On my last vacation to Las Vegas (far too late), I noticed many similarities between the gamblers at the casino and many freelance writers I know. Many frustrated gamblers will spend their money, time and energy beating the latest machines, trying out the latest strategies or the latest popular games.
They do this in hopes of hitting the jackpot and getting rich. If they don’t, they will leave frustrated and work to earn enough money to come back and try again.
Many budding freelance writers have similarly misguided ideas about writing as a livelihood, even for creative writers. If I just sell that one book, I can quit my day job. .. Or if I’m on a big trip, National Geographic can’t refuse my travel article. .. I just need that windfall.
Sounds familiar? Most of us have been there before, but beginners should realize that writing is difficult. The problem is that this has nothing to do with winning a lottery or lucky days.
The way you get rich in Las Vegas is to see cocktail waitresses earn $50 or more in tips per hour. Through hard work, training and perseverance, she is more likely to become rich than gamblers. The same goes for earning a living as a writer.
Yes, occasionally writers will be lucky and pass early, but more often the way to live as a writer is through hard work, dedication, time to pay dues, learning ropes, and being too stubborn to give up.
This is the key to becoming a successful writer. Hard work, perseverance, continuous learning and a lot of writing: no “happy” break. Freelance writers who write and persevere are the ones who learn all the nuances necessary to succeed as a freelance writer.
In the writing world, “lucky breaks” almost always occur with writers who understand how work works and know how to put themselves in a successful position.
But don’t expect an immediate and happy breakthrough. If you put everything you have on a big break, you will be disappointed. Get your name out there, find a job and do it well, get paid, build a good reputation and repeat. Do this often enough, and pay raises and well-paid jobs will appear, just like the nectar from heaven.
If you are a freelance writer learning the ropes for the first time, please don’t become a frustrated gambler on a slot machine. Smart, hard work, perseverance. When your reputation as a top-notch freelance writer continues to grow, timepiece, money, and compensation will be beneficial to you.
It’s really amazing when it first happens. If you refuse to work, you know you’re succeeding, and you’ll sacrifice for it in your first month or two as a writer.
So keep writing, forget your luck and stick to it!
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