Doubt is probably one of the top reasons aspiring writers never get what they want.
If an opportunity presents itself to you, and you say no – again and again and again – that ‘no’ is the reason why you aren’t where you want to be.
You have to start asking yourself more questions when you are asked to write something. Better questions, really.
Ask yourself, what am I so afraid of?
Ask yourself, what do I really have to lose?
Because some opportunities, especially when it comes to writing, only come around once. And some, at first, may not seem glamorous or reasonable … but you never know where some of them may lead. You never know what a small, boring freelance blogging gig might turn into in the future, if you just say yes now and work your way through it.
This is why I would personally recommend having a steady full-time job before you start freelancing, or submitting queries, or whatever it is you are trying to accomplish right now writing-wise. I did not, and still do not, which means I still have to be very selective about what I say yes to. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means everything takes longer. Not being a very patient person, this gets frustrating, and when I’m frustrated, I don’t always feel like writing.
Well, tough. I have to anyway. That’s something you learn. But every once in awhile another opportunity comes along, a small one. I have to ask myself all the usual questions: is it worth it, does this fit with my mission, can I handle this, am I going to have to give up something else to make this happen? But more often than not, I say yes. When it’s reasonable. Because I’m a writer. I have to take risks. I have nothing to lose. And it’s likely you don’t, either.
Be smart, be self-respectful, but don’t hold yourself back. Don’t give in to your excuses. Especially fear. Say yes more often. I’ll do the same.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
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