When I started freelancing, I felt like a fraud. I still do. How do you know when you’ve made it? When you start to make a living from it? Is that the answer?
I am a writer because I write. It doesn’t always have to be paid work to make that true and I sure as hell don’t need validation from someone who thinks they know better. I recently read an article that talked about being and becoming a writer. Through the author’s humour he makes this point quite clear, if you want to be a writer, you need to write! And write, I do. I blog and book review. Sure they don’t amount to a pay cheque but I haven’t stopped.
There are two major things that hold back writers: one, is coming by paid work and two, a massive fear of failure. Both, are completely spineless excuses and I have been guilty of both. Sure, I put myself (and my finances) out there when I first ventured into freelancing but ultimately I still withheld my best efforts out fear. Fear of not being good enough. Not being legit enough. As if every editor I contacted would see that I was a bit of a newbie to the business. It’s ridiculous because there is no real price for failure. If anything actually, the price is eventual success as you can’t learn and find success without all that failure brings.
Now it’s not easy to get paid work, especially when you don’t know where to look for it but I’ve learned a few things. I know how to pitch an article and who I need to be contacting and read a lot of books to learn about the process of doing so. I have however, also learned that I don’t like making pitches or even the prospect of generating my own work. I function better knowing where my work is coming from and having stricter deadlines. I worked well in a marketing agency doing the majority of their copywriting. Steady writing, but dull content. But that’s life isn’t it? Nothing, not even the idea of a dream job is perfect. And dreams are a lot of fucking work. If they were easy we would all be doing something ideal. Getting the paid gigs comes with relentless persistence and getting your name out there. This is where I have lacked, but that is about to change. It’s time to take what I have learned and exchange them for new experiences.
Writing is about being real to what it is that you want to write about it and just doing it. I’m not talking about displaying my inner feelings to the world like a teenager, that isn’t the point. It’s about having and opinion and sharing ideas. Nothing reads better than passion too. Writing lively and engaging content comes from passion, research and intent. But I digress.
I am changing the direction of this blog. It will still be about books but it needs much more personal flare and ambition. I am reaching for more. I am a writer because I write, but I need to get my name out there and practice higher quality writing. I may not know exactly what kind of writing work I want to get into but I’m going to start pitching again. I’m also going to start including content on this blog that is reflective of my writing practice and views. Stay tuned for a new name and look.