Saturday, November 27, 2004

Personal - Goals

Here’s the thing:

I am hereby making a commitment to write every day.
Not, I want to, or I should, but I HAVE TO.
At least 500 words, online, every day.
Online because that seems to be the only way it’ll get done. I’ve tried before and writing for my eyes only just doesn’t work.

Last month I decided to give freelancing a real try. I attended a workshop on how to market non-fiction articles and found it quite useful.
However it took me a couple of weeks to actually try it, and even then it was only two submissions.
One was a re-working of an old entry; the other wasn’t a full article, but a “query”, to an online women’s magazine.

The editor responded to the query and showed an interest in my proposed article which had to do with same-sex marriage.
Only problem: I then had to WRITE the darn thing.

Enter writer’s block. From now on I intend to have at least a somewhat completed piece BEFORE I send out a query!
I forced out something and submitted it. I don’t think it’s very good and I haven’t heard whether they accepted it for publication, but they did send me a contract which covers anything I might write for them within the next two years.

So they’re interested. This should encourage me, and emotionally it does to a degree, but it hasn’t resulted in me actually WRITING anything else.

I tried a few times but nothing came out.

Time for a mental adjustment.

If I fail at freelance writing I want it to be because I don’t have the talent, NOT because I was scared to try. Or scared to succeed.

Now I should embroider those words onto a sampler, and hang it over my desk.

That would be a good way to further procrastinate. Maybe I’ll just write them down.

It’s a constant battle against the voices. The ones that say who am I to think I can do this; anything I have to say has been said, and better.

I don’t even know where that came from – my parents, for all their faults, never made me feel intellectually incapable. I did well in school, generally, with minimal effort. The problems people have with me are personality problems, not relating to intelligence or writing ability.
Maybe it’s a human condition.

Whatever, the fact is I have NOTHING to lose – except the dream.
And dreams can be replaced but the time I’m losing, doing nothing, can’t.

So I will write something, probably in the blog, every day.
It’s technically easier to post things here and deprives me of one more excuse for not writing.
The hope is that it will loosen me up and lead to more writing.

I also need to spend some time researching markets. There are loads of magazines and online sites that buy from freelancers and they’re easy to find with the Writer’s Market and from the short bio blurbs of other freelancers. The time-consuming part is familiarizing myself with them sufficiently to have an idea of what they are looking for and what they’ve already recently published.
One or two a day – that’s my goal.

And of course if I actually do sell something, you’ll be among the first to hear about it!