I read a great blog post by Carol Tice from Make a Living Writing this morning about the 10 Lame Excuses that keep Freelance Writers Poor.
This post really hit a nerve with me. It made me sit up and take notice.
I also realised these excuses extend further than simply writers (with the exceptions of the two regarding clips). I have heard these same excuses spoken throughout offices and within groups of friends.
I am happy to report that thankfully, I don’t suffer from all 10 excuses but a few of them are definitely holding me back from where I want to be with my writing. The three that I suffer from are certainly enough to be affecting my income opportunities.
Here are the ones that I personally struggle with.
1. I don’t have enough experience.
I can’t even count how many times this destructive phrase has popped into the recesses of my brain (where let’s face it, it does the most damage). The minute you think I don’t have or I can’t, your confidence takes a nosedive, leaving you vulnerable to fear and procrastination.
2. I don’t have connections.
Okay so I don’t know any glossy magazine editors on a first name basis yet. That doesn’t mean I can’t pitch a great story tomorrow and change that.
My other connection issue is that I’m not doing enough networking. Correction, at the moment, I am not doing any face to face networking at all. To make the connections, I need to get myself out in front of people and the sooner the better.
3. I hate marketing
If I had to pick the one lame excuse that is harming my career the most, it would have to be this one.
I am sure a lot of writers struggle with this one. I’m sure it’s not just writers either, people who have to sell their products, sing their own praises or promote themselves in some way, probably all struggle with marketing at some point.
Have a look at Carol’s list and ask which excuses are you allowing to hold you back? Which ones are stopping you from making money? While you are at it, pay special attention to Carol’s advice for powering through each of these excuses.
Right up there with the excuses we come up with, are our fears. Fear and excuses tend to go hand in hand. Something frightens us, then bang our brain automatically comes up with an excuse not to even try or move forward.
Recently, I read a post about freelance writers being afraid to pitch. A pitch, in case you were wondering, is where you ring or email an editor with your idea to see if they are interested in publishing and paying you for the completed article. They are also referred to as query letters.
I was relieved and surprised all at the same time. For some absurd reason, I had imagined that I was the only writer who had developed a slight fear of pitching. Okay, perhaps not the only one, but I doubted it was common among writers. As it turns out, it’s more common than I imagined.
It is also vital to move past this fear to be successful as a freelance writer, which is exactly what I plan to do.
With two pitches emailed out this morning and quite a few in the pipeline for this week, I am looking forward to dropping all of my excuses and getting the work done.
What are your excuses? What are your fears? Are you working at getting past them and moving onto bigger and better opportunities?
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