I always knew that I'd be a writer.
With that said, I'm practical. I knew I wanted a steady income, a reliable 401(k), benefits, and my own sense of financial security.
Even though I had to "suspend" my writing dreams in pursuit of a more "practical" major and career (which I absolutely love), I've learned how to make a considerable side income that basically equates to a second full-time income.
What have I learned along the way? Here we go!
Perfect Is Just a Word in the Dictionary
Like most bright-eyed novice writers, I used to meticulously and painstakingly review every single word I wrote. I accepted nothing less than the most brilliant prose, and I promised I would never become that writer that just takes words for granted.
Needless to say, I'm no longer hung on perfectionism, and it's not that I don't try and put forth my best effort. It's just that I've changed my standards and reduced my need to produce the best of the best to simply the best I can provide.
That doesn't mean I'm not trying to grow and evolve as a writer on a continuous basis, but it does mean that I'm valuing balance and self-love in my professional and personal capacities.
Some Clients Are Just Really Picky
At first, this challenged me the most. Most writers know how painful it feels to try your very hardest- only for a faceless editor to rip apart every sentence.
Rejection, however, is good for me. It's organic and natural, and it happens to every single writer on this planet. I've been rejected, and I'll continue to get rejected. It no longer stings in the way it once did- and that's because I now understand that I simply cannot please everyone in my path.
Tough skin matters. It made me a better writer and listener. It made me pay better attention to details, and it made me learn to stop, stop, stop taking feedback and criticism so personally.
Writing is a business. Keep the emotions out of it.
The Tools Matter
When I first started out, I was convinced I could do it all on my own- be my own editor, SEO expert, everything. I deemed any reliance on external support as lazy, as beneath me.
Guess what happened? I quickly learned there was a much better way. See, the Internet is a fantastic invention. It allows me to research anything and everything, and it allows me to also virtually outsource if the need ever arises.
I've become good friends with Yoast, and I've become frenemies with Moz. I've learned how to live and breathe SEO, but I wouldn't say I'm an expert, and that's why I recommend you find experts when you need them!
even have the office set-up of my dreams, with multiple monitors and matching furniture- and yes, the cutest computer case I could find.
If a man is nothing without his tools, a writer is nothing without the Internet, right?
My Worth Matters
If I leave one grain of advice, it's this: do not ever work in exchange for exposure- unless there is a nearly guaranteed opportunity for monetary advancement.
Writers have bleeding hearts. We typically want to help people, and we understand that words can be powerful and moving. We also tend to undervalue ourselves in the meantime.
Don't work for free- unless you're doing this as a hobby. If you're writing for business, if you're writing because you have a job to provide, own your prices and stick to them with conviction. The clients who respect you wouldn't expect it any other way.