What’s on Pandora: You’re No Good by Linda Ronstadt
I’m still at the conference. Today I’ll be dropping by booths and attending press events and educational sessions. A full day topped off with a hospitality suite in the evening. I’ve invited a PR chum along so she has somewhere to go and so we can bond over cocktails and finger food.
I was thinking back to the incident last week in which the new writer responded to a wealth of advice from experienced writers so flippantly. It’s quite okay to be nervous, lack some confidence, even be afraid. It’s not okay to slough off well-meaning advice with a “I’m not sure I’m going this route anyway” type of comment. This particular poster had a passion lying elsewhere. That’s fine. I’m all for following your passion….so why are you looking to be a writer exactly?
The advice given would fit his/her particular path. It all applies. Build your presence, learn your market, don’t accept less than you deserve, don’t believe that unpaid and underpaid work is all you can get, etc. This one may be young — I’m guessing fresh out of college. However, you’re never too young to grow a backbone, and no matter what profession you’re in, you need one.
So how do you build a backbone and show your professional chops?
Take the leap. The hardest leap you’ll ever make is that first one. It’s new territory for you. However, plenty before you have charted it and left trails all over blogs, books, courses, and coaching sessions. You’re not alone. Before leaping, learn what it takes to make a more successful jump.
Once you jump, commit. Freelancing isn’t finger painting — if you’re in it to dabble and not really put effort into it, don’t bother. But once you’ve decided to give it a go, give it your full effort and attention. Your career will eventually thank you for it.
Accept your own reality. I can tell you all day how rosy the world of freelancing is (not that I would), or someone else could tell you how horrific it is and how there’s no money in it. The truth — your truth — lies somewhere between those two points. It’s yours to create and build. Decide what it is and accept no less.
Turn your passion outward. You love this job, so why are you taking content mill gigs? Because you’ve disconnected from your passion. You’re in survival mode (and ironically, the content mills give you little chance of survival). Get in active business mode — learn what you love doing, get those jobs, and get busy loving what you do. Don’t take any gig that won’t make you happy to go to the computer every day. And if you end up with one of those jobs, do your best to replace it as quickly as possible.
What has gone into the creation of your backbone?