Well, I promised that I would get back to all of you regarding Carol Tice and her Freelance Writer’s Den. I’ve definitely worked hard to become an active participant, but even that was a tough beginning because of PayPal’s automatic hold on debit payments (which I wasn’t aware of, but that’s a whole other situation!). But first, I want to tell you a story.
Today, I worked the vast majority of the day writing (except the part where I was trying to teach Charlie to go in and out of his new doggie door. I was only moderately successful). I wrote a couple of blog posts and a few content assignments, and then I decided to go out for a run. I walked for the first mile, and decided to run the remaining 1.50 miles. It was great. The sun was setting, I had my tunes in my ears (but not too loud), and I had just turned around from gazing at the waterway over the bridge on Ocean Boulevard. I was on my way home and running my usual path, behind the new (and virtually empty, even after three years of completion) boondoggle of a 15-story condominium, when two people with their little Yorkies came around the corner.
The dogs began barking at me and their owners were tugging at them to make them stop barking. It startled me, and I tripped, landing face first in the gravel walkway. I know it all happened in a split second, but it really did seem like slow motion to me. I was very aware of the entire 1.75 second trip down to the ground, and my frantic gyrations to keep my balance. It kind of felt like this:
By the time I got my wits about me and got up, the two people and their annoying dogs were gone. My chin and hands were full of gravel and bleeding. I walked the rest of the way home (not aerobically). And it got me to thinking. That’s kind of how a writing career is. One minute you can be feeling great, and the next second you’ve got a chin full of gravel. But guess what? You just get up and keep going. Last week I got rejected by a potential
employee client, and it was a real bummer. But then I participated in the Freelance Writer’s Den workshop, and came up with a concrete list of steps to help me meet my goal. I re-vamped my LinkedIn page, and decided to use a couple of the tips I had been reading about in the Den.
I made a recommendation on LinkedIn last night for someone I worked with earlier this year (it was a really well-written recommendation btw), and guess what? He called me out of the blue this morning to talk to me about doing freelance writing for his company. I’m going to meet with him later this week (should I wait until my chin heals up?). After that, I saw my neighbor walking her dogs; I approached her because she owns a wonderful high-end consignment store, but she doesn’t have a web site. She agreed to meet later this week to get a proposal and contract together.
I’m certain that neither of those possibilities would have occurred if I hadn’t decided to spend some money to make some money. I’ve learned two critically important lessons since I joined the Den:
- Utilize the people who are already in your network. That’s the best place of all to get started, because it’s easier to approach people you already know. You don’t have to get involved in a hard sell at all. I made a recommendation on LinkedIn which my colleague was impressed enough with that he called me at 8:30 this morning. In my conversation with my neighbor, she asked me how my work was going, which was a natural segue into, “Have you thought about getting a website together for your business?”
- If you fall down, for goodness’ sake, get up right away. I’m a writer. It’s only natural that I’m going to get rejected once in a while. So what? In my opinion it’s more their loss than mine. I know that I’ve got what it takes to go that extra mile, even if I end up at the finish line with a bloody chin and cut-up hands.
I can honestly say that I’m energized and excited, and I know a large part of that credit belongs to the Freelance Writer’s Den. It’s reinvigorated my desire to continue pursuing my writing career, and to push the boundaries of my comfort level to get to the place I really want to be: living the life of a freelance writer, on my own terms, so that I don’t have to be tied down to a full-time office job.