Assuming you’ve been a freelance writer for awhile now, have you thought about how you really feel about your writing? I mean deep down inside, in that truth-telling place that’s sometimes scary to go.
Here’s what got me thinking in this direction a bit. I normally take my writing ability for granted. Over time I’ve been published often enough, paid often enough and complemented often enough to know I do a pretty good job. When I read my stuff I often enjoy it, even though I know it could be improved.
I also know I can count on my writing ability. Even if I don’t write for a day or a week officially, I always write something it seems. Writing is in my brain and my fingers and even, perhaps, my blood. My first writing was published when I was in 6th grade.
For years I assumed writing was easy for everyone. Hah! Or at least as easy as it seems to be for me. I finally overcame that idea and realized that writing is really difficult for many many people, and others just don’t like doing it. In other words, I owned the gift I’ve been given and mostly have been a decent steward of it.
Recently I’ve been given a couple of new opportunities that are challenging me and my writing and editing abilities. I’ve been meeting them well, which is opening new ideas and ventures for me. Exciting.
Discover how you feel about your writing
It’s not difficult to figure out how you feel about your writing. Just notice what’s going on with your thinking. Do you cringe when you need to tell someone you’re a writer, or do you claim your vocation comfortably? What happens when you read something you wrote a month ago or a year ago? Do you see that you wrote it at least reasonably well, or do you flagellate yourself with imagined mistakes?
You probably already know how you feel about your writing. Now, ask yourself this: Do your feelings about your writing support your writing career or not?
Now we’re getting to the crux of the issue.
My wish for you is to be able to say yes to writing opportunities more often than not. That means you need to feel good about your writing.
How to feel good about your writing
If you don’t feel good about your writing for the most part here are some ways you can change your attitude to the positive:
Are you getting paid for your writing? If so, you can be sure you’re doing pretty well. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, there always is. I’ve been able to pay closer attention to details as a result of working with the folks that are offering the challenge – a good thing to know.
Ask some readers for some honest opinion. Don’t ask your mom, who will always say she likes your writing, or your brother who probably won’t. Think about your friends and pick one or two who you can count on to be objective and tell you the truth.
Read your writing yourself – both some recent pieces and some from the past. Turn off your critical editor – any piece of writing can be improved, but that’s not what we want today. How does your writing sound to your ear? Look to your eye? Chances are, if you can be objective, it will look pretty good – not perfect, but good enough to build your confidence. If it doesn’t then either get some help with your self-worth or do something that will improve your writing.
Writing is a profession that will allow you to grow as a person and in your job or with your clients. As your writing improves, you’ll expand by saying ‘yes’ more often, and the growth continues.
Writing really is a pretty good gig if we allow it to be.
Questions? Comment? Put in the comment section.
Write well and often,