When I tell friends I’m a freelance writer, a common response is “Wow, you’re lucky. I’d love to avoid work-related stress.”
People assume that I don’t have any work-related stress because I’m self-employed and work at home. They’re wrong.
While I love freelance writing and enjoy the perks that go along with it, there are times I find it stressful.
I know I’m not alone.
The stresses of freelance writing may not be obvious, so I’ll list a few of them in this post. I’ll also provide some tips for overcoming those stressors.
The Stresses of Freelance Writing
Of course, freelance writers face many of the same stresses as other people. From time-to-time everyone faces relationship stress, financial stress, or health-related stress.
But some stress is unique to freelance writing. The most common stressors unique to freelance writers are:
- Will I find work?
- Can I really do this work?
- Will the client like my writing?
- Will the client pay me?
Rinse and repeat.
I say rinse and repeat, because these stresses aren’t just occasional for the freelance writer. Rather, they are built into the freelance writing cycle. Most freelancers experience these stresses over and over again.
What’s a smart freelancer writer to do?
There are some steps you can take to reduce your stress.
Overcome Freelance Writing Stress
As a freelance writer, you may not be able to totally eliminate freelancing stress. But there are steps you can take to reduce it.
Here are some strategies I’ve used to reduce my freelance writing related stress:
- Prevention. The best strategy for avoiding freelance writing problems is to take measures to prevent them. For me, this includes researching prospective clients, not working without a contract, and maintaining positive relationships with clients.
- Finances. I always feel more secure when I have money set aside. That way an unexpected late payment doesn’t derail me. I still need to get paid, but at least I have something to live on for a few days until the payment comes in.
- Attitude. A positive attitude can go a long way towards reducing stress. To stay positive, I make sure that I have enough rest and take breaks when I need them. Exercise is not only good for your body; it can also raise your spirits.
Of course, every writer will find their own ways to relieve stress. What works for me, may not work for every writer.
Before you can overcome freelance writing stress, you need to recognize that it can be stressful. In some cases, freelance writing may be more stressful than a “regular” job.
Once you acknowledge the stress you face as a freelance writer, you can work to relieve it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love freelance writing. I love words. I love creating copy. I love helping people. And I love having more control over my schedule.
But freelance writing is not stress-free.
How do you overcome the stresses of freelance writing? If you’ve been freelancing for a while, share your tips for handling the stress in the comments.