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Blessed Are The Plodders, For They Shall Be Published Freelancing For Beginners
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Freelancing isn't for lazy people. To be a freelance writer you have to learn, work hard, and persevere. When the rejection notice appears in your email in box, you take it on the chin, and get right back to writing. I've been a freelancer for decades and my approach is to believe in myself and keep submitting work.
In short, you have to be a plodder. What is a plodder? For me, the word means I write every day. This is a qualified statement. I'm not working on War and Peace every day, but I'm working constantly and trying to improve my work. Though I can't speak for other health writers, I can speak for myself, and maintain my skills with daily writing.
This is a crucial concept for beginning freelancers. If you want to be a freelancer, you have to practice your craft. You will get better only with practice. In time, you will start to see your own improvement. When this happens pat yourself on the back. You may not be published yet, but you are writing.
When an editor asks what you are working on you will have an answer.
Varying my work is part of being a plodder. I write for two websites and the articles are purposely short. Writing short is a challenge, yet it is one I accept gladly. Some of my articles may have a few extra words, but I usually hit the 500-word target I set for myself. I've written poetry, affirmations, essays, and health and wellness books.
Self-criticism is part of being a plodder and, while this isn't easy, it is necessary. Thankfully, I've gotten better at this. My latest book about women walking for heart health developed only after I sent the manuscript to a woman who had a heart attack and is now living with heart disease. She is also active in a national heart organization for women.
She had excellent suggestions for improving my manuscript, such as interviewing a woman who had undergone heart surgery. Her ideas, and my willingness to accept them, improved the book markedly.
Staying up to date on book marketing is part of being a plodder as well. Like writing, marketing is work that never ends. I stay current by writing a blog, participating in blogs, speaking at national conferences, speaking to community groups, and even giving lay sermons. Each task requires a different approach and, in my case, different handouts.
Being a plodder also means you understand your work and stay true to it. Several times during my career people have given me well-meaning advice I knew I should not follow. Their advice would detour me from the books I write and plan to write. So I thanked these people politely, and continued on my way. I've plodded my way to 32 published books, some of them long, some of them short, and all of them mine.
These tips may help you break into book publishing. This is hard work, to be sure, but it is satisfying work, and I wish you all the best. Blessed are the plodders, for we shall be published!
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