Friday, March 20, 2009

What's working in freelance writing today

Who would you rather deal with?

Someone coming to you with a great, big, soul-sucking bucket of NEED...
or someone who comes to you from a place of contribution?

Silly question, huh?

I got to experience this myself in my writing business over the past couple of months. Prior to then, my project volume could best be compared to a fire hose! Seriously - from 2006, when I started it, until 2/28/09, the projects came in like a summer 3:00 thunderstorm in Flordia - torrential.

And then...

SCREEECH! Crash. Burn?

Well, it felt like that - but only because I was looking at something I broke, kind of like a little kid with a busted-up toy.

Before my crash, my hubby had a steady salary. Money that came in from my writing business could have supported us as a family - easily. And it never occurred to me that that would ever change. In fact, it would have been like damming up a raging river to get it to slow down to a trickle.

But I did it!

Making a simple mental shift (obviously in the wrong direction!), I went from offering some of the best writing services anywhere to... a "Omigosh I really, really need to make money this month. The fate of the world rests on my shoulders. Aighh!!!!!!" mentality.

What do you think happened?

Mind you - I'm aware there's an economic slump going on. But this was way beyond that - in fact, freaky. And get this - I didn't "do" anything differently. I still bid on projects (in fact, more than normal). And with Guru's re-do on their ranking system, I plummeted below a lot of writers who've done only 1-2 projects, and that certainly didn't help. I even ended up with one client (who will never be named) stiffing me on more than 50 articles! (And being really, really mean in the process.) A punch in the gut.

But THIS, I did with my own heart and mindset. (I know, it probably sounds kind of metaphysical and kooky - but it's too much of a coincidence not to be true.)

So... what next?

After a little friendly butt-kicking from my coach(es), I "got it".

You've no doubt heard a lot about scarcity vs. abundance. I was clearly in the freak-out scarcity mode. Beyond reason. And way out of character. In fact, when my coach asked me to list things I had an abundance of, I didn't even notice that I'd left my writing talent off the list.


She caught that, and asked a question that I'll pass on to you... if you happen to know anyone (or be anyone!) who's going through a similar phase:

"How would it look and feel, as you market your business, as you bid on projects, as you approach clients - if you came from a place of contribution instead of need?"

What do you, as a freelance writer have to contribute?

The list could go on and on, but here's a start:
  • By taking the burden of writing off their backs, you free their time to do the things they do really well (and likely enjoy more).
  • You enable them to make more money by using their time better.
  • You help them make more money by communicating how they'll make their clients' lives better.
  • You connect with them in a way that supports their dream of entrepreneurship and success.
  • You lend your God-given talent in a way that may change their lives (it's happened - I've got a few clients who'll attest to that)
Sure beats the heck out of "Oh gosh, if I don't get this gig I won't make the mortgage!" Huh?

So, what's working for you?
Have you dipped into that dark pool of despair, too? Are you done with that?
Are you glued to the news? Or are you taking control of what you allow your mind to dwell on?

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