Author Stefanie Newell shares how she knew she was a writer in her younger years.
While I love being a writer there are times where I do tend to take myself far too seriously. Of course I’m not saying this profession is easy, actually it can be very demanding. The more devoted, and the more you love every aspect of your job; the more demands you find yourself trying to fulfill.
When I first started to embark upon becoming a writer I really had no idea as to the reality of a writers daily habits in order to be truly successful, something I’m still working to get down myself. I’ve also made many ‘newbie’ mistakes, the first was signing up and attempting to work with content mills. I soon learned that while content mills provide plenty of work for those who are in need of it, which is good for those who are willing to deal with the literally writing for pennies, and dealing with ridiculously short deadlines which leave very little time for properly researching and writing quality material.
Needless to say I kicked the Content mill bug fairly quickly. As many other writers I’ve interacted with have also commented, you’ll find work; but you seldom are given the opportunity to put your best into the projects you take on.
I’ve learned to take my writing ‘not so’ serious. In other words while some people may find it better to produce quantities of content for pennies, Quality is always better. I’m not saying don’t worry about deadlines, rather not allowing them to take life out of the work that we do as writers.
One of the first things I learned as a Freelance writer is to overcome my shyness, and fear of rejection. While it seems easy enough from the outside looking in, you actually have to develop a pretty thick skin in order to become successful. Apart from the researching, writing, submitting queries, and and interacting with fellow freelancers and editors; for someone as shy as myself it can be scary place when your inexperienced.
This can also apply to other career fields besides writing, in fact, even in actively seeking employment the average person goes through a cycle of rejection that can make the entire process seem like a mountain he/she is reluctant to climb. So what’s the remedy? At some point and time in our careers (… or search of one), social life and other aspects of our lives we are bound to face some rejection; surely there are steps to overcome them when they happen.
Three basic steps towards facing rejection
While it might seem like a daunting task to stare rejection in the eye without allowing it to overcome you, it really isn’t as bad as, or overwhelming as it appears.
1. Not all forms of rejection are personal, but rather some maybe forms of useful criticism – When that job interview you thought went so well, actually doesn’t turn up helping you get your foot in the door, it could be a number of other factors behind it beyond your control. The firsts step to controlling a fear is to first be at peace with it.
2. Allow rejection to guide you, often times it isn’t a no, but rather a redirection to try something new, or work on something that you’ve been neglecting.
3. Realize that not everything that you set out as goals are expected to come automatically, progress takes time, as well as patience. If something doesn’t go the way you expect it, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve failed.
These steps aren’t set in stone of course, however they are steps I’ve learned in dealing with personal rejection as well as the advice I’ve taken from various other sources. These three steps I feel were beginning steps to help, and I hope they do. Facing rejection can be a seriously trying thing if not approached with a change in attitude, a new way of looking at it; it can quickly become overwhelming. It can also be turned around and used for motivation, and that is where the steps presented come into play.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog to Writing Elite, and I do apologize to all my readers. I’ve sort of slowed down on my writing to concentrate on finding other potential sources of income. While I love to write it hasn’t been going so well for me in terms of paying bills. Doesn’t mean I’ve given up, just means I’ve redirected some of my priorities. In doing so, I kind of lost track of why I started this blog. It wasn’t to get rich, or become a best selling author (would be nice though) rather to further strengthen my abilities as a writer, build a following and supply to the world a need that only I as an individual could fulfill with the gifts given to me.
A fellow freelancer, and good friend of mine told me while we were discussing the hardships that accompany this type of work (Freelancing, whether it’s writing or any other craft) said something that struck out to me as significant. She said to keep riding the roller coaster, because I had something unique to offer the world. It was something I needed to hear at the time, from my perspective there are many great writers out there, much better than myself. However, there’s only one ME, only one Me with my unique outlook on the world around my that can give a fresh interpretation to what I create in terms of writing and literature that the world may need.
So while I’m struggling, and putting forth my best effort to find a job to help supplement my income, I’ve also come to realize I can’t allow it to over shadow what I may have to offer in my gifts and abilities as a writer… besides all my fans, and readers have expressed some sorrow in my absence which makes me feel like loser in some ways, like I’ve given up. Well I haven’t and there will be more to come from Writing Elite soon. :)
When I started this journey of mine as a freelance writer, I had been out of long term work for over a year. I occasionally came across temp, and side jobs that family and friends turned me on too. Yet finding something permanent proved elusive. So I took my love of writing to a new level, I put a purpose into it. My purpose being not only using my writing to express myself, but also to teach and inform others, even entertain and inspire (Are you not entertained? Well, maybe not yet).
I had no idea of how much work writers put in on a daily basis. How structured your day has to be, the amount of marketing you have to do, and the frustration you feel at how slow progress can be at times. It may seem easy from the outside looking in, however it isn’t. It’s a career in itself where you are the boss, the manager, HR, and accounting wrapped all into one. So being disciplined is a large part of the regimen, and something I’ve had to learn the hard way. Yet for all the frustration, all the rejection that could come my way ( and often times does), I would rather struggle with something I love doing, than being discontent with something I hate doing but feel I have to just for the sake of making a paycheck.
Through my time freelancing, and also looking for other means of an income I’ve come across an often used phrase that has brought up mixed emotions of fear, and frustration, “Any job is better than no job”. I have to say, I’ve grown to hate this saying with a passion! Not so much that I’m a lazy individual who doesn’t want to work, or that I feel there are some jobs that are belittling to me, everyone does have to make a living. Rather, there are some jobs, some people just weren’t made for. Let me give an example, when I was younger I always wanted to be a police officer so much so that from the age of 19 – 23 all my work experiences, training, and ambition was geared towards that profession. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to become one, at this time I felt lost, and felt a deep void as far as what I wanted to do with my life. In trying to fill that void I took on a number of jobs that while they paid the bills that void still remained. Looking back I can see it, it was having a purpose in the work that I did, and not so much what I did.
A job, any job can and will wear on you if you aren’t able to see past a paycheck. ‘Horrible bosses’, and irritating co workers will work your nerves, and drive you crazy. However, anything can be a job if you see a purpose in it that drives you, gets you up in the morning with or without coffee, and may even have you putting in late hours; only to wake up early the next morning to do it all over again.
So, with all that said… what’s your purpose? Yes, you.
I recently accepted a project from an overseas client that now in hindsight I regret. I was asked to write 5/ 500 word articles, which isn’t bad, and the pay rate was decent also. The problem I had was the subject of the articles, at first I was hesitant in taking the project, but being a writer as exciting as it is, is also a challenge when work gets thin.
What was the subject? Escort services… Myself personally, I’ve never used one. So at the time in my ignorance of what the majority of escorts actually do, and the need to gain the business of a new client; I took on the project. After all, how bad could it be? Imagine my horror at what I soon discovered… These ladies weren’t simply just model beautiful women serving as eye-candy for businessmen and tourists, in reality they were no more than glorified prostitutes. I know, your probably thinking how that could be possible, best of all legal.
Two articles into the job my conscious had taken enough of a blow, and I quit working on it. I was disgusted beyond belief, and I remembered something Jeff Goins wrote, I think every writer, or anyone who enjoys reading should take a look:
What writing really meant to him. I also thought to myself, is my writing really worth this? Beyond it being one of many means to support myself, didn’t it start as a beloved form of expression. Stories I enjoyed creating, historical events that inspired me.
More than that, to use that to support something I was against morally and spiritually would have been a waste of that gift. I have two beautiful, and intelligent daughters; a mother and sister… I couldn’t imagine seeing them in that position. What man could? I’ll never think of taking another project even similar to that. As a writer, it’s not worth my time regardless of what I’m offered. My writing means more to me than that.
Perhaps the scariest, yet most often used thing accessed by our children is the Internet. It can be used from a myriad of sources from desktops and laptops, to tablets, and game consoles. With more readily available sources to the Internet and its dangers, isn’t it reasonable we should make it safer?
Who are the people in your neighborhood?
In our family the adults always remind the kids when they go outside to play ‘Watch out for stranger danger’, meaning if an adult they didn’t know was all of a sudden nice; they shouldn’t talk to them but come home. This is also true with their interactions online, and in order to keep a more watchful eye on your child’s online usage, it’s always been a good rule to restrict its use to central parts of the home. There are other ways to increase better Internet safety habits, here are a few I’ve researched and use for my children:
• Web filtering – This is probably the most effective and used method of keeping your children safe from online predators, and unsuitable material. It can be applied to most devices, and with such apps as K9 Web browser, which also offers a host of other applications such as youtube filtering.
• Monitoring social networks – Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites that your child may use should be monitored closely, it’s place where predators even prey on other adults.
• Monitoring your own viewing habits – This pretty much goes without saying, but often times we as adults overlook just how important clearing our web browser and maintaining it against questionable material is. It’s always a good rule to log out of social media, email, and other accounts when we are done. Not only does it decrease the chances of having valuable information stolen, but also checks against you child having access to material that may come up because of a mis-typed search term or web address.
Making the internet a safe and fun learning tool.
Despite all the dangers, and precautions that may come with allowing your child to use the Internet. It can also be a fun learning tool, that can make learning more of an enjoyable experience. Here are a few sites that are not only kid friendly, but also fun!