To make it as a freelance writer, I’ve learned a few things that have helped me work through some common road blocks that many writers encounter. The start of your career can hit you with a ton of rejection, and confusion, leaving you questioning your choice to become a writer. Here are a few things that may help you better prepare for a career as a freelance writer.
Reframe Rejection. The term reframe is often used in therapy, and it means to view from a different perspective, typically objective, neutral or positive. When it comes to rejection, every writer will likely experience it at some point. Sometimes rejection comes in the form of an actual rejection letter, or you just won’t hear back from place you’ve applied to, or pitched pieces to. If you take every rejection personally, you probably won’t want to continue as a writer. So, let’s reframe this sucker. Rejection creates an opportunity to fine tune your pitching skills, perfect your resume/cover letter, and figure out what types of jobs you are most qualified for. The more rejections you get, the closer you are to honing in on your specific type of job for the time being. Rejection also allows you to practice your healthy coping skills and build resiliency. Even though it is difficult to get rejected, you are ultimately the only one who can prevent your goals from being achieved.
Identify Self Esteem Issues. You may find your confidence wavering at the start of your career as you begin to figure out how you stand out in a sea of great writers, bloggers and content developers. This is totally normal. Figuring out your style as a writer takes time and practice.
Think about where you derive your self worth from. Does self worth directly coincide with your job? For many, especially in America, there is a huge premium placed on the type of job you have, like that in some way makes you who you are. Your job hopefully gives you opportunities for growth, learning and skill building, but it should not be the sole dictator of your self worth. Your job can never fully encapsulate who you are as a person, in your entirety. So whether you have your dream job, no job or a meh job, work towards your self-esteem not becoming greatly impacted when things don’t go as you planned career-wise.
Understand Your Procrastination. Procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing. It can give you lots of clues as to why you are avoiding something. For many, procrastination is a way to replace a not-so-fun activity with something more enjoyable. When it comes to writing, you may encounter many subjects and publishers that don’t seem to fit with what your interests are, even if your pitch or job application ends up being approved. As you progress as a writer, take time to think about and explore whether or not the job opportunity is worth it. If you find yourself procrastinating more often than not when it comes to a certain subject, you may want to take a look at other options. You may find your passion has shifted.
Although finding your writing niche can be exciting, keep your options open and continue to explore what you enjoy writing about. New interests eventually lead to new opportunities. You never know where your career may end up, and at least to me, that’s pretty exciting.