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Tell 'em You're a Writer!

Talking about yourself with purpose

What do you say when someone asks you what you do for a living? I can imagine several possible answers:

  • The wanna-be writer: I’m (fill in your fulltime job.)
  • The part time writer: I’m (fill in your fulltime job.) and I also do some writing.
  • The fulltime writer: I’m a freelance writer.
  • The truly successful writer: I write (fill in your writing specialties.)

If you want to attract clients or sell your work, you’ve got to get comfortable with the idea you’re a writer. You've got to believe you're a real writer, even if you’ve not published a thing or have never had a client. One of the ways to convince yourself is to tell others.

How do I know? That’s been part of the secret to my own success. I didn’t even know what I was doing, years ago, when I started telling people I was a writer; I just knew I had some talent and could get writing projects done.

It was my son, then barely a teenager, who said, “Mom, you get writing jobs because you tell people you can write.”  He was right

Two things happen when you tell people you’re a writer: you begin to believe it and some of the people you tell will either hire you or give you a lead to writing work.

Name Your Writing Specialty

When you tell someone you’re a writer, keep it simple, but complete. If you say only, “I’m a writer,” the person will assume you’re a particular sort of writer, usually of fiction. They may have all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas about what a writer does, their income, and their state of mind.

If, on the other hand, you clarify with what kind of writing you do (or want to do) you’ll avoid being misunderstood from the start. Just say something like, “I write web columns,” or “I write romances,” or “I’m a ghostwriter.”

Often this clarification will result in some questions, which allows you do to do self-promotion. Of course, if the person you’re talking to doesn’t respond, you’ve lost nothing.

Tell Everyone You’re a Writer

Tell everyone you’re a writer. Don’t hesitate; speak up. The more people you tell, the more you’ll believe it and the more likely you are to find a client. If you have kids, make sure they know you’re a writer as well as a parent. If you have a partner or spouse, ask them to introduce you as a writer.

Get business cards that state you’re a writer. (You can get 250 premium quality, color business cards FREE from VistaPrint.) Hand them out freely; give two or even three to anyone you suspect might pass one on. Leave them at restaurants with your tip; slip them in envelopes when you pay a bill.

You simply never know where you’ll find writing work; the more you let the world know you’re a writer, the more likely it is writing work will find you.

Write well and often!



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Email Anne: Anne@AboutFreelanceWriting.com

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