5 Freelance Mistakes That Are Killing Your Creativity

Last Updated on: April 16th, 2021

5 Freelance Mistakes That Are Killing Your Creativity

Very few freelancers experience success. Whether you are a pro or a novice freelancer, this article is for you.

It discusses your freelance creativity, which is an essential component to freelancing success.

Clients and hiring managers seek out freelancers who can think outside the box. They look for freelancers who not only can write (and write well), but who can come up with creative ways for writing about common topics, teaching others, and conveying the message of the business’s brand.

(Related: A 12-Section Guide to Branding Your Business Online)

(Related: 47 Killer Tips All Writers Need When Their Creativity Goes AWOL)

If you have been freelancing for a while, you have probably made your fair share of mistakes.

If you are a novice freelancer, you might be making these mistakes right now.

Because most freelancers don’t know what these mistakes are, they don’t even realize that they are making them! However, when they see a drop or decrease in their clientele, freelancers realize something is missing. That missing link is their creativity.

Today’s guest is going to share with you 5 freelance mistakes that might be killing your creativity.

Meet Aamir, who has a great expertise in the field of freelancing. He has had the privilege of training at least 300 freelancers. He has not only worked with freelancers, but has worked with and served hundreds of clients all around the world.

Aamir Khursheed headshot

He has learned that what sets freelancers apart from others is not just their skills but their creativity.

Take it away, Aamir!

Creativity is Your Greatest Asset as a Freelancer

Clients are continually looking for freelancers who have two feathers in their hat: skills and creativity.

Working closely with so many freelancers has led me to notice certain things. One thing I have noticed is that successful freelancers avoid making mistakes that have caused newbie freelancers to lag behind or fail.

Freelancers who are aware of such mistakes have avoided them and taken their creativity to the next level of success.

You would have a decent share of mistakes if you have been freelancing. However, if you are a novice, it is conceivable you might not have made all the mistakes yet, but probably you will if you don’t realize what they are.

You are Making Creativity Mistakes!

Here you are – sitting in front of the laptop, working for hours.  Everything seems perfect.  You are delivering your best efforts on the project. But suddenly the client responds – it just doesn’t feel right.

You feel a blow in your face. You lose one client and things just start to spiral downward and you start losing more clients. You begin realizing your freelance business is losing its momentum. You even begin experiencing trouble getting new clients and convincing them to hire you.

You start to realize you are no longer productive as a freelancer.

But HEY! It just doesn’t end here.

You have never thought of it. You are making mistakes that are hurting your freelance career.

Do you want to work creatively again and avoid the destruction of your freelance business? Then stop the freelancing mistakes listed below if you’re doing any one of them!

Freelance Creativity Mistake #1: You Do Not Handle Criticism Properly

It happens to all freelancers at some point time in their career, they receive criticism.

We all know criticism. Sometimes, it limits us from trying new things. We take on a fear that we have failed our client and ourselves.

You start to compare yourself with other people and start to sink. When you get a negative feedback from the client, you think, “I have been exceedingly terrible when it comes down to this.”

Other people around seem better than you and you feel that you’re not the right person to freelance.

Then you lose the hope and belief in yourself completely.

This is the first mistake freelancers have been doing that they take the criticism negatively instead of constructively. When you lose belief in yourself and don’t trust your skills, you simply end up hurting your self-confidence.

What’s more is that you lost all the creativity you have. It limits your personality to come up with new concepts and deliver your best work.

A successful freelancer, however, takes criticism another way. They just go back to see where they went wrong and try to correct themselves instead of losing their belief.

Don’t be afraid to let yourself flow while working with the clients. Whatever it is, you need to be YOU!

You need to trust your gut. Then face what’s coming, and evaluate yourself time to time. Go back and see where you went wrong and try to correct yourself.

Freelance Creativity Mistake #2: You Multi-Task

You are running out of time, and eventually find yourself not meeting the projects’ deadlines. The first thing you think – I am not productive enough.

However, if you take a good look at your use of time, you will have noticed that you have been inefficient.

Inefficiency kills your creativity!

Multi-tasking makes us inefficient. The solution to being efficient is to drive your focus to one project at a time. Move on to the next project only once you complete the current one.

I have caught myself in this kind of situation. Thankfully, I reverted soon. But just like me, other freelancers are also making the same mistake. For instance, they work on project X for one hour. Go out for a party. Come back and put their hands in another project. They are carrying all the projects with each other. Off base! Totally wrong. It’s much the same as putting all your eggs in one basket. If a few break, all will break, for sure.

Thus, don’t put all your projects in one time frame. Figure out and establish a routine/schedule that works for you and stick to it. A practical schedule will work wonders for you, leading you to project completion by the deadline you’ve been given. You know your game when you are most productive. Either it’s early in the morning or late at night. That is when you feel the pulse when you know your creativity hits the crest.

MUST READ: How to Find a Good Work-Life Balance (+ a FREE Workbook/Planner)

Freelance Creativity Mistake #3: You Accept Any Project

New freelancers make the mistake of taking on anything that comes their way to earn an extra dollar. At the same time, a freelancer would offer writing services as well as SEO, branding and so on to make more dollars. That kind of trend can hurt the career of a fresh freelancer in the long run.

They lose the focus and become a jack of all trades, but master of none. This is the mistake where a freelancer loses the focus and the opportunity to be well experienced in a single industry. All the creativity go in vain.

Their experience needs to remain in one single field. They key to be successful is to focus on one area at a time.

That way you can be a pro as a freelancer with better quality of service for current and future clients.

Once you are established, you can be like Lorraine (owner of Wording Well) who offers 4 services, and excels at all of them!

5 freelance mistakes

Freelance Creativity Mistake #4: You Don’t Take Mental Breaks

Taking a mental break is needed in order to be more creative. The nature of freelancing is that you set your own hours and you are your own master. But, when your workload gets really heavy, you hardly get time to sleep. Working continuously for hours chop down your motivation and creativity.

A mental break gives you time to rejuvenate later to be more inspirational. So don’t become a slave on the laptop, take out time to eat, sleep and relax.

Your new inspiration will make you resourceful for the future.

This is the mistake every busy freelancer is making, which is a big damage to their career. Freshening up your mind sparks the creativity and ignite the inspiration. Thus, working continuously without taking a break kills the creativity.

BLOGGING BREAK TIP: To take a break from blogging, use these tips.

Freelance Creativity Mistake #5: You Take on Too Much Freelancing Work

Are you taking on more projects than you can handle? Taking on more projects than you can handle not only cuts down the quality of your work, but likewise hurts your productivity and creativity.

It is easy to accept every job than get them done!

The truth is freelancers are humans and truly need to manage their workloads. This mistake is common across all freelancers. They accept projects and think of dealing with them later. However, it completely destroys the work harmony and diligence.

What Else Can We Add to this List?

Now that you are aware of the top 5 freelancing mistakes most freelancers make, you can rectify them.

Awareness is the biggest issue! Thankfully, you now know what you have to do to maintain your creativity and keep your creative juices flowing.

What other mistakes have you made? What else can we add to this list?

Share in the comments, and let’s learn from each other!


Aamir Khursheed headshot

Aamir Khursheed is a young motivated writer, a business person, a freelance trainer and a public speaker who is developing a new mindset for advanced entrepreneurship and pursuing a degree in the same field. Find him at Techinism and connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

I offer a free e-book to my blog subscribers, along with other goodies free of charge in some of my emails… so pick up your copy of 20 Blog Post Must-Haves today! Wording Well's freebie: An e-book titled 20 Blog Post Must-HavesAnd don’t forget that I’m a a freelance blogger, writer, and editor for hire. (And an author who can help you create an e-book to give away on your site, sell, and even turn into a print book… to help you earn passive income.)

Did You Know You Could Become a Freelance Editor?

Being a freelance editor, in my opinion, is even better than being a freelance writer. First of all, it pays more. Secondly, it is the best job I could ever ask for. I love editing, I love words, and I love helping others. Finally, I love reaping the many rewards (check out the many benefits of being a freelance editor).

If you are not currently working at your dream job and want to be a freelance editor, then sign up to get on the “interest list” for my upcoming course!

I am in the process of designing a course that will teach you EVERYTHING about being a work-from-home editor and entrepreneur.

This includes:

– how to get paid up-front… ALWAYS! (before you do any work)

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– where to find work

– how to leverage social media for your business (because, YES, you will be actually running a business if you are successful!)

– how to keep accurate records

– how to easily calculate your costs

– how to communicate with potential clients so they turn into ACTUAL clients

– how to organize your time (so you can complete all of the tasks involved in running your biz)

– how to deal with difficult clients

– which projects to accept

– when to raise your rates


Plus, I want to get to know you so that I can give you EXACTLY what you need to succeed!

So, DO you want to know more about how to become a freelance editor?




4 thoughts on “5 Freelance Mistakes That Are Killing Your Creativity

  1. says

    Hey Lorraine,

    Creativity is really considered as greatest asset for a freelancer, simply we can say that creativity is a tool which helps us to push near to success or achieve our goals. But sometimes creativity push us to meet mistakes in life. You have explored great informative things and it provides us good opportunity to learn something from this post.

    Commonly, we can observe from freelancer life that they are multi tasking. In this order they cannot focus on individual work and they suck. Sometimes it is also seen they accept any project for money and majorly they get fail in achieving goals.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

    • says

      Amar, freelancers definitely need creativity to stay one step ahead of everyone else!

      I have turned down several jobs and several clients simply because I didn’t like the scope of the work. It’s nice to be able to have that option, and not have to take any job just for the money! 🙂

      Have you ever freelanced before?

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