Are you a writer? Do you feel like a fraud? You’re not alone!
Sometimes we get in the way of ourselves.
As a writer we are sometimes the worst!
Does that make sense? We let our insecurities dictate how we manage our lives and stops us from doing things we are sometimes meant to do or at least try.
When I first started writing I never told anyone I was a writer. I felt like a fraud and as embarrassing as it is, I never believed I was good enough. Initially, if I sent in a query or submitted an article I would wait for days or sometimes weeks for a response, all the while knowing they would be rejected. And then when my predictions came true, I wasn’t surprised.
To be honest I didn’t have a lot of rejections – maybe because I didn’t submit as many articles as I thought I did. But there came the day when I actually got mad and gave myself a little talking to. “If you want to write for magazines and maybe write a book someday you have to believe in yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will.”
Don’t take “No” for an answer!
I decided I had to sit up and take control of my writing career if I wanted to be successful and earn a living. I wouldn’t accept “no” for an answer.
I targeted a print magazine with its focus on a subject I knew very well. I sent an email, introducing myself, asking whether they were interested in receiving queries. The response I received might normally have made me move on. The editor thanked me but said they were not looking for new writers at this time.
However, I knew I was more than capable of writing articles they needed and knew their readers would find my articles helpful. I decided to write an article, gathered some photos, and submitted it to the editor without querying first. Two days later I received confirmation that they liked it and would publish it in the next edition. Oh, and by the way they would pay me $80. I was off to a good start. Three months later I was asked by this same Editor if I would be interested in writing a monthly column and of course I said yes. I wrote a column for that magazine for 5 years and developed a very good working relationship with the editor and his staff.
I used that experience to start writing content for other magazines with similar interests, developing a bit of a following and many connections.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
My next venture into stepping outside of my comfort zone started with moving into a new community where I didn’t know anyone. I had been reading the local newspaper and found they didn’t have any travel pieces or travel information at all. I thought they needed some and took myself down to the local newspaper office and introduced myself. I told the editor I was a freelance writer and travel blogger and was interested in writing travel pieces for her. I gave her a bit of information about myself, a business card and left. The very next day she called and asked if I would come in for a visit.
Naturally I said yes and was soon sitting in her office discussing some of the paper’s needs. She explained that they weren’t interested in travel pieces but was hoping I might be interested in writing on local events and working with her on marketing material for local businesses. My response was yes and over the next two years I learned so much from her and gained confidence in my abilities as a writer.
Take Control of Your Writing Career!
I learned quickly we must take control of our writing careers if we want to be successful. I joined a Travel Writing Association, taking advantage of courses made available to its members and paid attention to other travel writers. I quickly realized they were just like me – writers!
When I’m asked what I do for a career I now comfortably answer, “I’m a travel writer and blogger”. This usually gets the conversation going and I find that people are curious and interested.
So now I am asking you. “Do you get in the way of yourself?”
You must believe in yourself first because no one else will until you do.
You’re a writer.
Note: Since I’ve started writing I’ve discovered Scrivener and use it to keep myself and my projects organized and it enables me to have everything in one place. You might want to read more about Scrivener here.