In this Writing Wednesday episode, I share five simple actionable tips that will give you more confidence as a writer. I used these same tips to scale my freelance writing into a thriving business.
If you want to build confidence as a writer the first thing to understand is to determine where you are at mentally. Is your mind telling you that you’re not very good? Have people told you that in the past? Gaining clarity on what truths or lies your mind is telling you plays a huge important part in building writing confidence.
To gain mental clarity, I regularly practice meditation and self hypnosis. Invest in noise cancelling headphones and find your inner zone of genius. Self care really is important in drowning out the negativity that tends to drag us down when we are stressed or tired.
Make gaining mental clarity a regular practice!
2. Clarity Leads to Competency
When you have successfully ‘mastered’ a skill you feel more confident. This applies to freelance writing as well. The more you write, the more confident you will become.
In Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he presents the idea of the 10,000 rule. The idea behind this rule is that anyone who has mastered a craft, puts in the work on the front end first. I was not a great writer when I started, but the point is I started. With time, I got better because I continued to work on my writing skills.
If you want to build confidence, get out there, start writing on Medium, create writing samples for Upwork and start pitching clients.
3. Understand the Difference Between Criticism and Feedback
Asking for feedback put you in a vulnerable position, but to build confidence you need to get over this hurdle and understand that feedback is to be used as a learning curve to become a better writer.
Remember the only difference between feedback and criticism is how you take it!
4. Write About Topics You are Passionate About
When you write about topics you are knowledgable and passionate about, it shows in your work! You will write faster, get more clients, make more money and gain confidence.
5. Actively Flex Your Confidence Muscle to Gain More Clients
Clients can tell when you are desperate or needy. Gaining confidence in yourself and your writing is not just something you should do it is something you MUST do.
At the end of the day, it really does come down to owning your skills, having an open mind, practicing mindfulness, staying self-aware and not getting down on yourself when you “fail”. You must continue to put the work in again and again!
Are You Ready to Start Your Freelance Writing Career?
If you are ready to take the next step and launch your freelance writing career, I would love to help you build momentum!
I still have a few spots left in my coaching program, schedule your free discovery call today!
Speaker 1: 00:02 You are listening to episode number 56 of inspire your success podcast. On today’s episode I want to cover one thing how you can build confidence as a new writer coming up.
Speaker 1: 00:17 All right, thanks again for being here and welcome back to inspire your success podcast. If you’re already a listener and if you’re brand new, thank you so much for being here. I am your host, Michael Leonard and uh, today is writing Wednesday where we talk about some quick and actionable tips to help you make more money writing. So one of the things that I get a lot from people that are joining my email list and commenting on YouTube and Instagram, a lot of the things I get, I really like to bring back into the show here and really, you know, trying to answer your questions and give you some more clarity and action steps to take. And the one today is all about confidence and this is one that is really, really important. So I’m glad I started to hear this because I hadn’t really addressed it as much as I probably should have because having confidence and understanding how to acquire confidence as a writer can really, really play a big part of your success and, or your failure.
Speaker 1: 01:18 So let’s kind of start with that. So a lot of people, you know, w most people when they get started out, you know, are basically a blank slate. Maybe you might have a little bit of experience, maybe you have absolutely no experience. Maybe you’ve, you know, used to write a lot and a certain job or even in college, things like that, but you don’t really know where to start. And you kinda feel like, well, I’m not really good enough, or I’m not really sure that I can actually deliver content or write good enough. And you know, that’s, that’s understanding that first of all it’s just kinda, I always like to take a step back and this is why I practice so many different mindfulness and uh, you know, strategies to quiet the mind is a lot of times that we have so much going on upstairs that we get in our own way and we overcomplicate it and I think it was three or four episodes ago, I talk about that as how our brain is always trying to protect us, right?
Speaker 1: 02:11 It’s really important to always understand that your brain, your mind, whatever you want to call it, is not there to make you thrive. It’s there to make you survive. And a lot of times it will implant some little things like, Hey, maybe you’re not good enough or don’t get out there. Don’t do this. Like it’ll make you procrastinate and try and kind of sabotage you if you’re like most people because again, it’s just trying to keep you safe. So you have to learn how to reprogram that so that way you can have confidence that you can actually get writing and actually start landing clients. And making money online. So the first thing I always say to anyone who’s looking to build confidence as a writer is to, one, understand where you’re at right now. Is your mind telling you that you’re not very good? Have people told you that in the past?
Speaker 1: 02:57 Are you just making this up because you’re scared or worried about rejection? Like getting clear is really, really big. That’s the first thing I always recommend. And so that’s why, you know, I do a lot of meditation, self-hypnosis, uh, you know, try and have a quiet environment, noise canceling headphones. Like I just really try to quiet and silence the mind so that way I can work from what I know is my zone of genius, which is writing and creating content like this. But you know, sometimes if I’m busy or I just, you know, go too much or I’m not sleeping enough and not doing enough self care stuff, it’s easy for me. Even though I’ve been doing this for a few years to not have confidence. So trust me, I know where you’re at. I’ve been there myself and I still experience it at times. That imposter syndrome, right?
Speaker 1: 03:40 Am I good enough? And we’ll talk about that in a little bit different episode. But this again is all about confidence. So first of all, understanding where you’re at and constantly evaluating it is so important. And again, you’ll find that this’ll work for a lot of things in your life, not just making money as a writer, but you know, just understanding, you know, where you’re at. And then the second thing is to just get started. And you know, confidence to me really is competence. Like if you just don’t really have a lot of experience yet, you have to put in the hours. And you know, this is something I’ve encountered in my writing business, as a golfer and even in my old sales jobs, like when you just get started. That’s just kind of part of the process. So I think one is again, understand, you know, Hey, what’s going on upstairs?
Speaker 1: 04:26 What am I telling myself? What kind of stories do I have? The second thing is to really have the attitude and the desire to get out there and not be afraid to fail because you know you are going to a little bit in the beginning. I’m not going to tell you that going to be perfect and you’re never going to hear no’s and everyone’s gonna think your writing is just amazing because it’s just not the case and we all have a learning curve. So that to me is the second thing. Like just understanding that, Hey, you know what? I’m going to fail. I’m going to make some mistakes along the way, but I’m going to learn from it and I’m going to keep going and I’m going to keep moving forward. That is huge. If you have that attitude in your freelancing business and in really any area of your life, I promise it will help.
Speaker 1: 05:05 So have the attitude of, you know what? Hey, I’m here to learn. I’m here to not take feedback. Personally, I’m not gonna, you know, get down on myself. I make mistakes. Like that is a huge, huge part of it. So understand again, that is definitely going to come with the territory. And then the third thing is to, like I said, confidence comes from confidence. It really just comes from putting in the work. I’m not sure if you’ve ever read the book outliers, uh, with, um, I believe it was Malcolm Gladwell where he talks about the 10,000 hour rule and the 10,000 hour rule basically is, you know, I don’t know if it’s exact, you know, science or how he got these uh, studies. But basically he found that people who are very, very talented at anything they do took them at least 10,000 hours to master their craft.
Speaker 1: 05:48 And so I want you to understand that they basically, you know, you, you’re not going to be an Olympic athlete tomorrow, right? And the same goes with writing. You’re not going to be million dollar writer tomorrow or six figure, right? Or even someone that makes you know, 10,000 a month tomorrow. Like it’s going to take a little bit of time. And that really comes from owning your skills. And so the biggest thing that I really want to point out here is that you do just need to start. Even if you know you’re going to suck and your brain is going to be like holding you back, it’s going to, it’s going to be okay. Like just understand that you’re going to get better, but you have to put in the reps. When I first got started with golf, I was so bad. You guys like, this is such a perfect example because it’s really the same in my writing career, but like with golf I was one of the worst golfers, one of the worst players in high school.
Speaker 1: 06:32 I barely made the JV team. Really the only reason I made the teams, cause the coach liked me and saw some potential. Four years later I became really good and it’s not because like, you know, one magical shift happened and I decided to change. It was because every day for four years I lived at the golf course in high school. I literally just studied the game. I watched the golf channel, I was reading books and I was putting in the work on the golf course. I constantly was doing it. And so the 10,000 hour rule is really, really important to think about when you want to build confidence because again, you just have to put in the reps and that’s not to say I don’t get nervous anymore or anything like that, or I don’t lack or worry about confidence, things like that. Even on the golf course that happens, but the same thing happened with writing, but again, it’s a lot less.
Speaker 1: 07:18 When I first got started as a writer, I was a terrible writer. I want to be very, very, very clear here. If you read my content now and you’re like, wow, this is really good, or I really like it, or maybe you don’t like it, like it really doesn’t matter to me. I’m just trying to share content to help people improve and get better. But when I first got started, guys like I was bad. Like, I remember vividly having a guy from high school message me and say, you know, you really should edit your stuff. Like if you’re going to put this out there, like I can’t believe you’re doing this. And he probably wasn’t wrong, but at least I wasn’t afraid to fail and I was just trying to get stuff out there. I was trying to get the ball rolling. And now I have so much confidence when I pitch new clients because I’ve done so much.
Speaker 1: 07:59 I mean I publish, I don’t know, anywhere from five to 30,000 words a week. I mean like some weeks. I mean it’s just crazy how much I write and how much I’ve published over the last few years. So that’s why I’m so confident though is because I’ve done it for so long. And so even if I’m not even so long, I mean I’ve really only done it for two years, but I’ve done it so much and so frequently. So I would say one big thing is that if you want to speed that 10,000 rule, 10,000 hour rule up is to just stay in it. You know, I’m not saying you have to write every single day for four hours or anything like that. Like I totally don’t believe in that. Like a lot of writers and authors will tell you, I don’t think you need to do that, but I do think you need to put it in the reps.
Speaker 1: 08:40 like if you just write every, you know, once a month you’re probably never going to get very good and you’re not going to have much confidence like in all in all reality, unless you’re super gifted and have some sort of talent that maybe I just never had. But here’s the thing is that anyone I talk to that is really good at podcasting or YouTube or writing or as a bestseller or anyone that’s good at anything, it’s because they put in the work. So that is what I want you to do is that if you want to build confidence, get out there, start writing on medium, create stuff on, uh, you know, samples for Upwork, start pitching clients. Like, just try and do not be afraid to fail. I mean, that is one of the biggest things ever because what is failure anyways? I mean, failure is just a, something that you decided to call a failure.
Speaker 1: 09:24 I mean, instead of it, think of every failure as a learning moment. Think of like, Oh, wow, I didn’t know that was the case. Maybe I’ll do something else next time. Like, just try and learn from every single thing you’re doing. And really you never gonna fail. So again, I can’t stress that enough because I’ve failed my way to success and, uh, and I want that for you as well. So another thing that I would say to help you build confidence is to ask for feedback. And this one’s tough. This one’s still tough for me, man. Like I don’t know if it’s my personality type or, or what, but sometimes I don’t want to hear feedback from editors. And that’s not the greatest thing attribute to have as a freelance writer. But you know, I really try and use the, um, the quote from Tim Grover where he’s, uh, he’s Michael Jordan’s, uh, coach, and he talks about, he says, you know, the only difference between criticism and feedback is how you take it.
Speaker 1: 10:15 And so a lot of times I used to take feedback personally, um, and I would say things like, Oh, well, I need feedback, or I have to do all these edits. That means I’m not good. I’m not a good writer. Things like that. But like that, that’s a losing mentality. And so I’ve had to work through that. So I just want you to know, like, I’m not saying I’m better than you are. I’ve figured this all out. Like I’m constantly learning my lessons as a writer, as an entrepreneur, as a freelancer. So that’s a big one for me though, is to ask for feedback. And even though it could sting at times, you’re going to learn a lot faster. So again, the 10,000 hour rule is important, but I don’t want you to feel like, Hey, like, Oh, I can’t write for clients until I’ve published, you know, 10,000 words or 100,000 words or whatever you make up whatever number you’re thinking.
Speaker 1: 10:57 Like that’s not the case. But you do have to consistently get yourself out there. You have to figure out your writing style, how you work best, whether it’s creating outlines beforehand or editing separate or you know, a lot of the other tips and strategies I talk about in my courses and on medium and everything else. So it is going to be a little bit of just figuring out your process because everyone’s going to be different. But that is some of the biggest things that I’ve found helped build my confidence and kind of a bonus tip, uh, to build some extra confidence is to write about stuff that you enjoy or like doing or want to learn more about. Because I found that I was pretty, uh, I really didn’t have much confidence sometimes when I was writing about stuff that I didn’t really know that well.
Speaker 1: 11:40 I do a lot of research and it took me a lot longer and things like that. So that’s one of the many reasons I, I suggest to anyone in my courses and all my clients is to write about stuff you love. Not only is it going to be easier for you, you’re going to be able to write faster, get more clients, make more money, but you’re also probably gonna have a lot more confidence as well. So again, it just makes it easier for you. And that’s what I want, right? I want you to have so much confidence and belief in yourself that when you pitch anyone on Upwork or pro blogger or cold email or social media, however you’re landing clients, I want you to just go in there with so much confidence that they’re like, wow, this writer knows what’s up. And you know, clients can tell if you have confidence.
Speaker 1: 12:21 I want to be real clear here. So this is why I think it’s important to actively build this confidence muscle. Because clients can tell if you’re desperate and needy and scared or if you go in there confident and trust me, I was there that whole first year. I didn’t feel confident. I was still trying to figure it out. I mean, I was, I was again, failing a lot, but I was getting clients and you know, consistently building my business. But now when I go into clients, I just tell them like, Hey, this is what like I can do for you. I’ve been doing this for two years. I have viral hits, I know SEO and I know this industry. And I go into it with confidence and they hired me because that’s what they want. They want someone that knows what they’re doing. So again, confidence isn’t going to happen overnight.
Speaker 1: 13:01 I wish I could tell you one strategy, one pill and whatever. But at the end of the day, it really does come down from owning your skills, having an open mind, practicing mindfulness, staying self-aware, you know, not for, not like getting down on yourself when you quote unquote fail and all those little things. So again, there’s a lot more, I’m sure I could talk about with confidence, but these are simple, easy, actionable tips. So if you want to be a great writer and you want to make money online as a freelancer, you have to just put in the work and again, not be afraid to fail and take some of that feedback even if it stings a little bit at times. And again, I’m still working through it as well. So hopefully that helps. Again, I want to help you build confidence so you can land clients and get paid to write online.
Speaker 1: 13:46 So again, thanks for being here on writing Wednesday. Uh, again, if you have any questions, please always shoot an email to [email protected] and me or someone on my team will get back to you and we’ll also potentially have some of the questions that you’re asking as future episodes is I’m always trying to create relatable content to what you’re feeling and going through right now as a freelancer and as a writer. So thank you again for being here. I’m very grateful for everyone that’s been listening. There’s downloads have just been improving and just keep going up. So thank you again. Uh, that means the world to me. I’m glad this is resonating with you. And if you could do me a favor of either leaving a review on iTunes, you know, letting people know that will really help me because again, iTunes and excuse me, Apple podcasts really value that as a, as a metric.
Speaker 1: 14:36 And so I want to get this show on to in front of more people so more can listen and learn and get these valuable strategies for their own freelancing life. So again, if you can either do that or just share it with someone that you know, could really benefit from it, like that would mean the world to me. So yeah, my goal is to inspire a lot of people to take action on their dreams here in 2020 so thank you again. I appreciate you listening and staying here through writing Wednesday and use these tips to start building your confidence as a writer. Again, this is nothing crazy, but I promise these little simple things compounded over time will give you so much confidence. You will be ready to go. So thanks again for listening, and as always, I hope you have an Epic day.
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