By Dennis Yu

The world of publishing is demanding, and the pitfalls are many. As you navigate through this challenging landscape, you might be tempted to make excuses when things don’t go as planned. In this article, we’ll explore the common traps that novice freelance writers and authors fall into and the ways to overcome them.

The Struggles and Challenges

We’ve all been there. Life happens.

  • Your grandfather passed away
  • You’ve been sick for days
  • Your laptop broke
  • The typhoon took down your internet
  • A family member needed your help

These are all valid reasons to miss work. However, what isn’t okay is leaving your team and clients in the dark, only informing them after the fact. It’s essential to communicate your situation to your team members before you need to take time off. This allows them to prepare and cover your tasks.

Misuse of Freedom

One of the most common issues for people new to remote work is misusing the freedom that comes with it. This freedom, while liberating, can be easy to abuse. You may find that friends, thinking you’re always available, invite you out frequently, causing you to delay your projects. This pattern can lead to falling behind and feeling overwhelmed.

The misconception is that if you’re at home, you must be free to text or play with your pets all day. However, working on your book is not casual; it requires commitment and discipline. People may not realize that you have project deadlines, team members depending on you, and clients entrusting their business to you.

When Excuses Start to Spiral

Feeling alone and behind can push you into ‘excuse mode’. It’s a quick fix that covers you for a day or two but doesn’t solve the long-term problem. Soon, you might find yourself stuck in a loop of procrastination and demotivation, with tasks piling up and team members chasing you down.

Continuing this way will only lead to losing clients and trust within your team. It’s essential to break this cycle and regain control.

A Better Solution: Communication and Discipline

The core issue often lies in the lack of team communication skills and the discipline to work without physical supervision. While working in an office with a strict schedule might be easier, there’s great value in learning to work independently as a writer.

The choice is yours: do you want to continue making excuses, or do you want to be proactive and accountable? Do you want to be a passive worker, only responding when needed, or a leader who takes charge?

It’s Not Too Late

If you’ve fallen into this trap, don’t despair. Many new writers have been in your shoes.

The good news is that it’s an easy trap to escape from.

Stop Making Excuses. Take Action Now

Start by taking control of your time and tasks. Learn to manage your workload effectively and communicate with your team. Here are some helpful resources:

  1. How I manage my inbox
  2. How I Manage 1,000 Emails a Day
  3. What to do when you feel overwhelmed
  4. The Importance of Lightweight Touches

Incorporate these practices into your routine, and you’ll soon see your teammates applauding you rather than chasing you down. You’ll experience the true freedom of a writing career, instead of feeling like you’re stuck in a dead-end job.

Remember, growth requires facing challenges and learning new skills. Your team and clients are counting on you. It’s time to step up to the plate and be the bestselling author you know you can be!