You need a real thick skin to succeed as a writer. Deflecting the sting of one rejection after another isn’t easy. It’s hard not to compare my successes with those of other writers. It’s hard not to wonder if I’m deluding myself, thinking I could actually earn a living writing. It’s easy to come up with reasons why I’m not cut out for the writer life, but I just can’t let it go.
Even if I stop for a while, I always come back and try again. Being a writer is like being in a toxic, off-and-on relationship with a boyfriend (or girlfriend) who makes you feel real good for a while, then breaks your heart–and the cycle continues over and over. I can dump a jerk boyfriend, but writing is a part of who I am. I can’t cut it loose and not feel incomplete. Besides, it’s the one thing I know I’m good at, without a doubt. Yet doubt and lack of confidence overwhelms me more than I care to admit when it comes to writing. Doubt almost cost me a stream of writing income that I really can use right now.
I mentioned in my last post that I was trying to get in with Writer Access. I was actually already signed up with them, but last year they requested all writers to complete a writer profile. We were given a timeframe to complete our profiles, and if they weren’t completed in that timeframe, our accounts would go on inactive. Needless to say, I never got around to completing my profile.
A former client and writer friend reached out to me a little over a week ago and convinced me to give Writer Access another shot. I logged in and completed my profile. Two days later I got an email stating that my profile was rejected. According to the email, my experience and industry summaries were too vague. They wanted facts and details to support my “claims” and asked me to revise my profile. Well, I did write all the articles and projects I stated, but nearly all of what I’ve written were on topics in which I had no formal experience. I thought to myself, “If they’re looking for experience, I’m screwed. I don’t know if I’m even going to bother revising.”
Three days later, I pondered whether I should bother revising my profile. I decided to go for it. If it still wasn’t good enough, then I would accept that it wasn’t meant to be and move on. As I edited it a second time, I realized that it was too vague. I merely stated that I wrote for articles or web content for clients. I provided no information about the clients, type of articles, intended audience, or research (if any). Furthermore, my profile contain no information about me, i.e., my actual work experience, my hobbies and interests, my goals, etc. Potential clients reading my profile wouldn’t get an inkling of who I was.
Hours after making my revisions, my profile was not only accepted, but was also approved for Writer Access’ Industry Elite status in the Legal category. This will give me exposure to clients with priority orders who are looking for legal writers. Had I allowed doubt to get the better of me, I would’ve missed an opportunity to gain exposure to new clients.
I have to give props and a sincere “Thank you” to my former client and writer friend. You know who you are.
The moral of my story? If you keep telling yourself that you can’t do it, you never will–and you’ll never know how much you can accomplish. For me, today it’s Writer Access, Writer’s Domain and Textbroker. Tomorrow, it could be a new blog or ebook client. The only way to find out is to just go for it!