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Are You Over Thinking Your Freelance Writing Career?

Think about it for a minute. You want to make money as a freelance writer. You start looking for opportunities or you begin to send e-mails and query letters to magazine editors, you respond to writing jobs posted on the internet, you bid for writing assignments on some of the more popular bidding sites. Remember, now, you’re new to this freelance writing stuff. You’re just starting out and you’re a bit intimidated and unsure of yourself.

You get a few rejections or you find that your writing portfolio is a bit sparse (or actually non existent). You become a little more dejected with every rejection. Here’s where your thoughts start to really get in your own way.

“I’m not good enough.”
“I’ll never get published.”
“It’s too hard.”
“I might as well give up.”

Sound familiar? Now I’ve got to ask you a few questions:

  • How long did it take you to learn to walk? Did you hop out of the crib, and take off or did you stumble and fall a few times (if you don’t remember, ask your parents)?
  • How long did it take you to learn to read?

See where I’m going with this? No? Okay, here are a few more questions since it seems that I haven’ clearly made my point:

  • If you’re away at school did you learn the layout of the campus on the first day or were you late to a few classes because you got lost?
  • If you currently hold a full-time job, did you understand the ropes on day one or did it take time to learn the computer system, the office policies and the job duties?
  • How long did it take you to learn to drive, or ride a bike, or roller blade, swim, ski, play basketball?

Do you get it now? Contrary to popular belief, freelance writing success doesn’t happen over night. When you get your first few rejections, always remember that the law of numbers is working for you. You’re getting closer and closer to your first acceptance. You just have to get by those initial rejections to get to it.

Can you imagine if you quit the first time you stumbled as a child and decided, “Forget it! This walking thing is just too hard. I’ll crawl for the rest of my life.”

You didn’t “think” your way into walking. You just did it. As we get older, we tend to over think things rather than just setting out to do it. It’s a good thing we were too young to “think” about walking when we were babies, or else there would be many adults still crawling around on all fours now.

When it comes to your freelance writing or blogging career, think like a baby learning to walk. Just do it!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Bruce Pohlmann August 30, 2008, 12:14 am

    This is a timely post for me. I recently retired and decided to try freelancing. While I was teaching, I wrote a few travel related articles for print and web magazines as a hobby. I decided to start with writing an ebook. After the first week with no sales, I felt rather discouraged and was wondering whether it was worth the time to continue on with the new book that I am working on. Suddenly, bingo! 10 sales in one day, and the book continues to sell a few copies a day. You just have to hang in there. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Anne Wayman January 9, 2009, 3:38 pm

    oh so very true… took me years and years to learn what I was doing. Now it looks to many like I was born knowing it… but I wasn’t.

    I figure I was born with a pinch of talent and I’ve been working with that pinch, being a reasonably good steward of it every since.

    Great post, thanks

    Anne Waymans last blog post..What counts as being published? Ask Anne The Pro Writer

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