by Carly Schuna
It’s a powerful feeling to know that you’re in charge of your own career.
It’s also easy to feel that such a statement simply isn’t true, and that you’re never really in control. On some days, it just seems like someone else is pulling the strings—namely your clients. If you lose your highest-paying job, why shouldn’t you feel bad? When your queries are met with rejection after rejection, why should you keep plugging along instead of giving into the thoughts that maybe freelance writing isn’t really for you after all? If someone stiffs you for a long-term gig or slams you personally as a writer, why should you just suck it up and move on?
I’ll tell you why: because you’re always in control. If you’re not happy with the way your writing is going, change things. If you want a particular gig or more work or higher-paying jobs, go get them! Who’s stopping you?
No one but yourself.
That’s the best writing advice I can give you—figure out what you want, then figure out how to get it, then get it.
We all set goals, I’m sure, but sometimes I feel as if our writing goals are akin to New Year’s resolutions. Yeah, if you pledge to actually use your gym membership, maybe you will… for a month or so. Then it’s just too easy to fall back into your regular habits. I’m guilty of this. Almost everyone is guilty of this.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t change things. And, hopefully, I’ll be here to help you. Your other writer friends and editor friends will always be here to help you. But even with all that support at your back, you have to rely on yourself.
Achieving your goals is hard work. Assume that you’re not going to be lucky, ever. Realize that it’s probably going to take a long time and a lot of attempts to get what you want. But above all, know that what you want is possible.
If you dream of making a six-figure income from freelancing, know that you can do that. You really can! It’s not going to happen immediately, but if you focus most of your spare energy, effort, and time on achieving that, it will happen. If you really want to write fiction, you can publish a novel, even if you’ve never had as much as a sentence published anywhere before. I’m dead serious here.
But listen: no one can do it but you. Don’t rely on anybody else. Your dream client or your book contract or your six-figure income is not going to emerge from the mist, so you have to get out there and do absolutely everything you can to snag them. You have to refuse to believe that you won’t get them. Promote everywhere. Solicit work. Be your own biggest cheerleader. Grab a connection anywhere you can. Try again… and again… and again. Everything hinges on you.
So what do you want most of all in your freelance life? And most importantly… why are you still here reading? Go get it!