Guest post by Francesca Nicasio
When I first started out, there were some things that I tried to avoid as much as possible because they
were uncomfortable scared the crap out of me. It didn’t take long though before I realized that my avoidance was getting me nowhere and if I really wanted to succeed in freelance writing, I had to not only face my fears, I had to embrace them.
Below is a list of those fears. I’ve also included the things that I learned from facing them, and what you can do if you share the same fears or apprehensions.
Getting edits and constructive criticism is a good thing. Those red marks on your article may not look pretty, but they will make you a better writer. They can improve your style and develop your attention to detail. As writers, we are often too close to our creations to see flaws or errors. Having someone scrutinize your work will make it sharper and more compelling.
How to deal with constructive criticism: First of all, don’t take it personally. The person scrutinizing your work is just doing their job. Also remember that having your work edited or criticized doesn’t make you a bad writer. It only means that there’s some room for improvement and growth.
When you get the edited piece back, thank the person and revise your work. If you don’t agree with the way they edited your article, say so. Tell them (in a polite way, of course) why you wrote it the way you did and hear out their response. This opens up constructive discourse between the two of you, and you’ll likely pick up helpful insights in the process.
The path to freelance writing success is littered with rejection letters. It’s just part of the territory. As writers we must learn to accept–nay–embrace rejection because each “no” that we get brings us closer to that coveted “yes.”
Rejection can teach you some valuable lessons in persistence and resilience. It also tests just how badly you want success. More importantly, rejection enables you to develop a thicker hide–an attribute that you must possess when putting yourself out there.
How to deal with rejection: There’s no shortcut or sugar-coated way to handle rejection. You just have to dust yourself off, learn from the mistakes that got you rejected (if any), and keep going.
You can also think of it this way: If you get rejected by a prospective client or publication, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with you. It just means that you and the other party aren’t a good fit for each other. They’re not the right client or they simply aren’t looking for someone like you at the moment. It’s nothing personal and it’s not anything against you, it’s just the way it is.
Okay, maybe “haters” is too strong of a word. Let’s call them “negative commenters”.
Unpleasant as it may be though, receiving negative comments should be taken as a compliment. Why? Because it means that what you wrote sparked enough emotion to compel people to leave a comment.
Don’t feel bad when you get negative comments, be upset when you don’t get any.
How to deal with negative comments: If you choose to dignify their comments with a response, always be calm and respectful. Recognize that each person is entitled to their own opinions. Additionally, do not respond from a place of defensiveness or emotion. Instead, state the facts and be cool. And be sure to thank the person for taking the time to comment.
PS: This doesn’t apply to trolls.
This is for all the shy ones (myself included). Reaching out to other people may be out of your comfort zone, but it’s absolutely necessary. Reaching success is not something that you can do alone, so get out there and network away. Growing your contact list is essential especially when you’re looking to promote your work or collaborate with others.
Reaching out to others is also something that you must do again and again throughout your career because it’s the only way to find new audiences and/or clients.
How to reach out: Do your research on the person that you’re touching base with. To be effective, reach out with their needs in mind, not just yours. For instance, if you’re contacting them to start a joint venture, tell them why a JV would benefit them and their audience. Remember, they’ll be asking the question of what’s in it for them, so be sure to answer it when you first get in touch.
Have you ever avoided any of the things mentioned in this blog post? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Francesca Nicasio (formerly Francesca StaAna) is the founder of CredibleCopywriting.net and is currently developing Copywriter2.0, an online course that teaches aspiring freelance writers the ins and outs of the biz.