Three Elements That Make a Difference in Your Success

I see so many people launch themselves as freelance writers and end up disappointed. They disappear from the scene, they become bitter and nasty, or they get stuck in a rut of low wages and crappy work. They just can’t seem to make it.

Three elements help determine whether a writer has a good chance of making a decent living freelancing. The right combination and in good measure creates a recipe for success. What are these three elements? Let’s see…

Do You Have What It Takes?

It’s sometimes hard to learn that you just don’t have what it takes to make it as a writer. So many sites and blogs will tell you to go for it and that anyone can become a writer. No. Sorry. It’s just not that easy. Writing takes solid skills and a good sense of language intricacies.

The good thing is that writing is a learned skill. Innate talent has something to do with it, sure, but skills get you where you want to be. You can learn to be a better writer than the most talented person who has never penned a page of words.

If reject happens more often than not, take a course, get some education, and improve the skills you have.

Are You a Drama Diva?

If you operate on emotion alone, think your words are true art on paper, and fall into fits of shocked insult at the slightest offense, your attitude will hold you back from getting ahead. People don’t want to deal with drama queens and writers with personal issues, and that goes double for clients.

Freelance writing is a business – make no mistake. You need to have professional, levelheaded calm working for you at all times. With a positive attitude and the confidence of knowing how to deal with people and clients properly, you’ll see a marked improvement in your success.

Don’t know how to deal with people? Take some courses and brush up on social skills or read books on how to change bad behavior into good.

Will You Go The Distance?

So many people give up quickly these days. They don’t have the strength to stick with it, and they’ve trained themselves to feel like a failure at the first sign of any obstacle, no matter how small. One bad gig, one rejected article, one month with no income, and they crumble.

Perseverance and determination are a must to make it as a writer. Instant success isn’t going to fall into your lap. You’ll need to make a name for yourself, build a good reputation and market your services effectively. That takes time, and that means you need to be ready to hang in for the haul.

If you find you don’t have the determination to stick with your plans and follow through to reach your goals, hire a therapist. A therapist can help you work out issues that hold you back and give you strategies that make a difference in just a few weeks.

Not everyone can make it as a writer, but almost everyone can reach success if they truly try. Brush up on your skills, make sure you have a good attitude, work out your personal issues, and overcome the obstacles that hold you back from advancement.

You’ll soon find yourself feeling better, enjoying your life and hey – even earning a decent living doing what you love.


  1. Phil says

    On last point, common recommendation from Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and other business consultants is to have at least six months income in savings to rely on when starting one’s own business (writing or anything else).

    Yes, that’s impractical for most, but timing should give a guideline for the minimum amount of time to give it before chucking it. And in that time, people have to realize that writing is just a small part of the business. There’s also sales and “running the business (accounting, bookkeeping, even cleaning up, etc.) that one doesn’t have to do at the typical job.

    So, even for those who started work to be at home with family (my job left me, so I was forced into this 16+ years ago), there are still going to be times you might have to miss a little family time. When my kids were younger, I had to hire a sitter even though I was home because my wife was out (mother in hospital) and I had work that I had to finish. I also missed a few things at school in the middle of the day. But I was the sole support for the family (wife is now working again). If one is looking for only part-time income, he or she may miss much less, but “you reap what you sow” or, to put it another way “you need to feed your business in order for it to feed you.”

  2. says

    @ Phil – I’m right with you on the six months’ padding in the bank. It used to be three months, and recently I’m seeing six months more and more. (Just makes sense, really.)

    That can seem like a monumental amount to collect, but the trick is to shift a few dollars to a separate bank account each time you make a few dollars and get the pattern and habit started.

    @ Seamus – Ha, you laugh, but I’m telling you! Hire a therapist for a week just for the tiniest detail that hinders good professional communication – you’d be amazed at what you can get out of a few simple “try this” tips.

  3. Erika says

    James, I am a therapist! You may very well get more than you expected when you go in. Don’t start asking questions about yourself (or hire someone like me to help you) if you don’t want answers!! 😉

  4. says

    It is such a good resource that you are offering and you give it away for free. I appreciate seeing websites that recognize the importance of delivering a useful resource for no cost. I genuinely enjoyed reading your article :) Many thanks!


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