Like a lot of writers, well anyone in any profession, really, we are all feeling the squeeze of the government cuts. With magazines going under, and many others restricting their pages to in-house contributions - effectively freezing out the free lance writer, you would be forgiven for thinking of jacking it all in yourself. With the threat of redundancies also looming amongst staff writers, it's easy to start rethinking your own writing career. Those staff writers who lose their jobs may well become free lance writers themselves, meaning more competition for less markets. It's enough to put anyone off!
To a certain extent I've thought of giving up too. I'd got myself into that negative and very dangerous mindset of not wanting to bother to pitch or write articles. 'Well what's the point?' my inner critic bellowed at me. 'When there are far better writers out there with far more experience than you.'
If you start thinking like that you're not going to get anywhere. Yes things are tight at the moment, but that doesn't mean you can't get published and get paid for it. There are still plenty of writing opportunities out there if you look hard enough and are prepared to adapt and diversify.
So, having given myself a stern talking to, the NAWG (National Association of Writing Groups) magazine plopped on my mat this morning and it was a timely extra kick that I needed. Having flicked though the magazine I have ended up with some article ideas that I intend to follow up on. I am also going to pitch some ideas to magazines I haven't tried before - which will also be handy for the journalism course I'm trying to finish!
I had let my negativity cloud my ability to pitch and write articles and that's not a good place for a free lance writer to be! I've realised that if you don't try, you won't know. If an editor says no then you move on to the next editor with your idea and keep going. Try pitching at least two new ideas to a new editor each week and see what happens. It's worth a go!