Monday, February 19, 2007

Are You an Angry, Frustrated Freelance Writer?

Do You Recognize Yourself in These Signs?

As a freelance writer, it's very easy to become discouraged. Discouragement can lead to anger and frustration, which can stall your career - without you even realizing it. Following are signs to look for, and specific things you can do to get back on track.

1. Expending Negative Energy: Most freelancers surf the net looking for assignments. As you read job ad after job ad paying little to nothing, you boil over.
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"Don't they realize I'm a professional, I have a family to feed, my skills are worth more than that?" So, what do you do?

You start to leave nasty comments and before you know it, you've spent two hours doing this. After logging off in disgust, you decide to take some time off because you're so mad you can't even focus.

Look at what this has cost you? Precious marketing time; not to mention focus.

Solution: Accept that there will always be jobs that don't pay enough. This is freelance writing after all. And while we should all earn a decent wage, there should also be world peace, enough food to feed the hungry and free medicine for those who can't afford it.

Not to make light of the situation, but focusing on what you can't change won't help. By NOT accepting low-paying assignments, you are sending a very powerful message. So, move on - if a job does not pay what you want, spend your time looking for ones that do, not sending nasty messages to job posters who offer low-paying assignments.

After all, the reason they're probably looking for help is they're where you want to be - a busy, working freelancer.

2. Output: As in, you haven't been doing any lately. Are you depressed over lack of work; not motivated because you are bored with work; and/or frustrated at the type of work you're doing?

Whatever your reasoning, as a freelance writer, you should always be producing - unless you are on vacation.

Many freelancers make the mistake of not working when there is no client project on their desk. Just because you are not working for a client doesn't mean that you don't put in 8, 9 or 10 hours a day.

Solution: This is one of the reasons I like article marketing - it forces me to constantly write, stay motivated and fresh. I may write about a new diet drug one day, or a new type of mortgage the next day, because as a freelance writer, my job is to write.

To this end, I keep my portfolio bulging with various samples; am always working on a new e-book or planning a new e-course.

Getting up and "going to work" every day is what I do - whether it's a client project or a "Yuwanda project," produce I must and produce I do.

3. Organization: As in, is your work hampered by your lack of organization - not only of the thoughts and tools you need to work with, but organization for the future of your business. Do you wonder, "Where will this freelance thing take me? Will I ever make enough to survive on this alone?"

Solution: If you find yourself thinking along these lines, then perhaps it's time you make a real plan for your future beyond just banging out the next client project.

Like any business, if you want freelance writing to be your full-time job, then you must plan for it - eg, create a full-fledged business plan. Target a niche, create an advertising budget and come up with a marketing plan.
In conclusion, frustration is the ever-present enemy of all who have a desire, but encounter obstacles. Embracing the obstacles and creating a plan to thwart them is the key; not expending negative energy railing against them.
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Laura said...

I don't know if you do memes, but I tagged you over at my blog: I hope you participate. I've enjoyed reading your blog.

Inkwell Editorial said...

Laura, glad you enjoy the blog. Nice setup of your site -- very clean and professional. Right now, I'm swamped through April, but will do my best to to chime in where possible.