Most people, whether they are working for an employer or freelancing, want to feel like they are working toward something better. They may be trying to get a better salary or qualify for a promotion. Whatever the individual’s personal “carrot” hanging on a stick in front of them, they need something to keep them motivated on the job.
The same thing is true for freelance writers. We have an idea of what “success” means to us, and while what it looks like is as unique as the writers themselves, part of it usually involves a writer stretching him or herself in their work. Very few people would be content doing the same kind of work day in, day out, for the rest of their working lives – especially if the rate of pay stays the same.
If you want to get the higher paying freelance writing jobs, you need to stretch yourself. Going after a bigger or better-paying gig can be a bit nerve-wracking, but this is a good sign. You need to get outside your comfort zone if you’re going to grow as a writer, and if you wait until you have no butterflies to do it, you will have missed out on some wonderful opportunities.
Sometimes you need to seek out these opportunities by sending out pitches to clients you would like to work with or applying for gigs that pay more than what you are currently getting. At other times, the chance to stretch as a freelance writer comes to you when a client asks if you are interested in taking on a type of project you haven’t tackled before.
When that happens, try not to get too hung up on the “what if I mess this up?” thoughts. If the client didn’t think you could handle it, they wouldn’t have approached you. Ask questions to make sure you understand what the client wants, and give it your best shot.
One of the advantages of doing this kind of work is that we have variety in the projects we can work on. If we don’t give ourselves permission to try something new every so often, we will just stagnate in our working lives.
What projects have been a stretch for you and how did you feel once they were completed?