6/1/09

Developing a Successful Freelance Writing Mindset

"What the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve"

That particular saying is attributed to both Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) and W. Clement Stone (1902-2002). Regardless of who said it first, they're both right.

Here's another one:

"Whether you think you can or not, you're right" - Henry Ford (1863-1947).

The common theme with both of these motivational quotes is that your own MIND can actually help or hinder your progress as you build your freelance writing business. The choice is yours which option your mind takes.

Let me paint you two scenarios and tell me if you identify with either of them.

Scenario One:

Writer 1 visited so many forums and social networking sites trying to find a way to make money online, but everyone she spoke to said that the best you can expect is 2 cents per page view on some revenue-share site. She gives it a shot and follows their advice and sure enough, she earns the quoted 2 cents per page view. It's not even enough to buy a cup of coffee at the end of the month.

She's now become very cynical about all those people falsely claiming that it's possible to earn any kind of real money from this writing thing. After all, everything she's looked into is either a scam or so low-paying that it's not worth the time or effort. She wakes up each day believing that it can't be done - and guess what? She's right.

Scenario Two:

Writer 2 decided to try and find ways to seriously generate an income. She visits a few forums and reads some comments from a few professional writers who really are earning generous amounts of money online from their writing activities. She tries to find out how they're doing it and she sets out to find ways to make sure she's earning that kind of money too.

She's quite excited by some of the opportunities she finds and understands that there are more and more great-paying writing opportunities all around her every day. She wakes up each morning believing this really is achievable - and guess what? She's right.

As Henry Ford said: "Whether you think you can or not, you're right"

Which writer did you identify with the most?

These are overly-simplified examples, but they highlight a specific mindset within so many writers I meet from all over the world. When you begin searching for writing opportunities and job markets and submission guidelines with a negative mindset, guess what you're going to find?

You're going to find all the low-paying, time-wasting, scam-listed writing cr@p available on the internet.

However, I also meet a lot of writers who are eager to search out the valid opportunities, the real job markets, the higher-paying gigs. They're willing to recognize that freelance writing is the same as any other job in the world and that you get back out of it exactly what you put into it.

A positive mindset and an optimistic viewpoint can mean that you begin to see things that might have been right in front of your face all along. You might have been blind to those same things previously because your negativity was getting in your way and allowing you only to see the less-attractive options.

When it comes to developing a successful freelance mindset, it's important to avoid the things you DON'T want to influence you. If you're reading posts and comments from novice writers that tell you you can't earn more than $2 per article or 2 cents per page view, you have two choices.

1) you could follow them and end up earning the same as they're doing

or

2) you could avoid those types of comments and go in search of more positive influences

Let me try and word it another way:
- Would you take investment advice for your money from someone who's on unemployment and has filed bankruptcy?
- Would you take medical advice from a vacuum cleaner salesman?
- Would you take legal advice from the girl at the checkout-counter at Walmart?

Of course you wouldn't.

So why is it that people will look for ways to take advice on freelance writing from people who are doing everything EXCEPT freelance writing?

When you surround yourself with positive information that is focused and motivated, you begin to develop a sense of positivity about what you're doing. You begin to believe you can achieve what you've set out to do.

My little blog is just one blog among thousands of similar blogs. There are also thousands of freelance writing forums and hundreds of freelance writing websites focused on teaching writers how to get started, how to build your business, how to find clients, how to increase your income.

How many great tips have you read to get your writing income going and thought "Oh, that's great, but I couldn't do that..." ?

If you keep telling yourself that you can't do that, then guess what? You're right.

Try telling yourself the opposite things. Tell yourself if a single mother from little-old Australia with a bad, cliched-sounding name like Bianca Raven can do it, then so can YOU. Believe it. Then see what happens.

Leave me your comments on what your mindset is doing right now. I'd love to see how many of my readers have which particular mindset - positive or negative.

Vent your negativity at me. Go on - really let me have it. Tell me how hard you've got it and how difficult it is for a newbie to break into freelancing. I won't argue with you. I'll probably agree with you. After all - if that's what you think, then you're right.

Of course, I'd also like to hear about your really big goals and dreams. Really get it off your chest and tell me what you know you're capable of achieving. If you tell me enough about what you really want to achieve, if you really believe in those big goals and dreams, if you truly believe YOU can achieve them, then I'll do my best to help you find ways to reach that goal.

:)

8 comments:

Michael Rivers said...

Great post! What I worry about most is taking on freelance work when I'm still working another full time job. I want to do my best work for freelance assignments. I worry about finding the balance to do both.

Bianca Raven said...

I understand that worry completely. I did the same thing when I was first starting out, working at a bank during the day and writing in the evenings and on weekends. It was hard work - yes - but it was worth it just for the day where I walked in with my resignation letter in hand and a grin from ear to ear ;)

Michael Rivers said...

What a coincidence. I am working full time for a bank headquarters right now. I work on internal communications so at least I'm writing. But I want to do so much more!

Esther Tanuadji said...

Hi Bianca and Michael,

I have a similar experience. I have morning job and writing in the evening too. Yes, I agree that this is a hard work. Since I am dreaming to write for great publications such as Elle Magazine, New York Times, etc, I no longer perceive my "evening job" as a job. I see it as my study time. I don't care with the payment and other consequences, as long as it can get me closer to Elle, I'm willing to do that ...haha... I will land where I planned. (This is an affirmation to this posting too)

Rocky said...

Hi Bianca,

That was so good! I am so new to this all, but some how I love it! It looks like a jungle out there and although I have started a few blogs about my experiences with network marketing, I would really love to know how to get into this freelancing work. I am very optimistic, most of the time unrealistic, but I am happy and interested to learn, and what I learn, I love to share with as many as possible. Please let me know where I should go to get started in the right direction. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or be rolled over by it, so I am looking to you for a little guidance! Thanks and keep the fire burning!

Lindsey Rainwater said...

Bianca alwys has great advice. I forced myself to have that positive attitude when I started freelancing, which wasn't that long ago.

My Dad had always listened to these motivational tapes, and then passed the principles on to me during my childhood. So I got almost daily conditioning on these principles. Only recently did I really start applying them to my life, and I started seeing some amazing changes.

Than I met Bianca, and she has just reinforced all of them. Thanks to her advice and "pushing," I'm doing really well. Just remember that the crappy days are the ones that you really have to hold your head high and be positive, even if it is hard. :)

CFMCroft said...

Hey, the problem that usually stes me back is when employers want mee to have officially qualifications in writing and publishing which I just dont have. I try not to let it get me down though as I know the only way to succeed is to keep trying and build up experience through other sites.
Thats another stumbling block that I usually get, experience. But you're right, if we don't do things for ourselves then it's not going to happen

Ariel said...

I know that it has been quite some time since you wrote this post, but I just wanted you to know that I find all of what you share very useful!

I am a fine artist (painting, drawing etc), but I want to be able to sell my art, and be able to be successful and make a lot of money and be stable. I just so happen to be great in every other subject as well, one being writing.

I had trouble finding a job in the real world and had to stay put in my home while my brother took my car to work at his new job. I didn't know why I couldn't land a job. Maybe it is because I am a college student about to graduate, who knows. But in any case, I scrounged over the internet looking for some sort of job I could do to make money.

Somehow, I went from looking for freelance art projects to writing sites and projects. I first landed in Helium, and somewhere along the road I also landed in Content Current, where I have to date written 8 articles, 6 of which were pay articles, and I have to date earned only 1.19$...

I shifted my focus to content current where I started to get more, 5$ or 7$ an article. I have written 3 and have gotten 21$ for it. It still is not much. Also, the site was kind of buggy, so I googled around and found you and a ton of complaints about it XD.

But I also found more legitimate forum sites as well. I haven't the slightest clue as to how much they pay, but i'm certain i'm on the right track and following the most beneficial trail.

I don't know where I will end up, even in starting as I have I feel as though I learned a lot about about things that I was actually afraid to learn and implement, like for example SEO. But, I know how to use it now.

I still want to make and sell art, and I am sure that I will be able to. It is only a matter of creative thinking and confronting my fears and insecurities.

Who knows? I may be able to write for a magazine like you guys :) What kind of magazine? I haven't the slightest clue! My interests are a bit unorthodox and different, but I'm sure I can do it!

Now, I'm off to follow your advice and build a blog. I'm going to make posts about art and how to make it!