Despite being a professional writer for a few decades now, I'm still put in the hot seat by relatives and random strangers about having a "real" job. I hear this complaint from other writers, too. It seems like our lifestyle truly irks others a lot more than it bothers us.
Today for Monday Motivation I want to remind you why you are amazing:
- Writing is hard work. It takes discipline and focus. Not everyone can do what we do. They may say that they have an idea for a book, but it's a whole other animal to actually complete a manuscript, let alone publish it. There's nothing easy about it. Sitting down to write, rewrite, edits, rejections, rewriting again, pitching...it's a far cry from easy. We may love it, that's true, but being passionate about our jobs is a good thing and doesn't negate the effort involved. We freelancers know the meaning of "hustle" because--if we don't meet deadlines, come up with original concepts, and pitch our projects well--then we don't eat. That's hard work and we need to give ourselves credit for all of it.
- As solopreneurs, we create our own hours. If our child has a school field trip, we can rearrange our schedules to chaperone. Need to go to the doctor? No problem. We're flexible.
- We're brave. We're willing to risk public criticism on a daily basis by putting our work into the world. More than that, we've abandoned the status quo to roll the dice on a freelance lifestyle. We're modern day warriors! (Well...warriors may be an exaggeration...but we're definitely braver than the guy who sits in his cubicle all day hating life because he's too scared to lose the security of a steady paycheck and too afraid to risk anything on a dream. Fail or succeed, we have gone into the unknown and tried. Do you realize how many people never try?)
- We are masters of our Fate. We control everything from the amount of projects we take on, the prices we set, the continuing education we seek, the marketing we embrace or discard, the exercise we work into our schedule--all of it is one hundred percent our decision. We alone decide what our brand is, what ideas we'll pursue, and what our intentions are each day. No one is handing us anything.
- We are free. We can work anywhere at anytime. Don't forget about the "free" in freelancer. We can be working on the beach or sitting at our desk. We are free of the constraints of 9-5! We are free of the commute! Have a client who wants to meet at 9AM? It's up to you to decide if that works with your schedule. Perhaps you'll want to ask them to bump it to later in the day so you can avoid rush hour. (Just tell them you have a scheduling conflict, which is true, they don't need to know anything else.) We're FREE! It's the digital age where we can have Skype calls with clients anywhere in the world...from anywhere in the world.
So the next time some snotty know-it-all sneers when you say that you're a writer and responds with something like, "so what's your real job?" or "so you're actually unemployed, right?" Look them in the eye with confidence and say, "If by real job, you mean ordinary, then, no, I don't have a real job. I'm a writer. I create something from nothing. I have an extraordinary lifestyle...much better than ordinary." Then walk away because people like that aren't worth your time. You are too busy being amazing.
Be proud of what you do and what you're creating. It's special. Hold your head high and be proud to be a creator.
Amber Lea Easton
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Publishing Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to spreading suicide awareness, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. Easton is also a speaker regarding parenting through trauma and suicide awareness. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com. For a list of all of Easton's books, articles and interviews, go to http://www.amberleaeaston.com.