Hang in there, my fellow writers

As you may know, I’m trying to make an honest living by freelancing these days. It’s not easy. In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a recession on,  and everyone’s having to cut back.  But I’m pressing forward and not giving up.

And I think that’s one of the keys to success in this line of work: persistence. You have to keep trying, even if you’ve sent out 50 query letters and haven’t gotten any promising results. You have to believe that you just haven’t gotten any promising results YET. It has to be about the YET, or else it becomes too easy to just give up.

I wouldn’t give up on a potential source for a story if I had only called or emailed him two or three times. So why give up on procuring new assignments after a few dead-ends? That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t perhaps re-examine what you’re doing, of course. Maybe your cover letters are too dull, or maybe you’re emphasizing the wrong skills in your resume. Maybe you’re just applying for the wrong assignments. Maybe you’re not applying quickly enough. But if you aren’t afraid to monitor what you’re doing and make the necessary changes, it doesn’t make sense to concede defeat. At least, not yet.

So, dear readers, consider that your pep talk from me. Actually, it made me feel better, just giving a pep talk. So we’re all good now, right?

And speaking of finding some encouragement, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about freelancing written by my fellow freelancers. I’ve learned some useful tips from some of them, but the most important thing I’ve gleaned so far is feeling a sense of solidarity with others. When you work out of your home office by yourself, sometimes you can get a little lonely (okay, I do, but then I’m an extrovert, which I realize may be an unusual characteristic for someone who bills herself as a writer). So it’s nice to know that there are others out there who sometimes feel the same way. It’s nice to think about someone else out there, sitting in her chair in her yoga pants and sweater, trying to craft a beautifully-written assignment that will make the client come crying back for more or hammer out a bang-up query letter that will hopefully generate immediate, high-paying job offers…before the kiddo wakes up from his nap and demands Spider-Man fruit treats. Um, not that it’s always like that at my house…

Here’s sample of some of the writing-related blogs I’ve discovered lately. Consider it a mini-blogroll and a shout-out to my fellow writers:

Freelance Writing Jobs
The Independent Journalist
Freelance Parent
The Relaxed Writer
All Freelance Writing
Writing Thoughts
The Golden Pencil
Jen’s Writing Journey
.Freelancedom*

I know there are other blogs and resources out there, and I’d love to see them, if you let me know about them.

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About jenniferlarsonwrites

I'm a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, Tennessee. I have a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree in English from Rhodes College. I'm a born-and-bred Southerner who spent a few years in Southern California, a rabid baseball fan and a would-be grower of tomatoes. You can also visit me at LinkedIn or on Twitter at @JenniferLarson.
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2 Responses to Hang in there, my fellow writers

  1. Lindsay says:

    Personally, I think is a great time to focus on writing for yourself, building up a blog or website that brings in passive income. It takes a while to get something off the ground (so keep freelancing to pay the bills!), but I’ve found my sites amazingly recession proof thus far. (I make my money selling advertising and linking to affiliate products from my sites.)

    Good luck!

  2. jenniferlarsonwrites says:

    Lindsay, I am so glad you happened by my blog. I checked out your site, and apparently I have a lot to learn about the possibilities that are out there. Thanks for giving me a nudge!

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