When I first started blogging I sent a link to a very well-known, well-established writer/blogger to ask her opinion on what I was doing.
At least, that was the guise. What I was really doing was giving her a poke in the hope that she would find me hilariously witty and viciously talented and share my blog on her social network, and I’d become an overnight success.
That’s not what happened.
Instead, she told me she didn’t like it. She didn’t think my idea would work. Food, and personal thoughts – it was all too mashed up and my readers wouldn’t know what was coming.
Readers like consistency, she said.
I was gutted, frankly. But I also knew that this was what I wanted to do and if I couldn’t do it the way I wanted to then what was the point?
I still haven’t become that overnight sensation however my blog has done ok.
I’ve met some amazing people, some of whom I consider to be amongst my dearest friends. I’ve also met people I admire greatly and aspire to be like. I was nominated quite highly in a rather large blogging competition, and someone I admire told me mine was one of her favorite blogs.
As I progressed in the writing lark, I started to knock on other doors. I wanted to write across more formats than my blog and I needed to make some money. I wanted to freelance write and in order to do that I needed to put myself out there.
I needed to ignore the self-critic that said I couldn’t do it because I was a fraud who never went to university, or my personal Achilles – never finished high school. I was just a suburban mum who started to blog one day because I was bored. That person surely would be uncovered and exposed.
I was uncovered and exposed.
After getting confident writing in the online sphere, I progressed to print and was feeling kinda cocky, until a respected editor told me I wasn’t good enough for her.
Her actual words.
She said it was obvious to her I never studied at university, I was cliche and sloppy and to be honest, although I may have a career somewhere online I would never really have a strong career in writing.
I immediately called my fellow writer friend, Cat, with the idea that I’d read it and we’d laugh, however when she answered I couldn’t speak properly.
Instead, I cried. I cried because I sucked and I had been sprung with my pants down.
The thing is, I couldn’t just curl into a ball and quit because I needed this job. This job was how I was supporting my kids and I really didn’t know what else I could do – I look terrible on paper after 5 years off having kids and I had a mortgage to pay.
Necessity breeds tenacity
There was an editor at Cleo that I contacted after I wrote ‘Behind the Red Light’ which for me was my attempt to grow from blogging to freelance writing.
We spoke on the phone, she read my piece and enjoyed it and when I offered it to Cleo she asked if I had read this month’s issue?
It would seem that she had also spent a night in a brothel and it was already in print. Great minds…… but shit timing. I asked her to coffee, and we agreed to meet but it never actually eventuated.
I called a few times over the coming months, and then she left Cleo.
As it turns out, she now runs online for 5 Bauer publications. When I met her finally a couple of weeks ago whilst freelancing there I reminded her of the blogger who stalked her. By the end of the day, she gave me her security pass so I could get in early the following morning before the office had opened.
“I stalk you for two years and in a day I have your security pass. Watch I don’t steal your identity.” I quipped.
“You’re tenacious. I’ll give you that.”
I didn’t start my blog with this journey in mind, and I have no idea where this path goes, but I keep thinking of the times I wondered if I should quit because it all seemed too hard.
I often think of the expression ‘opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one’ and even when someone is tearing you down you have to remember that opinions are subjective.
Take what serves you, use what you can, grit your teeth and get tenacious.
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