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.

The Terrible Truth About Pessimism

by Kathy Shalhoub

Are you someone who always seems to have bad luck, failed projects and a pessimistic view on life?

Why do these things happen to you and not to others?

It’s because you’ve learned how to be helpless.

Martin Seligman, a PhD in psychology determined that the primary cause of learned helplessness is pessimism!

Do you know what the defining characteristics of the pessimist are?

Take two people who sustain the exact same hardships of life. The optimist will tend to believe that:

  • defeat is only a temporary setback,
  • this setback is a one-time occurrence confined to this one case,
  • circumstances, bad luck, or other people have brought it about.

The pessimist on the other hand, believes that:

  • bad events will last a long time,
  • bad luck undermine everything they do, and
  • all unfortunate or unwelcome occurrences are their own fault.

Related post: Luck, Chance and All of That

The thing with optimists is that they are unfazed by defeat, they simply see it as a challenge and try harder next time. Pessimists on the other hand, give up more easily and are more often depressed.

So what’s wrong with being a pessimist?

You may be one of those people who actually need failure or bad luck to feel good about yourself. Why? Because then all that is happening is not your fault. You can blame circumstances for your situation and you don’t need to take responsibility for your own future.

So you are comfortable being helpless and nothing is your fault. Which means that you are likely to fail at anything you try to do because you believe that you control nothing!

Where does that leave you? Exactly where you are if you’re lucky, but you’re never lucky, remember?

Taking charge of your life and being in control of your career options is one great route to leaving the pessimist view behind. You can make use of your skills, be productive and earn money on nabbesh.com

Related Link: Find jobs on nabbesh.com (http://www.nabbesh.com/jobs/?location=)

The way you think about your life and your belief in your power to control an outcome can completely shape your future. Find out how to change your outlook in next week’s blog post: How to Unlearn ‘Learned Helplessness’.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Take this quiz and let us know!

P.S. I’m an optimist 80% of the time 🙂

The Terrible Truth about Pessimism

By: Kathy Shalhoub

We’ve all met the person who always seems to have bad luck, failed projects and a pessimistic view on life. Why does that happen to some people and not to others?

It’s because they’ve learned how to be helpless.

It’s weird but these people actually need failure or bad luck to feel good about themselves because then, all that is happening is not their fault. They can blame circumstances for their situation and they do not need to take responsibility for their own future.

Martin Seligman, a PhD in psychology and the leading expert on learned helplessness has determined the primary causes of it: pessimism!

Do you know what the defining characteristics of the pessimist are? Take two people who sustain the exact same hardships of life. The pessimist will tend to believe bad events will last a long time, that these events will undermine everything they do and that they are all their own fault. The optimist on the other hand, believes that defeat is only a temporary setback, that the reason for this setback is a one-time thing confined to this one case, and that circumstances, bad luck, or other people have brought it about.

The thing with optimists is that they are unfazed by defeat, they simply see it as a challenge and try harder next time. Pessimists on the other hand, give up more easily and are more often depressed. Yikes!

Now being a pessimist wouldn’t be a bad thing if it didn’t have such far reaching effects on our lives. Just imagine that the way we think about our lives and the things over which we have control can completely shape our future!

If we believe we do not control our lives then we will sit back and be helpless. And when we overestimate our helplessness, other forces will take control and shape our future. And this applies to every aspect of our lives, our careers, our leisure activities, our health, our weight, our children’s future, our chances for success,…

Regardless of what category you put yourself into, what’s crucial is what you think when you fail. Do you beat yourself up about it, or do you brush it off and move on? Changing the destructive things you say to yourself when you experience setbacks that life deals all of us is the central skill of optimism. And guess what? Optimists have been proven to have a higher success track record.

Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn’t matter. The way pessimists explain failure to themselves spreads helplessness while the optimists’ way stops helplessness.

Ask yourself, what is your reaction in the face of a setback or a failure? Is it all your fault? Does it stop you in your tracks for months on end? Do you quit and move on to something else? Do you simply assume it’s a one time thing and try again? The way you explain events to yourself determines how helpless you become!

Getting back up in the face of defeat is called resilience. And the great news, is that resilience is not a trait that we are born with, it is something that is acquired. Which means that most of us can become resilient, optimistic, and increase our chances of happiness and success if we teach ourselves to believe that:

  1. Defeat is only a temporary setback
  2. The reason for this setback is a one-time thing confined to this one case, and
  3. Circumstances, bad luck, or other people have brought it about.

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.