Article by Wendy McCance
Have you ever hit the wall when you are trying to achieve a lot at once? I have been getting impatient with the process of how fast I can build my business. I have to admit, I am being a bit unreasonable with myself.
If I had the projects that I currently have a year ago, I would be through the moon with excitement. I have 6 quotes for writing projects that I am waiting to hear back from, I just landed a permanent spot writing blog articles for a wine company, I have gotten several inquiries from companies interested in sponsored posts on this website and I get offers to do product reviews at least 3 times a week.
Although I am thrilled to see the hard work paying off, it’s the writing assignments that have me pacing. I tend to second guess myself when it takes longer than I expected to hear back from companies interested in using an article of mine. I know logically that it’s the nature of the industry. Things come up and the project a company wants me to do is no longer a priority. Many times there is a middle man (when working with marketing companies and pr firms). The company is in limbo too as they are waiting for a decision from their client before they can proceed or the client decides against the additional social media work altogether.
With all of that in my head, I went out to do some errands with my daughter yesterday. We needed to stop by the local college to pick up the fall list of available classes and then we were going to do a little window shopping in the downtown area where the college is located.
After we picked up the class schedule and we were wandering through the downtown, we decided to go into a bookstore (I can never resist a bookstore). I went off to the reference area to look at what books were available on writing. My daughter went off in search of style and beauty books.
When my daughter found me, I was sitting on the floor with five books laid out in front of me. I looked up and told my daughter that I was in trouble. I had found too many good books and didn’t want to give any of them up. She laughed and said that I should follow her.
We walked to the other end of the store where she had been and she pointed out five books neatly stacked on a chair. She said that she was in trouble too and needed help figuring out which book to get. The whole thing was pretty funny. We both found five books and were having trouble narrowing them down.
We sat down and discussed the virtues of each book and dissected the most positive reasons for choosing one book over another. When all was said and done, my daughter had one book and I had two books that we bought.
It’s funny how you can take a break from your worries and inadvertently get some help about what is on your mind.
Those books I got were just what I needed. The first book I picked up was Secrets of a Freelance Writer-how to make $100,000 a year or more, by Robert W. Bly. I have to admit, I looked at the book because I was amused by the title and thought I would get a good laugh. The title had really turned me off, but I just had to look and see what was inside.
The book actually blew me away. Not because I feel that I will make $100,000 in a year, and actually I rather hate the title, but because the book had answers to so many of my questions I felt like hugging it. This book was like finding that mentor who you respect and has all of the answers when you are wading through the unknown. Next to the Writers Digest, this is now my favorite writing book.
This book has the most complete information about starting a freelance writing business, how to keep track of sales leads, writing a query letter, how to submit a copy platform, self-promotion through newsletters, speaking engagements etc…, sample contracts and fee schedules, how to get paid if a payment is late or a client refuses to pay and so much more it’s unreal. The best part is that any subject that is talked about, has several complete examples that go with it.
Even though I have written quotes, query letters and have kept track of possible clients, the information in here is so much more in-depth that I am learning quite a bit from this book. It’s honestly the best book I’ve bought in quite a long time.
The second book I picked up was a book in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. I love these books, but had never seen the one I grabbed up. Chicken Soup for the Soul- inspiration for writers, by Jack Canfield is fabulous. Each story is written by a different author who was going through a difficult time. There are stories about how some authors started out, how an author got their first book or article published, how authors handled rejection and so on.
Between both books, I was able to knock the frustration out of my system. There is something so comforting when you read about someone else who is going through a similar situation. That knowledge that you are not alone is very calming for your soul. I feel fortunate to have also found a book that can give me quick answers when ever I feel stuck and need a piece of advice.
After my daughter and I bought our books, we decided to stop by 7-11 for the promotional free slurpies for 7-11 day. By this point we were both pretty happy with our slurpies and new books.
We went back home and sat on the porch with slurpies in one hand and books in the other. It was gorgeous outside and the perfect end to a day that started with me feeling so off kilter.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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