How To Wear The "Freelance Writer" Tag With Pride
Do you find yourself dreading this question every time you meet someone new? Well, you're not alone. When you introduce yourself as a writer, and a freelance one at that, many people find it hard to believe that writing is indeed what you do to earn a living. They wonder what your “real” job is; the bolder ones might even ask it out loud. By a real job they probably mean the kind of job they themselves do or the kind that they consider to be secure.
A shocking number of people are ready to disqualify your work as insignificant unless it involves one or more boss-like figures breathing down your neck.
And if you enjoy what you do or wear many hats, both of which you're likely to do as a freelance writer, you can imagine people's reactions to that. You could end up being labelled everything from a dilettante to an immature, irresponsible person.
This, as you very well know, is far from the truth. But in the face of such negative comments, you might begin to doubt yourself and think that maybe you should find a “real” job after all.
Even as you consider such a scenario, you know it would mean the death knell for your personality and your sense of purpose in life. The written word is what you thrive on. You feel compelled to write, with or without the promise of monetary rewards or appreciation. But good luck explaining that to people around you.
So, how exactly should you interact with those who don't understand why you do what you do, without sacrificing your confidence and self-esteem? Here are four tips that can help you:
People who take a mocking, stern, or even a condescending stance when you announce that you're a freelance writer are often secretly fighting their own demons.
Maybe their opinion is strongly coloured by their past experiences. Perhaps they are genuinely concerned that things will not work out for you. For all you know, they might even be sitting on a quashed dream of being a writer themselves.
Whatever their unspoken reasons for negative views about freelance writing, remember that it's not you, it's them. You have every right to live and work as you see fit.
When you come across as a self-reliant individual who can come and go as she pleases, most people think twice about forcing their job-related views down your throat.
Whether you like it or not, the way others perceive you has a lot to do with being financially independent.
At the first chance you get, go about securing your finances so that you have enough money to take care of yourself. This frees up a lot of physical, mental, and emotional energy for you to pursue your writing career openly, and without finding the need to be evasive or secretive about it.
When you appear cool and collected, others are usually hesitant to make sweeping statements about you or your work. A lot of the time, using the right tone makes all the difference in how people respond to you.
Do you stumble over the words ‘freelance writer’ because you're hesitant to introduce yourself as such? Be careful, because the other person might be quick to assume that you're not serious about your work or, worse, that it is more of a hobby than anything else.
Think beforehand how you're going to introduce yourself to a stranger. Practice it in front of a mirror if you have to.
When the time comes to talk about your profession, speak firmly and confidently, without mumbling or trying to appear inconspicuous. Now repeat after me: “I'M A FREELANCE WRITER”.
Those who warn you away from unconventional careers like writing are often thinking and acting from a place of fear and lack. But you can choose to think differently and not make their fears your own.
Train your mind to understand that no matter what happens, you are enough.
The future is unknown and uncertain, but you will live to see another day. You are tough. You can handle anything that comes your way. As long as you have the will power and the guts to survive, you will.
Let your life and work not be defined by the opinions and experiences of others. Commit new mistakes. Make your own way. In the end, only you have the right to decide whose opinions should matter to you and to what extent.
You must decide which job is “real” enough for you, and if you say freelance writing is, you bet it is!
About the author:
Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra