You’ve heard the enticing testimonies of people who quit their day jobs for freelance writing and are now living their best lives. You see them hopping from one sun-kissed beach to the next, while raking in six to seven figures a year. Meanwhile, you feel trapped in your crappy job and can barely make out time for your family.
You’ve had enough of the rat race and are thinking of quitting too.
Are your finances in a good place? Will you sink under the weight of criticism and rejection? While there are many benefits of dumping your 9 to 5 to write full time, here are seven reasons why you shouldn’t — yet.
1. It’s a tough world for rookies
Whether you’ve got a little experience or you’re just starting out, there’s a high chance your writing sucks. And if so, you won’t attract the best projects.
So, before you quit your day job, spend time honing your skills and building your portfolio. Stellar, sought-after writing requires hard work. Keep learning and keep practicing.
If you haven’t already, consider following experts in your niche as well as taking writing courses to help build your skills.
2. Your initial earnings (if any) might suck
It’s common for entry-level writers to start their careers with low- or average-paying gigs or even struggle to land clients.
To avoid a financial crisis (and possibly a nervous breakdown), consider using off-work hours for part-time freelance writing and grow your earnings before you quit your job.
Personally, I made the switch when my earnings from freelancing steadily grew and surpassed the pay from my day job. Which leads us to the next point.
3. You haven’t saved enough money yet
You’ll be moving from the security of a regular paycheck to the uncertainty of freelancing, so it is advisable to have some savings locked down before you switch jobs.
You’ll be surprised how valuable some months’ (or year’s) worth of savings can be while you’re finding your feet in the world of writing.
Also, you won’t always have jobs as a freelancer. And to ride those stormy periods, I’ve found having a nest egg valuable.
4. The idea of running your own business makes you cringe
Ever thought to yourself, “Thank goodness I’m not in charge” when sh*t hits the fan at work? Yes, running a business is a huge (but rewarding) responsibility.
You’re in charge of your own company as a freelancer, so you’ll have to deal with things like marketing, accounting, winning clients, etc.
Are you ready?
Dedicating time to learning about running a small business would help you become more productive when you eventually make the big move.
5. You’ll face lots of lonely days
Freelancing can be a pretty lonely undertaking, especially if you live alone. Before you know it, you’re missing the gossip around the water cooler from your 9 to 5 days.
If you’re a social person, then lack of human interaction will affect your freelance career. Find ways to overcome this hurdle before quitting your job.
What has worked for me is using a co-working hub. It can also be a great place to network and win new clients.
Or maybe get a cat.
6. You’ll be responsible for your success — or failure
Unlike your 9 to 5, you’re the captain of your own ship as a freelancer. And you want to steer it to success, not an iceberg.
It’s not all rosy in this neck of the woods. You would need passion, discipline, skill, and grit to not only survive but flourish.
There are tons of resources available to help you on your journey. I’ve found following freelance blogs, reading books, and attending seminars extremely valuable.
7. You struggle with criticism and rejection
You’ll receive your fair share of criticism and rejection as a budding freelance writer. To survive the heat, you’ll have to grow a thick skin because they can sting!
We don’t want you running back to your old job because editors and clients have been ripping your best works to shreds or your pitches haven’t been converting.
Rather, use criticism and rejection as stepping stones to become better at your craft and don’t stop putting yourself out there.
Ready for your well-thought-out move to paradise?
Whether you’re dreaming of swimming with dolphins in Australia or just want to have more time for your kids’ baseball games in Maine, you have what it takes to achieve your dreams through freelance writing.
But you have to be ready and your journey begins with a plan.
See the points listed as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. Yes, you can go from rookie to pro in no time. Yes, you can meet that target in your savings. Yes, you can excel in your freelance writing business. Yes, you can eat criticism for breakfast.
Yes, you can!
Set your goals. Commit to them. Never stop, no matter what. And when you’re ready to make that career switch, you’ll know that nothing can stand in your way.
Originally posted on Medium