What I’m listening to: Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers (what a fun video!)
I’ve even had time to do my usual forum surfing. I was in some LinkedIn forums the other day when it happened (it always happens, actually) — misinformation was being shared as fact. Beyond the usual whine-fest (i.e. “There just isn’t any good-paying work out there!”), I was seeing a new crop of mythical info that is being presented as The Way Things Are.
Maybe it’s my contradictory nature, but anytime I see an absolute statement, I call bullshit.
When you hear what I’ve read lately, I bet you will, too. Here’s the short list of myths that take the air out of new freelancers:
Ask for work from other freelancers and you will receive. This trend is growing in frequency, and it pisses me off. Why? Because it’s lazy. One person on a forum actually asked someone to locate a high-paying gig for him, complete with his story of how he and his family are struggling. I sympathize because I’ve been there — the work isn’t finding its way to you and you panic. However, I’m not busting my ass for you, for the only writing you seem to want to do is to cajole others into doing the work for you. You haven’t worked in five months? In five months, you couldn’t find one job? The problem isn’t the market. It’s your lack of drive. BS Meter Level: Orange Alert.
Freelance writing is a saturated market, so don’t expect much. I call serious bullshit on this one. There is no such thing as a “saturated” freelance market. Correction: there’s no such thing as a saturated market if you’re actively marketing to quality clients. If you’re calling the content mills saturated, you’re right. And you’re fishing in the wrong pond. BS Meter Level: Yellow heading into Orange.
You’ll never earn a living with your fiction. I saw this stated in not one, but two different places. If you write plays, books, essays, or poetry, you’re screwed. No way you’ll ever make a living freelance writing that way. Yes, you can make money with fiction. Ask Devon Ellington. Ask Princess Jones. Ask any writer who’s doing it right now if they think it’s impossible. Anyone who tells you you can’t hasn’t tried or isn’t good enough to do so. It takes the same level of commitment to finding clients and markets as it does any other area of freelance writing. BS Meter Level: Pegged in the Red Zone.
Longer articles are better. Here we go again. The pronouncement that a particular post length is The Way Things Must Be. Because we all know that everyone enjoys reading a 2,000-word post when they have exactly three minutes to scan the internet before getting back to work. Please. The length is as long or as short as it needs to be for you to make your point without boring the hell out of your audience. BS Meter Level: Solid Yellow.
Writers, what myths are you seeing circulating lately?
Which ones can you prove wrong?