For those that may not know, I’ve been working as a freelance writer (officially) since April 2020. That translates to around only five months. In that time, I’ve had to change my yearly budgetary goal twice. Something I never anticipated happening. (Not that I’m complaining or anything)
Earlier this month, I receieved Top Rated status on the Upwork job platform. Essentially, it reflects the fact that I have 100% job satisfaction from my clients – something I pride myself on and tout in my proposals. It’s also something I work extremely hard at. (My perfectionist streak comes in handy)
None of that holds a candle to getting a video call from a client and getting told they’re bumping my hourly rate. OR hearing the praise that my work is so well structured and written, it beats some of the full-time writers they’ve worked with over the past FIVE YEARS. (Honestly, that was the bigger compliment for me as I sometimes still wonder if I’m any good)
Now, if you want to know how I feel about something, you can read it on my face. I have no idea how I managed to keep my composure to finish the call before jumping up and dancing around the office. They didn’t retract the offer or statements, though, so I think I did okay. (And then immediately regreted the fact I was wearing a t-shirt and hoodie – that “wear anything” idea can bite you in the ass sometimes)
So, yeah, I’m beginning to believe this crazy ride was worth getting in line. And today feels really damn good.
Being a freelance writer involves a TON of work, most of which people don’t really get to know about since it isn’t glamorous and never makes it print anywhere:
- Marketing yourself (I personally HATE this task and have to constantly work at selling myself and my skills)
- Adapting your writing to fit into templates requested by clients
- Adjusting your style/tone to fit requests of clients (not always – sometimes you get to keep true to your tone)
- Waiting to find out if a new client is going to like what you submitted
So when a client comes back with high praise and tells you they love what you did (or extend you a contract), your little writer heart does the happy dance, and you feel like you scaled a mountain. Maybe not Mount Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro, but a mountain all the same.
Today, I got to scale a mountain, and my writer’s heart is happy and grinning a big, sappy smile.
Submitting your work is the acid test for any writer, as is the collection of rejections (fact of life – if you’re not prepared for that, writing is not for you). Well, one of my short stories – “Glissando” – graduated from receiving the standard rejection form letter to receiving a rejection with an added note!
Even better, the note rejected the story not for the writing, but for subjective reasons! Which boils down to turning around and sending it out to the next market without a need to make any edits.
These are the kind of moments a writer lives for…well, you know, and those moments when your work gets accepted.
You hear veteran writers tell you the same thing a lot of times, “Keep trying.”
Well, they say that for a reason: because it WORKS! I have been submitting pitches for freelance work for about three weeks now, carefully making sure I followed the advice I was given and not letting the silence on the other end discourage me.
And I now have two contracts for three articles under my belt as a result of my continuing work! It feels awesome!
So, yes – KEEP TRYING!
In the past week, I’ve actually accomplished a lot, for which I’m really proud of myself (hence this little post):
- I started submitting my short stories again
- I sent out my first proposals on Upwork
- I sent out my first article query to a “local” magazine (it’s in the state, so I count that as local)
These bat wings may be a little creaky, but they’re flexed and ready to fly again!