“Do you think I can make a living as a freelance writer?” asks the woman. “Yes, of course,” says the man.
They are talking about how the woman can establish herself as a writer and his advice is based on what he believes. He is a writer and editor so he believes that everyone can make a living as a writer.
The woman, on the other hand, has not, yet, made a living as a writer so she thinks it is difficult, if not impossible, to make good money by being a freelance writer. She believes that there is tough competition and the market doesn’t cater to new writers. She started writing in her 20’s and has been writing for over two decades. She believed in that she could successfully write anywhere she lives. So when she moves to a new place she contacts publications and tells them that she wants to write. They always agree so writing assignments have landed in her lap. It’s been as simple as that.
She started writing business, food, travel, international events and financial articles. But she thought of writing as her hobby a; not something she would do to make a living.
So, after listening to her friend again and again she complained to the writer/editor friend that she didn’t know where to start.
“Your best bet would be to go after publications that cater to women.”
When my friend narrated this to me I thought the message being sent to her is that:
- She has to apply to only a handful of publications that cater to her gender.
- Then she would have to look for how many of them cater to what she wants to write.
- This leaves only a few publications where she could get published.
- This also leads to a new thought process where she has to limit herself and cater only to those who may be willing to accept her writing.
- That would further curtail her chances of getting published.
This is how we put ourselves in a box and develop a narrow vision for our skills. This is not to say that we search in the dark we don’t find out the target market or create a niche for our writing. But once we start focusing on things like oh, my writing would be best only for publications that cater to men or only to women, then that removes a huge chunk of the market.
- He believes she can make a living writing for publications targeted at women.
- She believes that she cannot make a living being a writer because she has never done so. But to her targeting publications that cater to women only is curtailing her chances of making a living for writing only for a few.
What do you think you are capable of?