What 2013 Has Taught Me on My Writing Life

What 2013 Has Taught Me on My Writing Life

There are many things to be grateful for 2013 that it would take me hours to list them down. Most of all, experience has taught me well as a professional writer. The freelancing industry is an ocean for us—fishes in all sizes—to swim in, and if you don’t know how to, you’ll end up frustrated and discouraged in this competitive environment.

It’s a tough battle last year. I finally went out of freelance platforms like oDesk and Elance and decided to really be independent. It cost me much as I had to send out proposals and pitch to startups and SMBs, mostly to companies I’d like to provide my services. Today, I’m grateful I took a risk.

With all the rejections and hundreds of NOs from last year, there’s one thing I’ve cultivated—maybe unconsciously—until I realized I’m almost living my dream to work as professional writer: to be grateful at all times.

It’s human nature to complain and rant about the situation when we don’t get what we want. I’m guilty of this. But I realized a grateful attitude has helped me overcome rejections and discouragements.

Day by day, I learned to be grateful in all circumstances—whether good or bad—and I’ve learned these three principles despite the challenges:

1. Gratitude Changes Your Attitude—for Good

Gratitude is a mindset. It’s hard to see the negative things from a different perspective, to see every opposition as an opportunity to grow—and so I had to change the way I think.

I’ve sent hundreds of proposals to the companies I wished to work for. But most of them said no, others said wait, and a fraction of those said yes. Above all, there was a choice, too, whether to get discouraged or be grateful despite of the situation. I chose the latter, and day after day, I set my mind to see things from a different angle. “There’s an opportunity to grow for every no.” I moved to the next one…then the next one…and the next one.

Before I knew it, I stumbled upon a company that turned out to be my most generous client ever—it was because I didn’t stop.

There were days when clients demand rewrites, and the worst would be a new article to start all over again.

I turned those moments as the days of my becoming. I was thankful because as I rewrite and write for hours, there was an opportunity to sharpen my skills and discover my voice.

2. Gratitude Takes You Further—Closer to Your Dream

Gratitude is a choice. That’s what I learned last year. Every time I wake up, the choice is always offered—either to give thanks for a new day to write and sit for hours in pleasure and pain until “I bleed” or complain because I had to meet deadlines.

As writers, we have dreams to fulfill and goals to achieve. Maybe some of you want to pursue your dream of becoming a published author, be a travel writer, travel to places, get involved in non-profit organizations, and the dream of being with your family at the comfort of your homes while working—these are priceless.

However, this is the reality: fear, discouragements, and delays exist. We have giants to slay—more than we can imagine—but cultivating a thankful heart will lead you one step closer to your dream and overcome your fears.

I remember the time when I sent proposal to one of my dream company. Unfortunately, they were not hiring outsourced writers (that time). I felt discouraged. I want it badly. Deep in my heart, I knew I’d almost do anything to get the project.

However, doing it my way, in my own terms, won’t work. I learned to wait for the perfect time. I was grateful to have a direct contact from the CEO. Instead of whining, I moved to the next clients and projects—but I always kept in touch with him.

I was grateful because I wasn’t hired that time. You know why? Little did I know, I was about to be hired for (long term) a company that would require me a lot of time to write and create social media campaigns.

However, it didn’t end there. I followed up the CEO of the dream company last November and he told me to contact the their project manager. The result? I was hired. Finally! The timing was right. While I don’t have the byline now, but the thought of the delay comes with a greater purpose. More than getting hired and monetary rewards, I learned the value of waiting.

3. Gratitude Makes You Productive

There are two things you can do the moment you sit down to write—be grateful because you’re alive and ready to write or complain because you’re way past the deadline and you’re not in the mood—Talk about inspiration, eh?

However, a grateful attitude made me productive. It’s challenging to jumpstart my writing stint unless I free-write. I tweaked my daily free writing routine by listing down the things I’m grateful for that moment. Before I knew it, the muse has overtaken me. I finished each day feeling fulfilled, knowing that I made the clients happy and satisfied.

Complaining robs your time, but a grateful attitude makes you productive. You’d better stop complaining and start counting your blessings. List down your 2013 milestones with high hopes of more projects and increase of connections for 2014.

With the right mindset, you’ll be able to face this year with confidence.

Now let me ask you, what are you grateful for last year? List them down on the comments section below and share them to our fellow writers.

[Photo credit: Deposit Photos]

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