I Have a Hard Time Defining My Success as a Freelance Writer

When I used to work a “real” full-time job, it was easy to gauge my performance and success — I went to work, I did my job, I got paid.

As a full-time work-at-home freelance writer, it’s harder for me to look at my situation and determine if I’m actually succeeding.

Yes, my bills are being paid and there’s money in the bank. Yes, I get excellent feedback from my clients and they keep giving me work.

So why don’t I feel like I can hold my head up with pride for what I do?

Equating Pay with Value

I guess, for one thing, I make a dismal amount for my writing in comparison to other freelance writers I network with.

While some are making upward to $1/word, I’m still hovering around $0.04/word with my highest paying client giving me $0.07/word.

The problem with my low-paying client is that they are a marketing agency that finds the sites and clients that require written content and pass the job to me. I don’t have to do any outreach or pitching to get these jobs.

So I can understand why they offer a low writing rate — they are doing quite a bit of legwork.

But it still doesn’t compare to the value of what I do: write, optimize, post to WordPress, source images, edit description snippets, add tags, format images, etc.

While I am making a living income, I often feel that my low rate of pay is a direct reflection of my lack of success.

Imposter Syndrome

Another struggle I have is accepting that it’s okay for me to make money with minimal effort (as compared to my past jobs).

There’s this weird societal expectation that you can’t be successful at something unless it’s hard.

To be honest, getting to where I am took some work and dedication, but I wouldn’t consider the journey “hard”.

I look to my friends and family who work stressful and tedious jobs and earn the same amount I do — do I have any right to be proud of a vocation that isn’t stressful?

Oftentimes, I feel like I’m faking my skills and worth. I mean, if it’s so easy for me to earn a living freelance writing, why isn’t everyone doing it?

What makes me better than the other people who are?

Are my clients going to someday realize that my services are a dime a dozen in the freelancing world?

Is It In My Head? Absolutely!

I have so many counter-arguments for these thoughts that go through my head and, at the end of the day, I know I have found success in freelance writing.

For instance, if my clients wanted to find a cheaper writer and ditch me, they would have done so by now — but they understand the importance of someone who can write well and deliver on time.

Also, I can be successful without struggling every day. As the saying goes: “Love your job and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

And I do love my job.

Lastly, I will increase my income. It’s just a matter of continuing to show my value (I have received raises from my clients).

I just wanted to share my thoughts with those who are possibly struggling with the same feelings of self-doubt.

If you making money from freelance writing, you are a freelance writer — and you have every right to be proud of that.

Chelsy is a freelance writer/editor for hire as well as a single mom and blogger. She helps moms create their blogs on her site http://mamaneedscoffee.online.