This article is contributed by Amelia Wood.
Today I’d like to offer some words of wisdom to those of you who find yourself struggling against the cynicism and defeatist mentality that dogs you on the job day in and day out. I’m talking about the readers out there suffering from fatigue brought on by hard economic times and seemingly insurmountable life obstacles. I’ve been there and I feel your pain.
Let me share some of my own misfires and setbacks in my career, and how I worked to overcome (most of) them.
An idealistic freelancer
My hardships began when I made the choice to quit my desk job and set out to work for myself. Like millions of Americans who’ve made similar choices, I was driven by the desire to make a name for myself as an entrepreneur, banking on my raw talents to pave the way to success. I’ve always worked in the writing trade, so I naturally intended to become a freelance writer doing mostly online content. I assumed that my impressive resume and formidable writing samples would land me any writing gig for which I applied. To me, it seemed like there was no limit to the amount of work I could do for all the eager clients I had imagined.
Oh, I couldn’t have been more naïve.
The truth is that I didn’t fully understand the lay of the land when I started submitting my work to bloggers and online publications. I thought that my experience would jettison me to the top of any editor’s list of potential freelance writers; what I didn’t immediately get was that hundreds of writers with the same experience were applying for similar work. That’s when the reality of my decision fully hit me: I had abandoned the safety of corporate employment, and I was truly on my own to make ends meet.
Handling Ups and Downs
The first few months were the worst. I had to accept the fact that there were countless bloggers out there who wanted the same thing that I wanted, and that my work had to be that much better if I ever hoped to get published. I made the mistake of taking things personally: an unanswered email or a rejected article would wound me much more than it should have; I became indignant when I saw another writer featured on a site that I felt entitled to work for. My work suffered, and I was getting fewer paid assignments that I had anticipated. Paying bills was risky even though I had saved a nest egg, and I no longer had company medical insurance to cover me should any unexpected crisis occur.
Luckily everything turned for the better once I changed my attitude. After a few months I began to understand the rhythm and flow of blog writing, how it varies so much from conventional print and copywriting. I began building a professional network among trustworthy bloggers who helped me get my foot in the door of some great places, and I started to write more and more freelance pieces. I landed great writing assignments at various places like the wonderful insurance site that I write for now. In short, I’m so glad that I stuck with my decision to become a self-sustained freelancer.
Overcome your inhibitions
The difference between my first few months as a freelancer and present day could not be more different. I have a sharper, more positive outlook on my life, and I feel liberated by the complete freedom that my occupation gives me. What’s more, my work habits have changed for the better as I challenge myself daily to do better work. I no longer expect to receive any projects or assignments – I work hard to earn them. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My key to success can be yours. As long as you can overcome the cynicism and entitlement that’s holding you back from achieving, you can do big things. I, for one, believe in you!
Author Bio: Amelia Wood pursues freelance writing projects in the medical billing and coding schools niche. She especially loves hearing back from her readers. Questions or comments can be sent to wood. amelia1612 @ gmail.com.
Image Credit: Courtesy of TK_Presse via Flickr