Saturday, October 18, 2008

Freelance Writing Workshop, Direction and Goals

Today I'll be speaking to a local writer's group about freelance writing. I'm jazzed about the prospect of helping would-be freelancers get started, hopefully help them avoid pitfalls, and basically pay forward all that I've freely received from fellow freelance writers over the years. (I'm thinking of many, many Writing Mothers here!)

One of the points I want to make at the workshop today is to know why you want to freelance. There are many possible (and acceptable) answers. Whatever your answer, it should be YOUR reason.

Knowing what you want to get out of freelance writing helps you make decisions and direct your time and energy. If, for instance, your goal is to change the world with your words, spending hours perusing Craigslist in search of SEO gigs might not get you there. On the other hand, if your primary purpose is to earn an income from writing, that may be time well spent.

There's a poem I love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that shows how a person's intent can drive his life regardless of circumstances. I have a sneaking suspicion that I've posted this before, but with uncertainty being the word of the day economically, politically and a zillion other ways, this poem offers a little bit of solid comfort.

The Winds

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails,
And Not the gales,
That tell us the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of men;
As they voyage along through life,
'Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

1 comment:

Kai said...

I'm fairly sure that I'm 'in it' for the wrong reasons - but I'll do a post about that later.
Actually, I'll rephrase that - I WAS in it for the 'wrong' reason - for me. But I think I can fix that now. :)