I am so unlike Slam, the title character of a play I’m writing and blogging about this month, June. Here’s proof: a piece describing how I do battle in order to bring in copywriting work. It was posted in an online copywriting magazine not too long ago.
Title? LOVE THE DREAD
Being a career-changer and relatively new to freelance writing, one of my first lessons was to love the dread. Writing work is getting regular, but it doesn’t appear by itself, so along with network breakfasts and emails, I’ve got to get visible over the phone. That means every morning I face my personal psychobabble in the form of an immense stone wall, covered with slimy moss, with no hand- or footholds. It veritably looms at me, laughing, (laughing?) threatening to morph, any second, into a prehistoric monster. Call a prospect? Approach the wall? I may be swallowed whole! Worse, far worse: I could be laughed at. Or get slimed. As we say in Acronym nowadays: OMG.
So what’s the trick to pole vaulting said dread? Quantitative action and a partner to share it with. In these days of unlimited text messages and friends who freelance or work from home, I’m equipped to approach the wall, turn my back to all distractions and punch a text declaring twenty calls by 10am. The wall seems to shudder, but no matter; I’m locked in. And what do you know? Looking down, I see I’m wearing crampons, protective gloves, and a stunning fur jacket, with a list of prospective web designers waiting for my call! Connect with ‘droid, square off, leg up, GO.
The dread wave recedes with every call. My muscles build, I develop my footwork. I can laugh at the ooze and smell. The trick? Being able to OMG to a pal, but also meet my quota. And if you’re wearing crampons and furs, it’s hard to take yourself seriously. Let them laugh! I’m dressed for it!
And victory, too: after roughly 200 “cold” calls, I landed a $1,500 web copywriting gig. This cub scout is thrilled and laying the ground for her next merit badge.