These are almost the exact same things I would tell myself if I could go back in time. When I first started I wrote for the daily newspaper on a freelance basis and I would often wait in my living room to hear the plunk of the newspaper in the driveway so I could see my stories as soon as possible. I completely agree with the dive in and be scared later. I find the scariest moment in writing even now is when I get a new gig, not getting rejected or trying to convince someone I can do it. But I often go into a complete panic when an editor says yes to a gig I have coveting, even 5 years into this adventure.
The other advice that I totally agree with is taking assignments with an eye on where you want to go. Whenever possible, I try to pitch stories that I can use to leverage as clips into another marketing. I write for a hospitality publication and wanted to get into some workforce management publication, so I pitched several HR stories to my regular editor. I am now using those clips to hopefully land a new market. I honestly think this planning has made a huge difference. Even when I got my first post on Copyblogger just a few years ago, I felt the same way.
2. Have a Blog
This was my biggest downfall. Just get the thing up, and tweak it as you go along. Janet Thomson recently posted… Hello world! I concur. Will improve and change later on. True true true! My first site was awful but I ran with it anyway. Am I running with it anyway? Oh yeah. Erica recently posted… 1 year older, 1 year wiser. I would add that a lot of us perfectionists spend an hour analyzing the problems for every minute spent actively working on solutions! My biggest pieces of advice would be to treat your business as a business, not a hobby with flex time.
To market smartly and aggressively. And to know your value and charge accordingly. I always had the instinct that this was a business, and a hunger to run it like one. Expenses were low. Not treating my freelance business as a business sent me right back into a cubicle for a couple of years, as well. Having a mentor helps a lot! And making a list of goals with deadlines really helps, as well. A lot of the business plan advice I keep seeing involves selling a product. Is there a difference? It may not be that much of a difference these days at that.
Carol, what a fun blast from your past. Thank you for sharing these hard-won words of wisdom. Thank you! Crystalee recently posted… Marketing yourself?
Get ink and get out. Well, cool! I feel lucky that I was too stupid to be scared of what I was doing. Times with NO reporting background…but somehow, it happened. The editor liked my writing and was willing to teach me. Everybody needs to find somebody like that. Just jump! You can read and read and read and still not get everything perfect your first few times out — or even your first hundred. Seriously — the glasses. Tell me you still have those frames. Those bad boys are back in style!
Don’t Give Up: 5 Motivating Tips for New Freelance Writers
Wow, your dork is showing then! Hopefully donated long ago. A more concise one would be great, too. Mentors and coaches are important. Better late than never. In fact, I have an upcoming post about how my first real article assignment got killed…and how I survived that and still built a career. We all figure it out fast as we can…. Any posts planned for those who have gotten into really long-term ruts? My advice? Always follow-up! A lot of writers spend too much time worrying about their positioning and not enough time writing assignments.
Just get out there and keep finding clients! Carol, mentors are so important. My editor had me do significant rewrites of my articles and it definitely made me a better writer. Kevin Carlton recently posted… 5 reasons why rookie copywriters should only blog once a month. She lasted 3 months. She was supposed to meet up with us at a big trade show in Chicago. She never showed up and we never heard from her again! She literally RAN screaming. Could NOT hack it. The more I work with degreed writers in my mentoring program , the more angry I get about what goes on in these programs.
It seems like they exist in some kind of weird bubble apart from the world. The end. What a crime! And a waste of money. Then they have to get coaching from someone like me to deprogram them from all the negativity they got in college. Makes me mad.
Don’t Give Up: 5 Motivating Tips for New Freelance Writers
Gotta admit it took a fair few years for me to properly snap out of that debilitating pedagogic state of mind. Some never do. It does seem to me, as you sort of suggest, that a long time studying in the education system very often renders people only good for one thing — working back in the education system. I know! Schools should keep up. Even more this talk on education vs.
Hi Carol, Absolutely love this glimpse back in time to your new mommy and freelancing days! Thanks for always finding a way to tell us we can do it, too! PS Had great fun participating in the Link Party. Thank you for having it! Sincerely, Danielle Olivia Tefft. I love doing the link parties, Danielle! And it is a real trip back in time for me, looking at this picture. SO much lay ahead. Tagged with: mentoring , new writers , overcome fear. Dave says:.
October 17, at pm. Carol Tice says:. Jaime says:. September 2, at am. September 2, at pm. Lauren says:. June 11, at am. Mallett says:. Kirsty Stuart says:. June 12, at am. Codruta says:. Jordan Clary says:. June 10, at pm. Colleen Conger says:. Ahlam says:. Mandisa says:. Marsha Stopa says:. Karen says:.
Rebecca Klempner says:. Hermine says:. Karen S says:. June 10, at am. Heather says:. Shannon Davis-George says:. Katherine Swarts says:. Kalen says:. Jim Kim says:. Jonan says:. Kara says:. What's the Strangest Place You've Ever?
Qualifications don’t matter
Janet Thomson says:. Deevra Norling says:. Erica says:. Crystalee says:. Prudence Shank says:. Amandah says:. Willi Morris says:. John Soares says:. Daryl says:. Kevin Carlton says:. Danielle Olivia Tefft says:. August 19, at pm. June 19, at am. These are great! I wish I had remembered to send one. But I did get on the Writers Den list this morning. Glad you signed up…I just took a look and seats are really going fast in the Den Builder waiting room! But the number and quality of responses blew me away.
Develop your craft and have a thick skin. It takes hard work and persistence to be successful. Whether they are cold proposals to business owners, query letters to publishers, or responses to help wanted ads, well-crafted proposals will land you the more lucrative opportunities.
Try shooting an email whenever you hear of an interesting story that might intrigue them or a news tip that would help them at work. People have become interrupters to a startling degree. Real listening is rare. You can negotiate the deadline if you have too much on your plate already. You can negotiate rights if they ask you to sign a work for hire agreement. There is no greater motivation for success than having no other choice. So trust yourself and go for it. I set aside time every month to find a new site to subscribe to.
You are the only thing you can control. So focus on what you can do, what you need to do, to move yourself forward. People will secretly want you to. They will sound concerned for your welfare. Smile politely and carry on. It is very hard sometimes when an article, idea, proposal or query is turned down. We just need to remember that those are not personal attacks on us.
Tagged with: earn more from writing , freelance writing , marketing , negotiate , writing advice. Gerry says:. October 17, at pm. Alise Ramey says:. June 26, at pm. Terri Huggins says:. June 23, at pm. Carol Tice says:.
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