Don’t let a step back keep you from moving forward
Writing, like any other career in the arts, comes with its letdowns and it is often tough to get a break. In any commissioned job or freelance business, you can feel rich one day and then have to scrape by for months until your next gig. So, when you finally get one and it is then taken away from you, it is sometimes difficult not to become discouraged.
After saddling most of the financial responsibility on my husband for the past few years, I had been looking forward to taking some of the pressure off of him and making a significant contribution to our expenses.
Finally, all my hard work was about to pay off in a serious way. I have paid my dues writing for free and then under-charging for jobs, satisfied with making any money for writing.
I was looking forward to telling doubters, “See, it is possible to make decent money as a writer.” I had not been this excited about a project since I wrote my own, yet to be published novel.
I felt enthusiastic and passionate about the assignment I was about to undertake, and I began to plan my days for the next several weeks ahead, how I would organise and execute the task, and I must confess to already having planned a couple of small purchases I was going to treat myself to once I got paid.
Alas, it was not to be. Just when I thought that a heightened level of success was within my grasp, the client had an unexpected change of heart and informed me that he was putting the job on hold indefinitely.
Do I let this get me down or do I keep going? I could look at this as a negative sign – trying to tell me to give up my dream of being a writer; but I am choosing to be strong and stay positive. Still, I would be lying if I claimed not to be a little disappointed that things did not work out this time.
Any sale or deal can fall through, even up until the last second, whether one is a writer or in any other business. Potential clients or customers may have any number of their own personal reasons for changing their minds about a job. The important thing for us is to not take it personally or throw in the towel and give up.
The big pay-off will come eventually; I just need to continue to be patient and stay focused. In the meantime, I have learned a few important lessons from this experience:
- Don’t tell everyone you know about a great new job or contract until it is a done deal and the money is actually in your hands;
- Don’t spend your money before you make it.
- If something seems too good to be true, chances are it probably is.
Back to the drawing board; that is, after just a few more days of feeling sorry for myself.●
How do you cope when the breaks are put on a job you have been counting on?
Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2015