Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Something New

Post Soundtrack:  Hayling by FC Kahuna

It seems my life is full of new things lately.  I'm adjusting to not going out into the sunlight without major prep beforehand.  I did manage to go to a pool party yesterday, though of course I did not swim.  Still, I refused to let my limitations dissuade me from participating in the social event.  I gooped up with sunscreen like I'm supposed to, wore my nice new UPF 50 hat, and spent an hour and half on a shaded porch beside the pool.  After that time, I went indoors and spent the rest of the time playing games.  It's an odd adjustment, but one I'm determined to make.

But more notably, I am trying something completely new.  I have been writing, in one form or another, pretty much all my life.  It is something that comes naturally to me, though I do not profess to be any sort of expert at it.  Even so, I do enjoy it, and have a certain amount of proficiency as well.  An online friend asked me recently if I was doing anything with my time.  I had to answer honestly that no, I wasn't.  She pointed me to a site that one of her friends uses to make a little extra money on the side.  So I went to take a look.

Something to keep in mind about me is that I have never been a career woman.  Ever.  I have had a total of four jobs in my life, three of those pre-marriage.  I have tended a snow cone stand, briefly was a barista, and had a few years of being a yard duty on an elementary school playground.  The more recent job was to babysit children while their mothers worked.  I am quite solidly a housewife and stay-at-home-mom.

So when faced with this site that links freelancers with clients who have jobs they want done, I was both interested and intimidated.  List my previous jobs?  Somehow I doubt my dispensing snow cones at the age of sixteen was going to be of any help in getting writing jobs.  Oh yes, and how about my shcooling?  Well, I did at least graduate high school... and went to junior college for a bit.  But nothing much there to show for it, so... ?!  Man did I feel overwhelmed.

But I plugged on.  Despite how foolish I felt setting up my profile, I did it anyway.  I was supposed to take some skill tests to prove I was capable.  Imagine my mortification upon recieving a "below average" score on my spelling test!  It doesn't much help, though, that I tend to spell with my fingers... meaning that I prefer to type or write out a word to assess if it is spelled properly.  Guess I've lost my touch at telling by sight, but then again, my sight is really not very good at all.  It was yet another blow to my confidence.

I was so uncertain of myself that I had a long talk with hubby about it.  He is a wonderful and very supportive man, but also isn't afraid to tell me when he disagrees with me.  (I can't tell you how reassuring and helpful that is!)  I knew already that the core of my problem was self-confidence.  I lack it.  I have no faith in myself or my abilities when pressed.  However, I felt instinctively that I was capable of doing at least some of these writing jobs.  I just was too scared of failure to jump in.  He prodded me to go ahead and try, to brush up on my skills and do it anyway.  I agreed, but was frankly terrified.

Timid I might be, but I also am stubborn.  So once I made up my mind to make an honest try at being a freelance writer, I gritted my teeth and got more serious about it.  I took a couple more skills tests, did well at them, and scanned the jobs.  Lo and behold, I finally found one I was pretty sure I was capable of.  Something simple and straightforward.  It was to create 100 inspirational sayings.  So I took a very deep breath, held it, and plunged in.

I was proud of my little cover letter, because I managed to convince myself not to run myself down, ask for allowances, or downplay my skills.  I kept it firm, positive, and calm, at least on the written page.  In real life, I was a twitching, squirrely mess.  This became mixed with a surge of excitement when I was contacted in return, and carried on a text interview.  It took another surge of courage to invent a sample saying so the client could 'judge my style'.  (It took another check with hubby that what I came up with was worthy of sending.. I really should have believed in myself to begin with, but it's sooo haaard!)

Anyway, it resulted in my being asked to do the job.  Which I have, in three days.  No idea if that's reasonable or not, but guess what?  I'm doing this for myself, not on someone else's time, unless I agree to do so.  I have finished it and turned it in.  There's just one problem now... I have no idea whether I'll really get paid or not.  It's entirely possible, due to how this was set up, that she can blow me off even though she received the finished project.  But oh well, such is life.  It was for a measly fifteen bucks.  Besides that, for me the biggest up-side to all this is that I did it!  Nerves and all, I am overcoming and making something new of myself.  That, I think, is worth celebrating.

Now if only I could find another job to apply for that I feel comfortable with!

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