How Freelance Writers Can Get More Credit for Their Work

Carol Tice

I know, it’s the holiday weekend. So I’d like to take a moment and give you the recognition you deserve.

Why?

Freelance writers work hard.

I’ve been helping new writers learn how to write queries and letters of introduction in Freelance Writers Den lately, and I can practically see the little sweat beads on their foreheads through the Internet. It’s tough to get the hang of these formats.

Marketing your writing is a long slog, especially right now.

Have you ever done work for a client who just sort of disappeared with it? No pat on the back, no ‘good job.’

Or they rewrote the heck out of it?

Or maybe you ghostwrote something, so nobody knows you wrote it.

It can feel sort of lonely. And maybe you start to wonder if you’re really any good at this writing game.

How to get more credit

There is one way you can always get more credit for your work. You can feel more accomplished, more talented, and more rewarded for your writing.

Do you know who can give you that much-deserved credit? As my dad used to tell me, find the nearest polished glass surface and take a look in it.

That’s right.

You can give yourself the credit you deserve.

When I first started out as a freelance writer, I treasured my portfolio. It was a physical book then, with my precious handful of yellowed clips inserted into clear sleeves.

Sometimes, when I felt overwhelmed, or behind schedule — or like I couldn’t imagine how I would write the 3,000-word feature article assignment that was due that day — I would take it out. Just leaf through the pages.

It never failed to blow my mind.

“Wow. I wrote all this,” I’d realize.

And I’d recognize what was lost in the day-to-day grind of writing: that I am good at this. If I wrote all that stuff, I could write some more good stuff, too.

We’re all so busy, it’s often hard to see your whole career and what you’re building. So we get too sucked into what others are telling us.

You shouldn’t rely too much on what others say about your writing career. Your drive, your passion to do this — it all comes from within.

Not every client will love your writing. But you have to love yourself as a writer to make this writing-biz thing work.

So this weekend, if you can, take a moment to look back. See what you’ve accomplished. Read some of your best work again.

Remember that no matter what others say, no one can take that body of work away from you. You wrote it.

Recognize that loads of people wish they were writers. Give yourself credit for actually putting it out there.

You are building your freelance writing career, piece by piece, against all odds.

I recognize you for that, and you should give yourself that recognition, too.

What would you like to give yourself credit for? Leave a comment and let us know.

P.S.: I’d like to thank and recognize all of you who nominated this blog for Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2012! If you find the info on this blog useful to your freelance-writing career, there’s still time to head over there — nominations are open through Dec. 10.

17 Comments

  1. Angela

    I have a couple of folders on my desktop: one labeled “Send to Magazines” and the other “eBook ideas and drafts.” Whenever I get an idea for an article or a chapter to include in an unfinished eBook, I sit down, open a new document and draft it as soon as possible. Often these pieces take a few rounds of writing to completely finish, but it feels very gratifying when I do complete them.

    I’ve sent a few articles to print publications and then changed the name of my saved copy from “Send to XYZ Magazine” to “Sent to XYZ Magazine” + the date I sent it. It’s a small thing, but it’s a reminder I’ve done an article I feel is an example of my best writing and had the courage to sent it off. I haven’t gotten any of them accepted yet, but that’s all right. I’m simply getting those early rejections out of the way so I can get some eventual acceptances.

    I still go back and read those sent pieces; then I think, “Yeah, I CAN create something well-written and interesting. It probably just wasn’t quite the right fit for that publication.”

    • Carol Tice

      Right on, Angela!

      You might try sending queries instead of the whole article — generally, that’s going to be more successful.

  2. Kimberly

    Thank you for your encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring words of wisdom.

    I believe I am a GREAT writer. 😉

  3. Valerie

    It does humble me to realize I’ve written enough articles in fill several books. Then I tell myself that much of it was crap. Instead of being negative, I am trying to focus on my ability to move and get stuff done. And honestly, my work has gotten better, Gradually.

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