10 Moments When Being a Freelance Writer Sucks

By Amos Onwukwe

September 20, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


Rose is a Freelance Writer but frankly, it wasn’t all rosy from page one. In her lowest moments she sank deeper than a sub. She’d cry and sob. She even contemplated burning her old typewriter.

Tales like hers abound around, resonating with hundreds who nearly or eventually quit freelance writing out of frustration.

Today we explore 10 of those moments when being a freelance writer really, really sucks.

1. Coming Out

You just read Bamidele Onibalusi’s story and you’re thinking you can make a living writing like Carol Tice or making 6 figures like Gail Mercer MacKay! Feeling fired up, you drive to the Café to meet your loving fiancée and break the I’m-gonna-be-a-freelance-writer news. Somehow, it felt like an obituary announcement.

See Also: How To Change Careers Without Losing Your Mind 

2. Warned you, didn’t we?

You hand in your resignation at work. Getting home, your fiancée hands you hers too and fast forward to where you’re at today — 100,000 miles from making your first 10 dollars two months after becoming a freelance writer, your pitches unreplied, savings depleted, bills mounting, motivation at sub-zero levels.

Your friend at your ex-organization bump into you at the street corner with that we-warned-you- didn’t-we look on their faces. And you remember her last words…

3. Writer’s Block


Writers Block is not the choicest place to live in but every once in a while most of us stop by, some for a couple of minutes or hours, some for days and others for weeks on end without a shining spark of imagination. You try all the tricks in the book.

They all fall flat and you wonder where in space did your Muse go? Like Titanic after she hit the iceberg, you begin to sink into a sea of depression.

See Also: How To Find Great Ideas For Writing A Story 

4. Aha, Content Mills

They evoke images of Pharaoh’s taskmasters holding whips eager to spread them all over bent Israeli backs. You ’ve been there, done that.

You’ve experienced writing for a quarter of peanuts until it drove you nuts! You know how it is to do all those hours of research, typing, editing, proofreading, and having to wait days to get paid and dealing with some rude, thieving clients . It felt like slavery and you felt like Kunta Kinte.

5. Your PC Crashes


As a writer, your PC is one of your biggest assets containing all your files and documents including client jobs at various stages of completion. It also gives you access to the internet for all your research and client communications. Then, it suddenly crashes one fateful morning and your 10TB back up hard drive is still unopened in its nice pack!

6. You Forgot to Ctrl+S

You’ve written such a great piece. Even your ex admits it’s the bomb. The draft was awesome and now the finished work even better. It’s a Michelangeloic masterpiece!

You sit back, stare at the screen in self contentment and read your 3,000 word write up again and again. However, you forgot to connect your PC to backup power and your ageing device shuts down. Belatedly, you also remember your MS Word autosave function was turned off.

7. Very Negative Comments

You finish writing an article, spend 2 hours formatting it in the blog’s CMS, hit the publish button, and share it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And then here comes a flood of commenters who think you’re a fraud and attack you in the most vicious manner literally possible until you feel like breaking your pen and going to mend with your ex.

8. Copyright Infringement

You wrote a lovely post, sourced images randomly and forgot to attribute the owners or even check their copyright policy. They spot it, red flag it and send you a please-take-it-down email threatening legal action in 7 days.

After 14 days, you’re served with a court notice. You hurriedly check your inbox and there’s the email you somehow missed sitting and smiling in your Spam folder!

And the blog’s policy says you’re responsible for whatever you post!

9. Delayed Payment

You’ve done a stellar job. Editors and blog subscribers love it.

It’s been shared 50,000 times, comments have been pouring in and they’ve been 99% positive. But, there’s a glitch.

It’s now 3 months and the Prince of Persia has delayed your check. Meanwhile your bills have been on time every time. Now you have to write the fifth please-pay-me reminder!

10. Adultery

It’s metaphorical adultery when you can’t give your loved ones all the time and attention they demand because you have to split it with clients and assignments. And they won’t let you take calls, or reply to your Whatsapp or Facebook chats either. You start feeling guilty because you’re seeing another lover called Freelance Writing!

Sounds familiar right? What is YOUR being-a freelance-writer-sucks moment?


Amos Onwukwe

Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained eCommerce/Business B2B/B2C Copywriter. He's been featured in scores of sites including Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Floship, SmallBizClub, Huffington Post, ResultFirst, Successful Startup 101, SABtrends,BusinessTips.ph, TheNextScoop, TheTotalEntrepreneurs, PreneurDigest, MENAEntrepreneur, to mention a few.

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