Writing to unlock discovery

In life, it’s not just about what you know but also about what you don’t know you don’t know. The hidden possibilities, the undiscovered talents, the unexplored paths. It’s about the music in the silence and the epiphanies that come from instinct.

Sometimes, the only way to truly see is by being blind, allowing dreams to rise from the depths of our subconscious. And sometimes, by giving up, we gain a new perspective.

Writing can also be a powerful tool for discovery. As you put pen to paper, you may find yourself renewing your covenant with the mysterious and enigmatic. Embrace the furtive pen as it saunters across the empty page, allowing the dark, brimming mist to give way to daylight and reveal its secrets.

So, don’t just focus on what you know. Embrace the mystery and the unknown, and let your instincts guide you toward discoveries. Who knows what you might find?

100 hour rule

I heard this from the Internet… Do you think this is true?

If you spend 18 minutes a day, every day, for a year in any discipline, i.e., soccer, piano, writing, etc., which equals 100 hours in a year, you will be better than 95% of the world in that discipline. It’s the consistent practice of whatever you do that can make you great. So it pays to become highly aware of what you’re practicing.

I do if you’re practicing the right thing in the right way.

Discipline to prospect

I see a crash coming because I have not consistently prospected for clients to fill my pipeline. Sure, I have a few clients now, but what about later?

Prospecting is essential for building a successful freelance business, and waiting until all work is gone before prospecting leads to an inconsistent workflow. This is a challenging way to have a freelancing business. The key, I am discovering, is to commit to prospecting every day instead of only focusing on doing the actual work assigned by the clients. Right now, I’m working IN my business but not spending enough time working ON it. I must do both.

Slowly, drip by drip, I can become a category of one rather than one of many and establish a reputation. This will take time. This involves doing exceptional, even “quirky” work that stands out as mine. I’m not there yet. But the first step towards achieving this is developing the discipline to prospect every day, and that offers me a path to narrow into smaller markets to do work that is not seen as a commodity.

I can build a sustainable and fulfilling freelance career by doing these things. Until then, I keep my day job.

More thoughts on freelancing

When I started my freelance writing journey seven months ago, I believed that taking on any work was essential, even if it didn’t align with the vision I had set forth for myself. I just wanted to start and get paid. After gaining some experience and a few clients, I’ve realized that working with fewer companies that value my work and allow me to improve my skills is more meaningful and sustainable.

Instead of pursuing the largest possible customer base, I’m now looking to narrow my focus to a smaller but sustainable market. My goal is to work with a handful of companies and a few people at each and keep busy with work that aligns with my professional and personal growth goals. This might be a slower approach, but it will deliver me where I want to be in the mid-term.

Another thing – I’ve recognized the importance of prospecting to keep a consistent workflow. Waiting for all work to be gone before seeking new clients is challenging and unpredictable. Not to mention a hard way to live. To establish a reputation and become a category of one, instead of just another person doing commodity work, I need to do exceptional work that stands out as mine. That means developing the discipline to prospect daily and investing time to work ON my business, not just IN.

I’m aware that building a sustainable and fulfilling freelance career will take time. Grateful for the day job, which I’ll continue while implementing these strategies. I’m confident that this refined approach will take me closer to my goals.

Seven month freelance writing update

Seven months ago, when I was starting, I thought:

I need to work with as many companies and people as possible, even if they don’t appreciate my work, and take on any job that comes my way, even if it doesn’t help me improve or advance in my freelancing career because I need the money. Just pay me.

Now that I’ve been doing this for seven months and have a few clients and more opportunities than I have time on the horizon, I’m shifting my perspective from trying to work for anyone and everyone to focusing on a smaller but sustainable market. I’m asking myself, How do I become a “meaningful specific” rather than a “wandering generality?” Rather than striving for the largest possible customer base, I see smaller markets that can support me with work that I view as more beneficial.

For instance, now I think it’s doable to be working with, say, six companies and a few people at each who appreciate my work and allow me to develop the skills I’m striving to improve. And the business from each can keep me busy with meaningful work that aligns with my personal and professional growth goals. This approach allows me to level up even if, in the short term, it feels like growth will slow down. I know that in the long run it will deliver me where I want to be.

A thread we must follow

Life can be uncertain, full of ups and downs, tragedies, and unforeseen events that can quickly derail us from our path. But amidst all the changes and chaos, there’s a thread that we must follow. It may not always be clear to others, but we must explain and hold onto it tightly. This thread gives us direction and helps us stay grounded, even when the world seems to be falling apart. Time may pass, and we may face many challenges, but we must never let go of our thread. It keeps us moving forward, even when everything else holds us back.

Long term goals

Long term goals, dreams, and intentions are worthy but only eventuate because of my short term actions.

Life is a series of short terms that make the long term, but if all you’re doing is maximizing in the short term, you’re going to break the system, and your short term will feel unnecessarily stressful while your long term will go to hell.

What are you doing in the short term to advance your long term goals?

Constraints

​As a freelancer trying to balance a day job and parenting, I find it challenging to find the time and resources to do my best work. It’s easy to feel discouraged and wish for complete freedom and flexibility.

I’ve realized that limitations and constraints are a normal part of the process. Rather than seeing them as roadblocks, I’m learning to embrace them as opportunities to get creative and find new ways to succeed.

I’ve already demonstrated my dedication by waking up at 4:30 to work on my projects, and I plan to continue putting in the effort.

I believe I can produce my best work by leveraging the boundaries and scarcity I’m facing. With a shift in perspective and a willingness to make the most of what I have available, I’m confident I can thrive as a freelancer while balancing my other responsibilities.

Ambition

I might fall into the trap of shooting for someone else’s vision of success. I might seize an opportunity because I can, not because it’s what I want. I can, but I don’t want to have is a disappointing outcome that fails. It reminds me that ambition is on a sliding scale and to keep refining it.