I am emailing you in response to your article “How a Freelance Learned to Be a Hustler.” I found it quite informative, though I still have some reservations possibly caused by my own internal confusion. I graduated college in 2009 with a degree in Journalism, but to be brutally honest, I’m not big on politics and digging through trash bins to find the latest scoop. I am very big, however, on taking in the world around me and having things to say about it, of course backing it up with facts, data, etc… Now, I have a blog which I will admit is largely unsuccessful because I don’t have one particular gimmick to grab an audience. I have larger hopes of being a novelist someday, but I do love to write. I do find it hard to find paid work for writing, as it’s insanely competitive and again, my interests can seem varied to some and too niche for others.
As of late, I’ve been trying to compile a list of all my interest and various things I can do with them. A lot of them I’d love to write about, if I had the time, but I have a day job that takes about 12 hours of my day. “I am a creative,” as you said, and I don’t just enjoy writing, I enjoy creating in its entirety. But creating doesn’t pay the bills at this moment, and the stress that the economy has on my wallets has forced me into a position where all my time is spent making money, and my spare time is used to follow my passions. I have to say it’s hard. Most days, I wonder if my passion is something that I have passion for anymore. My friend tells me it’s my “quarter-life crisis” attacking me full throttle. I’ve been trying to network with people, but it becomes a game of kiss-ass and I will not lie to you, I’m not big on brown nosing. I feel my work should stand for itself and not my lips on someone’s tush. Like you said, I do write for free, because it’s what I love, it’s what I’d love to do most of the day every day (with a few hours dedicated to cooking, jewelry making, painting and maybe pottery).
I’ve ventured into the world of freelancing, dipping a toe in it and sending my ideas out to smaller publications hoping they’d cut me a break, but instead they take my ideas and let their paid staff write instead. Obviously, this has put a damper on my confidence. How did you do it? Was there ever a time when you doubted yourself? Did you put out your stories to big name publications about any and everything? Or did you study those you liked and tried to emulate them? Were you overly persistent or say ‘F*** This!’ to those who acted as though they had no time for your work? I’d love to have that hustler mentality but it probably is passed from generation to generation, as you said. Most places that I've tried to write for want to know that I've had extensive writing credentials, but how can you have something, when no one is willing to give you a break?
Excuse the long essay, I'm just a little lost, and slightly deferred. But I did enjoy reading your article. I got some hope from it.
Would love to hear your thoughts,