They tell you about the great clients they have, or the national magazine article they just wrote an article for…and you feel like it’s unfair.
You think: They’re lucky, and I’m not. I just need to catch a lucky break. Then I’ll have great gigs and earn more.
I call this the myth of the Luck Fairy.
From the outside, it appears success magically happens to other writers. Meanwhile, you struggle to find the quality of gigs you want.
But that’s not reality.
Sure, now and again a writer might just sort of blunder into a good gig by accident.
But in general, that’s not how it works.
Here’s how to get the luck fairy to bring you a freelance writing gig:
In my experience, there are three basic ways you get that Luck Fairy to show up at your house:
Spend more time on your writing. Realize that each piece you turn in can be your magical ticket to a better gig for a better market. That article can also be a ticket to another assignment from that same client, which makes life easy, doesn’t it? Put a little more sweat into the gigs you have now, and they can sprinkle fairy dust on your career.
When I asked the editor at my first staff-writing job why on Earth he hired me when I didn’t have any business clips at the time, he told me it was the quality of writing in my articles. They weren’t on his topic, but they showed him I had the chops. I took a tryout assignment for him with about two dozen other writers, and he told me I was the only one who wrote something he could publish.
Want to get to higher earnings faster? You can speed your way down that Yellow Brick Road by tapping your heels together three times…and then working harder on your craft.
Learn about the writing biz. Don’t know whether you can send a simultaneous query? Want to know how to break into copywriting?
Smart writers don’t sit and wonder. Knowledge is a magical power that can transport you to new places in your freelance writing career.
When you realize you don’t know something that’s creating an obstacle to your writing success, go out and learn how to do it.
Learning can be your Open Sesame. You’ll find new doors of opportunity that were hidden to you before suddenly standing wide open.
Market your ass off. When you proactively market your business — instead of feeding off of whatever Craigslist hands you this week — you are in control. The more marketing methods you use and the more marketing you do, the more nibbles you get from clients.
More nibbles mean you start being able to pick and choose your clients. You work for better editors, who help you do even better work. That helps you get an even better client, and so on.
Even my 9-year-old son is hip to the fairy myth.
I tell him to stick his tooth under his pillow and the tooth fairy will bring him some money. And he looks me in the eye and says, “You are the tooth fairy, mom.”
Writers, you are the luck fairy. Get out there, wave your wand/pen…and make the magic happen.