When I started freelance writing, I had a voracious appetite for jobs. Wanting to build a diverse portfolio, I wasn’t terribly picky about the gigs I accepted. I had my limits, of course, still refusing to do anything too demeaning when it came to compensation. All the while I knew that what I was writing was worth more.
It was bound to happen. My freelance writing mindset changed. I stopped seeing writing as a hobby—something I did for a little extra spending money—and I started to identify with the self-employed entrepreneurs of the world. I set several goals for myself including:
- buying a professional domain
- launching a website
- building relationships with clients who understand the true value of the well-written blog and the professionally-penned website
I forced myself to back away from the low-paying jobs, and eventually I phased them out. But it wasn’t easy. In fact, at times it was downright scary—like that day Mom took the training wheels off of my bike.
Bread and Butter vs. Steak and Potatoes
What made it so difficult to let go of the sweatshop jobs was the sheer quantities of work they were able to dole out. While they didn’t pay anywhere near the going rate, they managed to send me a lot of work. When a girl needs money to make ends meet, steady income at low pay is still something. It makes riding on two wheels seem a tad risky.
I got wind of what other freelance writers were able to charge for work I considered to be at or below my standards, and realized that I had it all wrong. I depended on my clients when they should have been depending on me. I gave up gloppy white bread and butter, and moved on to medium-well steak and fluffy mashed potatoes. I know some think I’m still selling myself short. Why not lobster? Truth is, I’ve never really cared for seafood.