a post on a writer’s group of 2000 members offering to help someone earn their first $1000 and become a freelance writer, I insisted they explain why they want to do this. What’s their why? What’s their underlying motivation? Because if you know your why, it’s far easier to sustain that motivation in the long run. Money should never be the driving force. Money is only a result of the value you provide. Over the long run, money is a weak motivator. There are more important things like the lifestyle you want, helping others, and making a difference in the world.
So what is your why? Why do you want to become a freelance writer?
As always, if you’re an aspiring or established freelance writer and need help with anything, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org