The 5 Largest Pitfalls in Developing Yourself as a Freelance Writer and How to Avoid Them (Part 1)

In over 23 years of writing professionally (which for me means making
money at it), I’ve talked with hundreds of other writers, many of them
far more talented at writing than me, but who haven’t been nearly as
successful financially at it. Why? Many of them haven’t avoided the
pitfalls that I’m about to share with you.

See if you’ve managed to fall into any of these holes along your
writing path. If so, don’t fret about it. You can climb out of
every one.

1. THINKING ABOUT WRITING VS. WRITING. This is particularly common for
novice wannabe writers. After all, it’s fun to think about one day
writing the next great American novel, or seeing your article featured
on the cover of your favorite magazine. And I believe a certain amount
of dreaming is important, because in a way our dreams are a form of
prayer. Thoughts held in mind produce results in kind out in the world
IF, actions are also applied. Just like the old Quaker saying, “When
you pray, move your feet,” the same is true for writing. “As you think
and talk about writing, also write.”

CLIMB OUT OF THIS PITFALL BY: scheduling daily writing time, even if
it’s only 15 minutes a day to start. Not only schedule the time but
surround yourself with people who will hold you to your word with
yourself. This last suggestion is something most writers don’t do but
if you want to write daily don’t count on yourself to keep yourself at
the keyboard. Tell your friends about it, especially the supportive
ones. If you have a spouse, ask him or her to support you by helping
you keep your word. If you have kids, tell them, “Listen, you know how
I have to make you do your homework sometimes? Well, here’s your
chance to get even. I need to write something every day for at least
15 minutes. Will you hold me to it?” You bet they will!

2. WRITING BUT NOT SUBMITTING. The second most common pitfall of
aspiring writers is the erroneous notion that if you write stellar
prose, some well meaning “editor fairy” will fly into your office at
night and find your manuscript stuck in the drawer. Sorry, only in
fairy tales. If you want to be successful at writing you’ve got to
submit, submit and resubmit your work.

CLIMB OUT OF THIS PITFALL BY: playing the 100 R Game. The game is
simple — its one rule is summarized in the object of the game which
is: collect 100 rejection letters as fast as you can while writing as
well as possible.

What! Actually play for rejection letters? Yes, exactly. Here’s why.
You can’t play this game without doing two things that are vitally
important to being a successful writer: writing and submitting what you
write. Along the way to winning the 100 R Game, you’ll also learn how
to win at the much larger game of being a professional writer.

NOTE: Stay tuned. #3-5 will appear in the next issue of Purposeful
Pondering Ezine.

The ideas in this article are from, FROM SPARK TO FLAME – a proven,
systematic process for fanning your ideas into money-making magazine
ideas that make a difference. Forge ahead in your writing aspirations
by attending the FROM SPARK TO FLAME Intro Teleclass on Wednesday Sept.
21 at 11:30 am by going to: