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Hi. I am a freelance writer. - Sudden Write Turn Freelance Writing

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Hi. I am a freelance writer.

Writers commonly are introverts. We thrive on solitude, but we’re not necessarily anti-social and can hold our own just fine when we need to network. There is an art to small talk, to learning about a person and finding common ground to keep a conversation going. Yet the introvert draws energy from being alone while an extrovert draws energy from socializing in a group of people (likely some are introverts having the life sucked out of them.)

It turns out that there is a whole lot of talking, researching and relationship-building to be done before I can put a single word to page. Despite my drive to succeed and my writing skills (both above-average, in my estimation), it eventually comes down to someone taking a chance to let me write their story.

It’s not enough to believe in yourself. You also have to do for yourself. I have to shake the hand, look in the eye, smile, and say, “I am a freelance writer. I write the story you need to tell while you focus on your business.” I use this line and other versions, and end by putting a business card in their hand.

That, friends, is selling. And it can be exhausting.

I have shaken a dozen or more hands over the past three Saturday sessions of the small business workshop series presented by SCORE of Rochester. Sixteen other student-attendees and I are there to figure out how to make our small business idea into a reality (read as: how not to have an expensive hobby). All of us are working the room.

A pet spa, a marina resort, a craftsman of custom high-end pens, a chef-turning-restaurateur, a marketer, a precision machinist – each of us has a dream. Is that enough? Are having the great idea and drive to succeed enough?

Do I have the skills?

Do I know who my customer is?

Do I know how to reach them?

Who else is doing the same thing? How am I better at it than them?

Attending these SCORE sessions serve a dual purpose – the “how-to” guide of small business launching and the art of selling your business product or service. I return home from these sessions exhausted. My introvert psyche has been on overdrive, and I have needed a nap after each three-hour Saturday morning session. I mean, needed a nap. “Lie down or fall down” kind of need.

I do have the skills.

I am figuring out who my customer is and how to reach them.

There are other freelance writers out there. Some of us are marketers. We are all telling stories.

How am I better? “Better” may be subjective, but I know this much is true: Words are important to me. Clear and effective communication is important to me. But first I have to listen to the whispers of the world and the people around me to find the story.  Even if all that listening exhausts me.

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  1. I am certain I saw a newspaper photograph of you, free lance writer, interviewing a small business owner somewhere this week. You didn’t look the least bit tired: you were vertical, you were face to face with your subject, and I suspect your lips were moving. Even the back of your head looked alert, animated, and extremely extroverted. Those little hairs were standing straight up at attention! Hang in there, Terrabyte, Technical writing is a good cottage industry in this town–have you thought about bread and butter work in between the fun stuff? I could put you in touch with someone who makes a living at it.

    • Yes, Robin, that was me! I do work a room pretty well, and keep at bay the crash for when I get back to the burrow.

      Technical writing? Given the chance, I would certainly butter that bread!

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