Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Strategy for Succeeding as a Freelance Writer

"If you wait for perfect conditions,
you will never get anything done."
-Ecclesiastes 11: 4-5

So, I am catching up on my favorite blogs and an article from Make a Living Writing catches my eye. Actually, it punched me in the face. There were some harsh realizations I had to face after reading this article by Carol Tice. The title says it all and I have to shamefully admit that I am guilty of almost half the excuses in 10 Lame Excuses That Keep Freelance Writers Poor.

The same day I read Carol’s article I stumbled on a quote from Ecclesiastes 11: 4-5, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” I am also guilty of “waiting for perfect conditions” (the weather to turn cooler, a better publishing program, creating an official website, etc.) and in the meantime I am getting nowhere with writing or marketing myself as a writer.

After reading Carol’s article and Ecclesiastes 11: 4-5 I felt as if I was given the one - two punch. And I liked it! It took this knock on the head to get me thinking about how I am handling myself as a freelance writer. I will bluntly admit that I am not proud of where I am. Do I blame those who won’t hire me? How can they if they don’t know who I am and what I have to offer? Sure, I can smile when I review the clips I have collected over the past year; I then frown when I see there is only a handful. I know I can produce much more but I feel as if there is something holding me back. Do I wait for opportunity to knock at my door or do I knock down opportunity’s door?

I need to shake off the shackles that keep me from earning a living with writing. I should tape a quote from 10 Lame Excuses That Keep Freelance Writers Poor, “The real problem is inside your head.” Couldn’t have said it better, Carol! If I want to know what’s holding me back I need only to look in the mirror.

With that said, I need to take a moment and revaluate my plan to become a successful freelance writer . . . formulate a strategy. I like to think that this strategy may work for others. It’s a straight forward approach to overcoming excuses and the obsession for obtaining perfect conditions.

1.                  Start writing. It doesn’t have to be a 500 page novel. Begin with a journal of thoughts and interests and then let the creative juices flow.
2.                  Do some marketing. Start with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Update profile to reflect freelance writing. Create a profile on freelance writing job sites.
3.                  Continue writing. The interests that were marked down in a journal can now blossom into a series of articles for a niche website.
4.                  Do some more marketing. Take to the streets and do some in-person networking.
5.                  Keep this in mind at all times – always push for more . . . more writing . . . more marketing . . . more. Earl Nightingale, a motivational author and speaker once said, "One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you'll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do." Imagine what can be done if one studied two hours a day!

Remember . . . “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”

Go to it, and do it!

Photo provided by Jodi Hughey. Copyright 2011.