Freelance writers are like the proverbial fishermen of the writing world: we sit on our boat for hours, and we cast our lines hundreds of times before finally getting a bite, which later proves to be a piece of moss or a rogue boot instead of an actual fish.
Fun fact: I’ve never gone fishing, but according to my bank account I am a freelance writer, so these are some of the frustrating experiences I go through at a daily basis under this line of work. Enjoy my pain.
1. Twenty Rejections For One Chance
Let’s face it, we all go through the experience of sending in several job applications only to sit in front of the computer, eating ice cream as we wait for any of them to email back, and wondering where we went wrong. Is our resume good enough? Aren’t we sufficiently experienced? Is there someone else? Would reaching out to them first come off as desperate?
My father always says, “Apply for a thousand jobs and you’ll only get five responses, four out of which will refuse to hire you, but eventually you find the one that makes it all worth it.” Come to think about it, he also says that about men. Interesting.
2. It’s Not You, It’s Your Lack Of Experience
I get it, a lot of employers want their employees to have at least some relevant experience, and due to the overwhelming amount of possible applicants, there have to be some limitations.
Nowadays, several writing gigs typically require their possible applicants to have a BA in Journalism/English Language Arts or alternatively four years of experience, at least three references, fourteen goats, and your first-born child.
If one is a college freshman and barely part of the writing world, they are bound to take one look at the list of requirements, sigh, and close the tab while wondering whether goats are more expensive on Craigslist or eBay.
3. Writer’s Block Becomes Irrelevant
Oh, so your creative process is to write in the middle of the night? Your employer might not enjoy that so much. Deadlines become a priority, and if one neglects those deadlines, they probably will not get a second chance anytime soon.
Regardless of inspiration or lack thereof, sometimes one just has to stare at the computer screen for a few minutes, take a few sips of coffee/tea/souls, and write that 100-word description on an electric screwdriver from Home Depot.
4. The Client Is Always Right
Like in any other job that involves other humans, the rule of thumb remains: if you want to get paid, you need to make as many corrections as the client/employer wants you to make until they are satisfied.
Even if you spend an alarming amount of time working on a description for a 20K necklace encrusted with Purple Cubic Zirconia (all capitalized because that is how they want it, for some bizarre reason), the client might still write you back at one in the morning saying they are uncomfortable with the word ‘encrusted.’
5. The Feeling After A Good Day’s Worth Of Work
When one finishes an article or a description faster than they anticipated, or in such a way that they are proud of the result, the typical feeling is a bubbling sense of happiness. Because once one enters the writing zone, it is like magic happening right in front of their eyes: complete focus, the words flow so easily from mind to keyboard or pen, and for a single moment, everything is right in the world.
It is no longer stressful, it is exciting–it is no longer tedious, but rather a challenge one is more than willing to take on and overcome.
So, despite all the pesky details or obstacles, if you do what you love, it is worth it in the end. As a shout-out to all my fellow writers out there, freelance or not, keep going. You will get exactly where you need to get to, just keep writin’ away.
YouTube Channel: Elimarie Production
Featured image via Pixabay