Monday, October 5, 2015

Writing Challenges

A few weeks ago (maybe last week, I can’t remember), I signed up for the Freedom with Writing newsletter. I think one of my Facebook friends linked to it or maybe it just showed up in my feed. Either way, it’s been an interesting read.

Basically, this newsletter sends me links about venues that pay for writing. They also have sites you can sign up for and write content for the web—and get paid for it. I thought that sounded really interesting, so I signed up for a couple. I’m still waiting to hear back from one, but I was approved through another.

So far, I’ve written three pieces. Two of those have been accepted, and I’m still awaiting the verdict on the third. The whole process has been interesting.

I was so excited to start writing. I kept checking my email multiple times a day, just in case the approval went to my junk folder. Finally, it came, and the first chance I got, I logged in and perused the type of content I could work on.

I don’t know what I expected, and it was toward the end of the week so I was tired, but as I went through the list, I felt disappointed. Nothing looked interesting, so I logged out and decided to look at it again the next day.

All night I kept dreaming about it. My brain kept telling me that the only way the site was going to work was if I made it work. I couldn’t wait around for the perfect story, I had to take what I could get. When I work up, I decided that I was going to write something. It didn’t have to be groundbreaking or world changing, but I joined the site to write, so I was going to write. I chose a press release.

By this point, my nerves started taking over. It was only a press release, and a short one—it wasn’t supposed to be longer than 400 words—and it made me question my writing ability. I second guessed every word I put on the page. I read and reread the thing numerous times. I checked and rechecked and triple checked the requirements and the key words. I was too scared to push the submit button for fear I had done something wrong.

Finally, I told myself to take a deep breath and calm down. The client has the option of asking for edits. If they don’t like it, they could have me tweak it until they are happy. I mustered up the courage to submit and clicked on the button. After which, the client has 3 days to approve.

I figured I’d wait to see if it was approved before finding another one to write. The site allows me to work on another one immediately if I so choose. A whole day went by, and I hadn’t heard anything, so I decided to move on and write another. I found another press release and got to work.

Both of those were approved on the same day without any revisions. It was such a huge relief—although I would have been fine if they asked for edits. I moved onto a third and worked on that. This one was a little more challenging and a bit longer (500 words), so the nerves came back. Again, I had to remind myself that everything would be all right.

I’m still really new to the site and trying to figure things out. Choosing and submitting work is really easy, it’s just a matter of finding something that interests me to write about. There are several different categories, along with different writing levels (1 star through 5; I’m a 4), and I can write in my own level or those below me.

I get to choose how much or how little I write. I won’t be able to retire on the money I make, but it’s nice to have a little extra. I don’t get to use my byline, but that’s fine with me. I write a lot of corporate stuff that doesn’t have my name on it. If I want recognition, I will write my own stuff—and I do.

I decided to do this to challenge myself. And it has been so far. Like I said, I have to work through self-doubt and anxiety, but I also try to pick topics that I can learn something about. If I want to be successful at it, I have to put in the work. I’ll keep you informed of how that progresses.

No comments: