When I told a friend I’d given myself two years from the beginning of 2011 to break into the freelance market, he wondered what that meant for me as a writer if I didn’t meet that deadline. (I had my first paid, freelance piece published on TheVine in mid-2012, just under the wire.) “Would I just give up” if I wasn’t published by that arbitrary date?
I’m not a quitter and I have been known to stick things out well past their used by date due to loyalty and the notion that they might get better. My freelance career has left much to be desired since that first piece, and I still haven’t given up on it, so no, I don’t think I would have chucked it in. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about that.
As I wrote earlier this week,
“This year has been one of professional development. I’ve completed two unpaid internships at Meanjin and The Lifted Brow, I’m working for Outback Championship Wrestling as their TV show’s host (which I have no idea how to do!) and I’ve spent my fair share of dosh on both in-person and online workshops…”
But I feel like I’m as professionally developed as I can get. While I’m glad I attended those workshops, on the whole, I didn’t get a lot out of them. All the suggestions and guidelines provided to further my career I’m already doing. No one can accuse me of not working hard or hustling to get my shit seen by the right people.
I guess, at this point, it comes down to luck and my writing being in the right inbox at the time they have some gaps in their editorial calendar. I think I may also need to branch out and find some other “right people”. But it can be quite disillusioning when you feel that you have a readable idea or a damn near perfect piece for the platform you’re pitching but they don’t want it. I don’t want to just post a piece I’ve spent weeks or months working on on my blog (not the best attitude for someone who just spent $800 on the Blogcademy workshop to have!).
Maybe I need to change my attitude and a) not spend so much time and energy on pieces that aren’t sure things, b) not be so attached to said pieces and be willing to put them out into the world in whatever capacity just so they’re c) able to be read by people regardless of whether I’m getting paid for them. Because they are pieces that I would love to read if I wasn’t the one writing them.
Whatever the case, my “New Years resolution” of sorts (which I don’t really believe in, but I digress) is to hustle hard. Pitch relentlessly. Not take no for an answer. Seek out alternative publications I may not have thought of. Do whatever it takes. Lay out my intentions and strive to deliver on them. Kind of what I’m doing here, I guess.
Related: The Blogcademy Melbourne.
Elsewhere: [The Vine] All Dogs Go to Seven.