As many of you know, I’m a freelance writer. Indeed, the name, “freelance,” definitely is a loaded word since there are countless perks to what I do, but my journey has certainly had its share of pitfalls. Just like the raw, uncut nature of my pieces before submission, I am a definite work-in-progress as I learn and grow as a writer and as an individual. Whether you’re an established freelancer or are just dipping your toe into the water, here are three crucial truths to keep in mind as you create an alternative stream of income while chasing the vision.
1. You Will Fall Forward — Often Multiple Times Per Day: Indeed, as a freelancer, many of the available gigs out there are heavily evaluative. In other words, each and every day that you tackle a project, there is a strong chance that your work will be heavily criticized or rejected outright, depending on the nature of your assignment. In my 3-year career as a freelancer, I experience rejection at least once a week. Last week, I encountered three instances of having my work either rejected, excessively criticized, or sent back for additional editing. However, the week before was a virtual gold mine of successful projects. There is a certain “ebb and flow,” and it’s essential to build a tough skin, learn from your mistakes, and fight to retain your place. It’s all part of the freelance lifestyle, and there’s simply no room for fear.
2. There is No Guarantee: When I first started freelancing, I expected guaranteed hours, just as one might hold at a traditional day job. However, I have discovered this to be nearly impossible. Again, your work is often strictly usage-based, so some days, you’ll experience more work than you can possibly manage. Other weeks? The “well” is far too dry for comfort. Therefore, the goal is to create multiple opportunity streams. In all honesty, I don’t think it’s possible to have too many opportunities lined up as long as you are meeting deadlines and staying organized and ahead of your game.
3. Get Ready to Work: Most importantly, as a freelancer, you must accept the fact that you might have to learn a new skill — to do what previously might have seemed impossible– in order to be successful. When I started content writing, I truly felt that I could never produce consistently solid content so quickly. However, I kept experimenting, practicing, learning, and taking the advice from my superiors to heart. Now, thanks to God’s grace and long hours of labor, I’ve been granted professional-grade status at two companies where I submit most of my content. It’s been tough.There have been many tears, many rejections, and many exhausting nights and days, but following a passion has never been easy for anyone. I’m done with complaining. I’m over it.
A lot of people talk a lot of flack about content writing, but I’m grateful that it puts food on the table while offering me the opportunity to share my voice. My companies have truly been good to me and respect me as a writer, and, for the most part, my clients are generous, kind, and passionate about their projects, which is why I keep pushing forward.
Simply put, the most relevant advice I can offer you is to be both consistent and extremely teachable. Be hungry to learn, and never lose heart even though you will likely experience those “dark days of the soul” that leave your cheeks burning and your heart shifted a little to the left. Keep pushing, my friends, and never forget what drives you to follow your passion to the ends of the earth.
Photo courtesy of http://www.shrinemont.com