Sharing the good, the bad, and the stuff that makes you go "Hmm.."

Do You Believe?

Many people believe in a higher power. I personally believe in God, and there isn’t a day I don’t say a few prayers. As a writer, however, I find myself asking Him for the courage to apply for writing positions I keep telling myself I’m not qualified for.

I admit I struggle a lot with believing in myself, despite having hundreds of articles published at content mills such as Bright Hub, Break Studios, LIVESTRONG and Demand Studios. I doubt myself despite successfully landing gigs doing ghostblogging for criminal law, personal injury and DUI attorneys. I’ve ghostwritten articles on auto insurance, career planning, credit/debt management and even bean bags. Still, I bypass many writing opportunities simply because I lack the belief that I can do it.

The past month has been rough on my psyche. Writing job leads that initially appeared promising went cold once I found out they paid anywhere from a fraction to a whole penny per word. Potential clients lost interest when I asked for more than a few pennies per word, and others didn’t respond at all. I try to take it in stride and keep plugging away at my craft and in my search for new clients. Moving away from content mills is turning out to be quite a challenge, but it’s also a test of my faith and my determination to succeed. Some days I’m more optimistic than others.

What about you? Do you believe you have what it takes to compete with other seasoned writers for writing jobs, even if you have no clips? Do you believe you will succeed? Will you still believe you will make it even after your 50th rejection?

What keeps me going, despite my self-doubts, is knowing I’m capable of being a damn good writer. I just need to step out of my own way and really go for it.

I can’t promise that I’ll be cool as a cucumber when I land my first plumb gig.  No doubt I’ll be ecstatic, but I’ll also be scared that I’ll screw it up. I hear all writers experience the same feeling, so I should be fine…I hope.


Comments on: "Do You Believe?" (5)

  1. I’m in a similar situation to you, though I don’t have a content mill to go cold turkey on. Good for you for making the decision to find better-paying gigs. I also believe that decent writing jobs are out there; that it’s a case of plugging away and marketing, marketing, marketing until prospects turn into clients. I find it helpful to read books & blogs from established writers who traveled the same path as us. Also, a community of like-minded writers are invaluable to making it work and to boosting your confidence when you’ve had a bad day. Good luck. I look forward to following your progress and successes.

    • I have no choice but to go cold-turkey on content mills the past couple of weeks. I was planning to do some writing for Livestrong because I needed some extra money, but they decided to do a title overhaul and pulled the titles. Then a system glitch is holding up the loading the new titles for everyone, so writers are not happy. In the meantime, a private client I had been working with needed some major help because a writer dropped the ball and left her with a ton of blogs to write. The pay is not the highest, but I got bills that need to be paid while I’m looking for the higher paying stuff, and the work is much less of pain in the butt than writing for Demand.

  2. Hi Connie – I admire you for admitting your fears. One of my goals for the year was to stop working for Demand Studios, after receiving a perfectly idiotic rejection. I decided not to go cold turkey, but to only work for DS when there was absolutely nothing else going on or I was pressed for cash. I, too, was frightened about putting myself out there but the one thing that kept me going was this: writing is *it* for me. For the rest of my life, even if I went back to practicing law or worked at some other job, I’d still long to be a writer and would write as much as I could in my free time. So, I figured I might as well get over my fears and go for it.

    It’s worked fairly well so far. I haven’t written an article for DS in months, and I’m almost even with the total income I generated from DS in 2010. I think my own certainty in my career choice played a large role in this. I began confidently promoting myself as a writer, developed a more professional website, and set rates that reflected my worth. And suddenly, things began to happen.

    My question to you is: do you feel in your heart that you’re a writer? I’m not talking about ability; I mean do you have the compulsion to write that will stay with you forever? If so, turn to that when you feel your confidence flagging.

    And as for worries over your ability to nail that plum gig once you get it… yes, it’s totally normal to feel nervous about it. I always experience a moment when facing a blank page when I think..”Oh no, I can’t do it.” But somehow, it always gets done. I once read that the author who penned the alphabet murder mysteries (can’t remember her name), has the same fear, even though she’s authored dozens of books. She always thinks – oh no, there’s nothing left! But there always is.

    Good luck! Sorry to be so verbose!

    • Thank you Barbara. Like you, even if I went back to working in the B&M world, I would still be writing because that what’s I love to do.

  3. Hi MsConnie,

    I have found your blog from the Warrior Forum and would love to chat. Please reply by email.


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