No Such Thing as a Solo-Preneur
Mindy McHorse here — at the wheel of this week’s edition of The Writer’s Life.
Rebecca Matter was the first marketer who made me believe I could carve a solid living out of writing. I pitched a shaky idea, and she ran with it. She — who has a lot of experience in this industry and knows what’s up to snuff — totally granted me access to life as a professional writer.
But that access didn’t start with a paid writing project … it started with the affirmation I could do it.
Which brings me to the second biggest takeaway I want to pass on this week:
You can’t do it alone.
In the freelance writing world, any praise you get is more than complimentary — it’s affirming.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to get the ball rolling in your career — just one tidbit of positive feedback from someone on the inside.
Most writers I know, while eager to embrace the writer's life, move forward with trepidation. Because when you're just starting out, it's hard to put yourself “out there.”
So any kind of positive feedback from a connection inside the industry does much more than make you feel good about yourself. It’s that extra kick in the pants most of us need to take a step forward in our careers. And there’s no way to get that if you’re on your own.
I started freelance writing with a reasonable amount of confidence. But I moved at a turtle’s pace. What made a radical difference for me was connecting with other writers and marketers who helped move me forward.
That’s one of the reasons I enjoy to coming back to the Web Intensive each year.
It’s great to see old friends and hear about their freelancing success. And it’s terrific to meet new writers and listen to their big career goals (re-energizes me every time).
But the best part (I’m a little embarrassed to say) is being told, “You rock! Your writing is solid. Your ideas are terrific. Any client would kill to have you.”
Doesn’t matter who says it. Could be a fellow writer, a big-name presenter, or a marketer on the hunt for talent. At the end of the day, it’s just nice to connect with someone who understands the industry and affirms my goals.
I also get a lot out of pitching assignments and taking advantage of specs — it’s a way to start a conversation. So never be afraid to send in ideas, or even questions to writing-related groups — and AWAI in particular. There’s no telling who you’ll “meet” or what kind of connection you’ll establish.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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