Dear freelancers, in my first post, I wrote a very insightful article on the importance of not underestimating your yourself, time, and skill-sets; you can read it by clicking here.
Another important thing about your career as a freelancer is your voice.
For most diligent readers, discerning different writers’ works might not have to be consciously built. Keenly selective judgment may be attained through the consistent practice of reading.
Subconsciously, it becomes easy to identify a particular writer’s voice without prior notice of his/her name and to this effect, examples abound.
Appreciation of beautiful art over time, as well, builds into our subconscious minds, an identity along with the work of art itself.
The beauty of creativity is felt intuitively, and as freelancers, we have been super-blessed with an awesome sense of intuition.
Reading through another’s piece, you intuitively connect with it – because it feels so real.
Our keen sense of intuition thus helps us appreciate art, and we almost drool over some of them (we all have our favourites).
Shouldn’t that same intuition guide our creative processes?
Surprisingly, however, we tend to forget how unique we are. This might have to do with the great deal of critique we have to possess so as to churn out quality products and services.
We forget that our voices are our selling points.
How many manuscripts and novellas have you written, yet kept safely hidden beneath those satin pillows layering your heart?
If anyone is like me, he/she would find out that the crafted arts which we really hold dear to our hearts are the ones we’d rather keep hidden; creating draft upon draft and ultimately resulting in the menace of ‘chronic drafterism’.
From personal experience, I would rather publish an article which I know to be well written but rather superficial, than one which has such a hold on me that it creates nostalgia or generates a wave of emotions. It is far easier to keep my voice hidden than bring it to the limelight and face possible criticism.
But guess what?
It’s my voice. And it’s unique.
The training process for me, involves publishing those self-same articles, even if my heart is literally in my buccal mucosa as I do so, for if I do not narrate my peculiar story, who will?
It is mine, and mine alone.
No one can tell it better than I can. No one can juggle those words in the exact same beautiful pattern, almost similar to a rhythmic dance, as I can.
And why the voices projected by others might still throw me off balance at times, I am learning to appreciate their voices.
When you are tempted to give half of your heart into a job, or into writing your own book, remember that you have a voice.
Akin to knowing your voice, being identifiable, is the wisdom inherent in discerning your crowd.
It is not a sign of failure or defeat to decline a job offer. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough, only that your audience is specific, targeted even.
When I started writing medical articles, stories, and poetry; I’d initially felt that my audience would be strictly confined to those in the medical parlance. I felt, that I would have a huge problem connecting with other individuals. In my mind, the gulf was super-wide. I mean, who else would actually relate to what I was penning down?
As I evolved, I discovered that I actually had an audience amongst the general populace! I had been wrong; I had my own crowd- even outside the realms of medicine.
And so, I stuck to my voice. Even without pay, fulfilling is the simple fact that someone, somewhere could connect with things I had penned down during a class or which was inspired by a ward round session.
Bottomline: EVERY freelancer has an audience.
Do not crush your voice to cater to the ‘reigning’ trend.
In effect, turning down offers you absolutely cannot connect with isn’t a bad thing.
Instead of spending sleepless nights on an article that bores you and makes you resort to the recycling of online material, voila! you have freed up time to do stuff you actually love.
I feel a rush of adrenaline in my veins already, just thinking, of writing stuff I absolutely love, for a fee.
Of course, this discernment doesn’t come at the snap of one’s fingers, it might take some time and a little running around the block, but never forget how good you are.
Never, ever, crush your voice.
Your voice is important.