When the Honeymoon Ends

In every relationship, there will come a time when you’ll begin to doubt whether you should be in it. It’s usually when the honeymoon phase ends. You wonder: “Did I do the right thing?”

I’m not talking about your romantic relationship or your friendships, but your career.

According to Real Simple magazine’s Daily Thought for September 7, 2012:

But when the love wanes, do you bail out? Do you hit the road? Do you venture into greener pastures?

I sometimes think of it. When writing begins to feel painstakingly hard, when thinking up new ideas feels like walking in slowly sinking sand, I contemplate a life writing-free. I imagine having a 9-5 job again where I feel respected by friends and family, where the benefits are good, a steady paycheck is a given and where vacation feels easy. I can turn off work as easily as shutting down my computer.

But I remember that it’s always greener on the other side. I remember what it was like to ache for meaningful life and the desperation I felt to do what made my heart soar. And I know that I’m lucky. But I wanted to tell you all that it’s not easy. That even if you’re feeling like this right now, it doesn’t mean that you’re off course. You can expect that challenges come regardless of what field you in. Sometimes the challenges are professional ones and other times it’s a personal test.

These days, I like to think of life as a class. Maybe I’m going through this so I can learn how to endure criticism. Maybe this happened so I can get better at responding to negative feedback.

If you allow your deep love and passion for helping others to drive you forward, then those other so-called setbacks are really just bumps in the road. If you learn these lessons, it’ll just make your tires stronger and more able to go right over them.

Sometime in the path toward your life purpose you will feel self-doubt. And that’s okay. Don’t avoid the feeling. Don’t bury it in other things. Listen to what your doubt is trying to tell you. It’s often less about them, the people who are bringing you down. Most of the time, it’s you. Take it as a reminder that no matter who said what about your work or what obstacles are thrown your way, it’s not a reflection in the totality of you. Don’t allow someone to break you down. Have the courage to remember that you have a special gift and your one mission in life is to allow that gift to come forward.

Above all this, remember that I’m in this boat with you. We are never alone. We’re soul soldiers trying to just do what we love and love what we do.

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An Author Writes About Her Journey to Freelancing Success

Jordan RosenfeldWriters inspire me. They have the courage to face their fears on a daily basis. They deal with rejection about the most personal thing-their writing. Being a writer myself, I know the pain and joy that comes with the territory. That’s why I was beyond excited when contributing editor and columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine and fiction writer Jordan E. Rosenfeld invited me (!!!) to chat with her over tea and dreams. Come and be inspired with me.

What turned you on to writing?

I wish I could actually pinpoint the moment, the inspiration, but truthfully I’ve been writing since I learned how. I really do subscribe to that idea that everyone has a special talent in this life, and that some are lucky enough to find it. Mine is writing. It’s ALL I’m good at (well, and its offshoots, like editing). What I wouldn’t give to be good at sports, or a master chef, or a visual artist! But writing seized me. I have journals I kept that begin at age 8, which is also when I started writing stories. I do come from a family of avid readers, so perhaps that’s where the seed was planted. All I ever wanted to do my whole life was write.

How did you get your start as a freelance writer?

Through the back door, my favorite route! I had co-edited/produced a women’s magazine with a college friend. That gave me my first “clips.” After that, I was lucky to be on the end of a call for writers for a local newspaper after I graduated from college. I wrote a ton for them, then for the magazine they launched and by then I’d gotten my training wheels off and decided I would approach bigger (and better paying) publications. I just widened my “local” focus a little bigger and so on, until I landed my first national publication (which was Writer’s Digest magazine).

 

Does the fear and anxiety that comes with writing ever go away? If not, how do you deal with it so that it doesn’t sabotage your writing?

I would say that the fear/anxiety changes over time, and is different for every writer. In the beginning there’s more fear around impressing your editors. Later on, if you become established, there’s more fear about keeping a steady flow of assignments…and I don’t know that the fear of being found to be inadequate ever fully goes away. For me, the crucible of deadline pressure always wins over the anxiety. And strangely, since my first child was born 16 mos ago, I don’t experience nearly the same level of anxiety that I once did. I think children make you realize there’s more serious things to be anxious about than an article!

Do you think in this economy it’s still possible to make a living as a full-time freelance writer?

I want to be Ms. Optimism, but I have to answer honestly that I don’t know. I think if the writer is savvy about how publishing is changing (i,e. the transition from print to online), uses social networks wisely, blogs and does about 4x as much “hustle” as several years before, then yes, probably. I think every freelance writer needs to have several layers of projects going at all times, though. You have to be able to multi-task. For me, I also edit manuscripts, and teach online classes as well as write.

You’ve told me that “you don’t have to be somebody special to be a great writer,” but what do you think is necessary to be not only a great writer but a successful one?

You must be: Blindly persistent. An auto-didact (a self-teacher). Flexible. Resilient. Willing to keep learning and changing as needed.

Anything you’d like others to know about yourself or about your services?

Well, I’m rather fond of these online writing classes that I teach. My most popular class is called “Fiction’s Magic Ingredient.” There’s still room in the November, 2009 session! They’re mostly teaching fictional techniques, but I’ve got some non-fiction classes in the works. Also I do edit fiction and non-fiction manuscripts and come with references.

Thanks Jordan! Check out her website for more information and inspiring posts on writing.

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