How to Keep Up Your Morale as a Freelance Writer

This is a Guest Post by  Anne John, a software engineer who switched careers to follow her passion for the written word. Currently she works as a web content manager with an online women’s magazine and moonlights as a freelance writer and editor. 

Anne John

Freelancing comes with many perks such as the ability to choose your work assignments and work flexibility. However, it has its downside as well. A common problem that most newbie freelancer writers face is keeping up your morale as you kick-start your freelance writing career. Trust me, I’ve been there. As a beginner, you haven’t built up a strong portfolio yet and with every pitch you send out, your hopes go soaring, only to fizzle out a week later. Rejection is hard to face and we freelance writers voluntarily expose ourselves to rejection over and over again. One of the hardest things to do when starting out as a freelance writer is keeping up your morale in the face of continuous disappointments. Here are 3 tips that helped me keep my chin up – and will hopefully help you too:

 

1. Learn to feel good about yourself: Although it is very difficult to believe in yourself when you keep getting rejection letters from editors, it is also exactly the time to give yourself some love. I save every good comment or appreciative feedback that I ever got for my writing. It could be from family, friends or total strangers. It could be on one of your published articles or even on your blog. Build a database of all the positive comments that your writing has ever garnered – you could print out the comments and save them in a folder or simply bookmark them on your computer. When you are feeling particularly uncharitable towards yourself, revisit them. Surely, all those people would not be wrong about you? This will help nip negativity in the bud, cheer you up, build your confidence and restore your faith in your work.

Keep Up Your Morale
Photo credit: Jennifer (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)

 

2. Don’t take it personally: Don’t take every rejection as a personal attack on your writing skills. Perhaps, the pitch was not suited to that particular publication at that point in time or perhaps they carried a similar piece quite recently or maybe the editor simply missed seeing your mail. You have no clue and there is no need to be offended. Train yourself to let it go. If the editor gives you any explanation for turning down your pitch, view it as constructive criticism and see what you can learn from it.

 

3. Keep writing for yourself: Most freelance writers start out because of their love and passion for writing. However, we often have to alter our writing to suit the editors’ or readers’ tastes and requirements. Soon, many writers get disillusioned with the whole process and writing begins to lose its charm. To prevent this, keep writing for yourself too. Maintain a blog or a journal where you can give free reign to your pen without worrying about word limits and house style. Simply savor expressing yourself and keep the magic of writing alive. I hope these pointers will help keep your morale up on your freelance journey! All the best!

 

Don’t forget to connect with Anne via her profile on Nabbesh and follow @annejwrites on twitter.

How do you make a lizard so adorable? Ask Catherine!

By: Loulou Khazen Baz


Meet Catherine Sunga! A working mother, a legal PA and above all things an artist!

It is a strange yet interesting combination… Catherine is an artist at heart and she discovered her passion for art in her twenties while she was growing up in the Philippines.

In her hometown, Art was considered an elite’s choice of education and Catherine was by no means part of the elite. That fact however did not let her shy away and feel inferior to her classmates. Instead, Catherine let her talent show through her work and managed to pull through her education and pursue her dream to become an artist.

When growth opportunities for Catherine were on the decline, and like many of her compatriots, Catherine seeked refuge in the Gulf where she embarked on her journey to become a legal PA.

Years later, life was smiling back at Catherine! A young mum with two children and a lot of ambition to pursue once more her dream to become an artist. Her breakthrough came when she was contacted by a UK/Dubai based publishing compnay whichwas developing a children’s book… Among many illustration artists, Catherine’s work was chosen and she managed to have her work published which was one of her proudest moments and her cue to never give up on her passion.

When asked about her feeling while she is panting, Catherine said that she completely zones out and finds her peace as if she is whisked into her own almost “Alice in wonderland” type world!

Catherine does not want to be defined as a person by her professional work as she has a lot more to offer and when asked about her future goals and aspirations, Catherine is adamant to pursue her art and have her own studio, she also hopes to exhibit her art at a prestigious gallery one day!

Catherine’s struggles have not dampened her kind heart and big smile! Her motto is: “people have a good side to them, if you’re nice to them, they’re going to have to reciprocate”.

Apart from caring for her children and pursuing her art, Catherine loves to collect little toys and she admitted with a cheeky smile that she has a love for stuffed toys which every once in a while have to fight over with her children. Each one of us have their vices right?

If money was no obstacle, Catherine’s wish would be to teach art: “Art should be for the masses, social class should not determine who gets into art. I would like to be able to give back to my community by teaching the less fortunate children how to draw and paint because talent is a gift from God and everyone should be able to get the chance to utilize it.”

To all our nabbesh readers, we hope Catherine’s story has inspired you to never give up on your dreams even when life makes you change course. There are always opportunities for each one of us around the corner if we keep an open heart and mind.

To view Catherine’s work, you can check out her book on Amazon “Izzy’s Tail” by Suzanne Kalloghlian.

You want your child to eat broccoli? Then read this.

By: Nadine Sayegh

Greetings from the nabbesh team!

Today’s post is about a wonderful lady with a passion for children, education and cooking!. It’s so heart-warming (not to mention rare…) we had to share it with everyone! Thoraya Nasser Charwani was born and raised in the far away land of Belgium and has 4 sisters and a brother. So she is no stranger to a full and lively household! She went to an international school and pursued higher education in London with a degree in Childcare and Education.

A calm, easy going and caring person are the minimum requirements to understand children and Thoraya has surpassed them, to say the least. Patience, sensitivity and creativity are just a few traits that help her understand the (not so mild) mannerisms of tiny humans. She takes a great pleasure in her occupation and feels like her highest self when she is surrounded by her loved ones and educating and entertaining children.

Before I continue readers, you must prepare yourself. Without realizing it, you may say ‘awwww’ more than once. (This is NOT gender specific)

Thoraya has had several years of teaching experience but what is truly notable is that she created a preschool curriculum for a school in southern Bombay, India. With help of an assistant she took on this challenging task and worked without rest until she completed it. As Thoraya lives in Belgium and Dutch is not her native tongue, teaching there has not been an option yet. She hopes to learn Dutch in order to begin working within the Belgian school systems. Also, she hopes to be able to implement a more child-oriented program into Dutch schools, which revolves around the child’s wants and needs.

When we discussed her own children she said, “My patience plays a big role in being an active mother. I am able to understand and tend to all of my child’s needs and interests. I am very involved in her health and put a lot of effort into making sure she has a very balanced and fun diet. I enjoy cooking healthy and tasty dishes as well as serving them in a creative and attractive way.” (We wish our mom’s could make broccoli fun..)

Also, the entrepreneurial fire shines brightly in Thoraya, she hopes that one day she can open her own business that caters to the needs of children and to the needs of their parents as well. When asked if she could do something for free for the rest of her life she replied, “If I were to do something for free for the rest of my life, I would have my own children’s public library in Lebanon where parents can bring their children to read books and do group reading activities. Or I would have my own café in Lebanon, which would be aimed at children and their parents, offering food and cooking classes.” In addition she says, “10 years from now my aim is to have enough money to build a public park in Lebanon for everyone to enjoy.”

So we move on to a lighter and more nabbesh note, Thoraya’s skills are but are not limited too: Writing Poetry, writing stories, cooking, baking, reading and making posters for children. *Deep breath*, that is quite the list. She expects that nabbesh will introduce people with similar skills and interests to one another! We certainly hope so.

Childcare is very important, especially in today’s society. Today, many parents are finding difficulty balancing their work lives with their family lives. We hope that Thoraya has inspired you to at least make food time with your kids more enjoyable.  So bring out your pots and pans and enjoy cooking!

That’s all we have time for today folks, tune in next time to try on someone else’s shoes!

Blogger’s Bio: Nadine Sayegh is completing a BA in Communication Arts. She is currently in her last semester at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. An avid user of social media; She is a freelance blogger, copywriter and editor.  Contact details: nadine.sayegh@live.com

In the shoes of…

By: Loulou Khazen Baz

As an entrepreneur, an Arab woman and the founder of nabbesh, I have the pleasure to kick off the “in the shoes of” series of blog posts, which will feature some up-and-coming, talented and inspiring people in the MENA region.

Did you ever wonder what it would feel like to be in the shoes of an entrepreneur? A talented artist? A nurse?

Every day, hundreds of millions of experiences are gained and internalized or shared with a few people. Wouldn’t it be great if we can learn from these experiences? Well this is why we would like to feature “in the shoes of” inspirational people.

From my humble experience as an aspiring entrepreneur for the past year, life couldn’t be more interesting and full of surprises. A typical day can start in complete peace and quiet then go through complete turmoil. Of course, there are the boring uneventful days too, but they are numbered.

If you’re an adventurer, then entrepreneurship is going to quench your thirst; it’s the path to fulfillment, self-discovery and testing your own limits.

As the founder of nabbesh, a venture which is currently taking shape and will be ready for launch very soon, I take pride in every little accomplishment my team and I have done and on a daily basis, we are all pushing our limits to produce a unique product that embodies our values & beliefs.

I’m not going to preach about how organized and perfect we are… If you thought so then you can stop reading 🙂 I’m going to give you a snapshot of reality, the confusion that you face on a daily basis and the rollercoaster ride you take to build a “hopefully” sustainable and successful business.

So here’s a snapshot of my day.

The day started with a meeting with my partners in crime. We had a long session of status updates, social media monitoring and then Hassan the lead creative tried to teach me a magic trick.

Hassan’s Magic Trick

We try to mix a bit of fun in every day… Note, to be an entrepreneur you have to wear 10 different hats on a daily basis. In one day you can be your company’s lawyer, designer or coffee maker; diversity at it’s best!

Around 2pm I was off to a meeting with a Lebanese tech entrepreneur who has successfully started and sold several companies in the USA and he is currently a venture partner in a US based Venture Capital firm. It was a great learning experience which gave me great insight into the mind of a VC. For over an hour, I was challenged, questioned and sometimes got a tap on the back 🙂 I can’t stress enough how important it is for an entrepreneur to identify and meet with key people who can add value.

It was almost 4pm and I went back to the office where we worked on the storyboard for the video we are producing for nabbesh. A nice brainstorming session with our animator where ideas were flying at a crazy pace 🙂 Let’s see the results.

At 6pm, I’m writing this blog post, which I hope was informative to you… It’s a snapshot of my day.

Later on this evening, I will be catching up on some reading which I’ve been putting off for a while and will most probably be checking our social media channels to see what’s been happening.

The day will end with a call to our lead developer to get hopefully a positive status update, which will enable me to sleep peacefully tonight 🙂

Technically, you work a lot but the work is an absolute pleasure.

Happy Friday to you all!