4 Myths We Freelancers Sell Ourselves On

What I’m listening to: Die Like a Rich Boy (Acoustic version) by Frightened Rabbit

It’s been a busy few days. After a slow start to 2017, the work is starting to pick up again. Marketing is in full swing for the April conference I attend, and I’m hoping to make some new connections from it.

I was cruising a few forums on LinkedIn and saw some familiar thought patterns. I’ve come to the conclusion that some writers would rather embrace fallacies than push themselves toward success. Maybe it’s fear of failure (I’m fairly sure that’s it) that keeps writers locked in the woe-is-me and that constant state of hesitation.

If we fear failure, we'll convince ourselves of nearly anything to avoid trying. Click To Tweet

Lately, I’ve been seeing the same thinking swirling around the corporate world, and it’s puzzling. Frankly, a number of companies share these same ideas, and it’s holding them back as much as it’s holding freelance writers back. Buying into the same myths is perpetuating the same bloody stagnation your writing business doesn’t need.

Here are four of the more common myths I’ve seen:

I should wait until the right time. You’re reluctant to start on that marketing plan now because it’s February and you’d much rather do it in December for January release. Or that website can’t launch until right before the publishing conference. Or the mailers can’t go out until you finish that big project. And….three years later, you’re still waiting.

The message has to be perfect. That’s why we’ve not started that marketing campaign, released that book, sent that manuscript to an agent or publisher. We think the words have to be turned over and examined like crystals under a microscope … No. What the message needs is a set of wings. Set it free, my friend. Better to try something that doesn’t quite work than wait for perfection that’s unlikely to happen.

My attempts won’t get me anywhere, so why bother? My friend, consider the Butterfly Effect, which says that even small actions can create big impact. Don’t think so? It took one shot to start the American Revolution, one wardrobe malfunction to create huge reaction at a Super Bowl, one woman named Rosa Parks sitting down on a bus to create national change… Your attempts matter.

Someone else is already doing that. And that makes sense because there’s just one cola brand, one computer brand, one cell phone brand… someone else may be doing something similar, but they’re not you. You bring something unique to whatever you do, and there are so many ways to differentiate from others in the market. Find that one thing about you that makes you shine beyond the competition.

Writers, what myths have you uncovered in your career?
What one fallacy do you see writers clinging to? How can they move away from it?

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  • Kirk Petersen February 9, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I’d post a comment, but I’m afraid it would just sound stupid.

    • lwidmer February 9, 2017 at 10:00 am

      LOL That made my day, Kirk. 🙂