After moving to Montreal I found it very difficult to get back into the normal flow of work. I was distracted. The wind left my sails and I was drifting on a dark sea of wishing that assignments would fall from the sky. I lost the ability to come up with new ideas and because of this I became so disheartened that I could not freelance anymore. I was finished.
But still, there really is no other job that I can imagine myself doing. While I am occasionally offered assignments, I can not rely on that to make enough money in this game. I have to pitch myself to clients. I have to come up with new ideas. I have to market. Without these crucial ingredients in the freelancing souffle, the dish I prepare will be flat, bland, and uninspired.
The work dried up, and as I watched the assignments disappear of my list I felt powerless to get back to the grind. Moving to a new city completely turned my world on its head and I was not prepared for that. But now, three months later, I’ve got my bearings again. The rudder is in the water and my hand is on the prow. I’m starting to pitch again, and I’m starting to hunt for new clients as though I were on safari.
All successful freelance writers market themselves regularly. Show me a successful freelancer and I’ll show you someone who marketed like a bastard to get work. It’s something we hate to do, but it is a necessary evil. It would be great if I could just sit back with a glass of scotch while the offers roll in, but that, unfortunately, is a wild fantasy that only the most successful and established freelancers enjoy.
It can be possible to reach a stage where you have enough people offering you work that you don’t need to prospect anymore, but that stage takes years of hard work spent on marketing on a regular basis. No one is going to spring out of the shadows and hand you a million-dollar assignment. Ya gotta hustle that ass if ya wanna make it.
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