I realised today that I have been freelancing for a long time. It was startling. I also realised, in the course of a conversation, that one of the reasons I enjoy it so much stems back to a job that I didn’t particularly like. My last-ever fulltime job to be precise. I became a part-timer/freelancer because I never wanted to be miserable five days a week ever again.
Motivation is everything.
I was talking to a new friend about how to get started in freelance writing. She is stuck at the procrastination stage. Mostly because she thinks she doesn’t know what to do next. She has so many ideas, so many things she wants to do – but she’s not doing any of them.
My sage, Obi-Wan advice to her? Start something. Pick one thing and have a go at that. Pitch one story to one publication. If you do nothing, nothing happens. If you do something, you never know what the result will be. So start.
Still she was worried.
“What are you worried about?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she admitted.
“What’s the worst that can happen?”
“They might say no.”
Yep, they might. Not really the end of the world when you put it like that. I promised her that magazine staff are well trained to write polite rejection emails. They always save their hysterical laughter at your off-beam ideas for the office. But you don’t see that, so what do you care?
She managed a laugh at that, which is a great sign for her future freelance career. Seriously, the thin-skinned need not apply.
We narrowed down a couple of options out of her long list of many, and off she went with a short list of tasks. A To Do list (you know how I love those). A start.
I went home to work on my Obi-Wan impersonation. I did okay with “The Force will be with you, always”, but I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to work “The Sand People are easily startled, but they will be back, and in greater numbers” into my next conversation.
Hmm. Perhaps I’ll focus on finding myself a long, brown cloak. Everybody’s got to start somewhere.