Don’t Let Fear of Failing Stop You Writing: Failure Can be Good for You!

So many people fear that they will fail as a freelance writer. The truth is that it is competitive and you’re not going to be successful overnight. But you shouldn’t let that stop you! Failure can help  you in more ways than you think.

Want to know a secret? I failed at first!

Before I went on maternity leave, I was really struggling with the business. I was stuck with the content mills and writing for pennies. It took my maternity leave to re-evaluate my business and take steps to overcome the problems.

Want to know another secret? I haven’t gotten/kept all clients.

Some I’ve decided to drop myself and others have opted for other writers. This is kind of a failure on my part but it doesn’t stop me from trying again in the future.

Want to know how failure could help you?

Learn from Your Mistakes

You know you made mistakes along the way. When you fail at something, don’t take it as the fact that you’re useless. That’s not the case!

Don't let the fear of failure let your business sink
Don’t let the fear of failure let your business sink

Take it as a lesson. You made some mistakes and you need to learn from them.

Where did you go wrong in your venture? What could you improve on the second time round? What did you miss out that you know you shouldn’t have?

As long as you learn from your mistakes, you’ll be able to make a few changes and get yourself back out there.

Helps You Grow Professionally

This is linked to the mistakes. You need to stumble along the way. If you are given everything on a plate, you’re not going to make the mistakes and you won’t grow professionally.

Failing in your business makes you stronger in the future. If a client turns your work down, ask for constructive criticism to see where you went wrong to avoid doing it in the future. If an editor kills your piece, find out why so you can understand the issue instead of writing it off as a failure.

You will become a better writer by taking chances and being turned down. Although you need to ask for reasons and learn why something didn’t work out.

Become Resilient in Business

You need to be resilient to finally succeed in business. Picking yourself up after a failure helps with that and you show to others that you are prepared to work hard to get there.

Not only will this help you get future clients, you’ll also improve your chances for business investments, other opportunities and price increases. You will be able to work with the world instead of being knocked back at every turn.

fear of failing

Make Weak Areas Stronger

If you don’t try, how do you know you will fail? You don’t know your weaker areas until you’re knocked back.

I found that blog writing was a weak point for me about three years ago. I was so used to academic pieces and writing long reports and articles. When I chose to start writing online, I had to learn how to blog. I made my weakness into a strength and now I blog – for me and clients – on a daily basis.

The only way you can strengthen your weaker areas is by finding out what they are! Put yourself out of your comfort zone and see if you can do it. If not, take the steps to change that.

Failure is a good thing so don’t be afraid of it. There will be times you’re turned down. There will be times editors come back asking for rewrites. Don’t let those scare you off from becoming a writer. Take them in your stride, learn from them and become a better writer because of them.

Were you afraid of failing before you started? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and how you overcame them to get to where you are now. If you haven’t started yet, get your fears out in the open and take steps to deal with them!

If you’re worried about failing, sign up for my FREE 5-week mini course in starting your freelance writing career.

Image credit: Stuart Miles/

Note: This post was originally published on July 6, 2013. It was updated on August 29, 2017.


2 thoughts on “Don’t Let Fear of Failing Stop You Writing: Failure Can be Good for You!

  1. I just wrote a blog post similar to this for the UBC,, there are actually 2 parts. I have let the fear of failure stop me many times and have just recently decided that I am done with it. It no longer serves a purpose.

    Thank you for sharing how failure itself can benefit us. I appreciate that.

    Well written.

    Missy Bell
    Facebook: Words That Touch Your Heart

    1. Fear definitely serves no purpose. I’ll check out your post when I get a little more chance after Monday (daughter’s birthday).

      You’re welcome. Failure definitely can be a benefit but only if you let it help. I know so many people who say “I’ve failed, that’s it” and they give up. It’s so important to learn from mistakes and get back on the horse, so to speak.

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