Or, Why Losing My Job Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
Week 24 – Practice Makes Perfect
Here we are at week 24 already! It’s hard to believe.
This week I have really focused my efforts on creating pitches that target publications that I would like to write for.
I’ve gotten comfortable with contacting editors, doing phone interviews and skype interviews and have learned how to pinpoint what a publication is looking for. By learning how to put together a well-researched pitch, I’ve learned to think outside the box when looking for new publications that are accepting submissions.
Invoicing has now been added to my list of skills, as well as how to build relationships with editors and follow up on queries.
I’d like to think I’m a fast learner, but I’m not. It takes a few tries before I get it completely figured out. The other side of that is, once I do learn something, I learn it well.
So the key to my success, then, is to practice, practice and keep on practicing.
Going back and looking over some of the courses I’ve taken has been useful. That has helped me remember key bits of information that I had forgotten. It has reminded me of things I need to do.
That’s why I print everything out or write it down.
I may be the least competitive person in the world, but I am fairly stubborn. If I need to get something done, I will stick with it until I accomplish my goal. Doing things right the first time is not my strong suit, so I change my tactic and try it again.
And I practice.
I took piano lessons on and off for a large portion of my life. If that taught me anything, it’s this: You can know all the theory in the world, but if you don’t practice actually playing the piano, you will never learn to play the piano.
It’s all about doing.
I keep learning by watching webinars, reading articles, taking courses and reading more articles. Useful bits of information get saved on Pinterest to read later. I belong to a number of writer groups, blogger groups and freelancing groups on Facebook and I read everyone else’s experiences and read their articles.
It’s all very valuable, but it’s all theory.
When you stop reading and start pitching articles and contacting editors, you’re taking yourself seriously as a freelance writer.
So that is what I have been working on this week.
I conducted a great phone interview with a business owner I wanted to do an article about last week. This week, I put together a comprehensive query package about this business and my proposed article. And then I sent it off.
Yes, I sent it off. In an envelope, in the mail.
That was the first time I put together a paper query package. Most of them require submissions by email, but this one specifically asked for queries to be mailed to their office. So that’s what I did.
It was a really good query, so we will see how that pans out. It was really good practice, though, and I feel far more confident about my queries than I did at the beginning of this little adventure.
I fired off a few more email queries to a few more prospects as well.
I also ran into this very useful article from Writers in Charge that covered the basics on the three most important steps to launching a freelancing career. In the article are a number of links to some other valuable articles about landing clients and building a business.
It was a good overview to use as a checklist to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. The article also has some good ideas I had not thought of before.
I’m always on the hunt for good resources I can draw on to help me succeed.
So this week was all about doing what needs to be done. Pitching some articles, doing some writing and some updates on my website, and keeping my content fresh on my Facebook page.
My takeaway for this week: As the fish said, just keep swimming. Just keep practicing.
Next Week: In which I launch my new blog.
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Remember, don’t ever be afraid to start something new or pursue your dreams. My goal is to encourage you to live a life of your choosing, find the strength you have inside you, and to use your gifts to add to the wonder of this world.