This is a first, here at NJFM. Today’s post is a guest post by a fellow freelance writer, Prerna Malik.
I’ve grown to admire Prena’s positive energy and strong spirit. She strives for and portrays a sense of peace, calm and serenity even when things around her are in a state of flux. Prerna is a living example of “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I hope you enjoy her writing and her message as much as I do.
I’ve always believed that tough times can either make you or break you and I’ve recently had the chance to live it first-hand. Without going into details of the “tough times,” I’d love to share how and what these times have taught me about myself, being a writer and writing online.
When Times are Tough, Change.
The first thing that I learnt was that I had to change my approach to writing online, especially if I had to meet all the bills, be there for my toddler and husband and manage a home. Till now, I had been somewhat coasting along, writing for a few private clients, a couple of residual sites that were fun but not income-generators, a few sites that did bring in income but not the kind I wanted to see and just the one upfront-paying site. So, I changed.
I focused on the residual sites that brought in the money, applied to more upfront paying sites (not many for an international writer) and took on more private client assignments. I also changed the way I spent time online. Reduced aimless browsing, focused more on reading quality rather than quantity and, engaged in reaching out rather than retweeting.
When Times are Tough, Choose.
Tough times force you to look at a situation and make tough calls. I had to let go of a client who was easy to work for but painful to follow up with for payments. I had to simplify my limited time online and focus only on the essentials. I had to choose the assignments I wanted to do with care and caution. Choosing can be tough in itself but it does help to organize and simplify one’s life. A happy by-product of making choices is that you can devote more time to things that you truly love and those that pay well too!
This was probably the toughest of all. Challenging myself to write better and faster, explore newer sites, and learn new skills, like moving my blog from Blogger to self-hosted Word Press on my own. I learnt that making article templates for my residual income sites cut down on time spent writing, interlinking, reduced research time and created valuable back links. By creating a photo directory complete with credit and link to the photo made adding photos to articles and posts super easy.
I’m grateful for these tough times since without them I’m sure that I wouldn’t have made these choices, challenged myself to aspire for better or changed the way I worked. Cocooned in my comfort zone, I was happy with where I was and didn’t think about aiming higher. As an online writer, I had the luxury of being my own boss and so, I had to make all the decisions. (Another thing, I’m grateful for!) So, yeah, tough times can shake and rattle you, but once that’s over, it’s time to take action and usually, that’s for the better.
Prerna Malik believes in meeting challenges head-on, living simple, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey as mom, wife, writer and woman at The Mom Writes.