Being Good Enough Every Day Is Just As Good as Being Great
When I started working from home, I thought of my work as a side gig. There’s no expectation of actually making a living. I thought my entrepreneurial activities will be an investment in my future. With only 4 hours dedicated to writing every day, I thought of my freelance writing career as a source of extra income. When my finances took a major hit in May of this year, I started to make real efforts at making writing a career. Just thinking about paying the bills every month is a real boost of motivation.
As I started to take on real freelance writing clients, I got over my own imposter syndrome. I started to call myself a real writer. My writing sessions lengthened from 4 hours to 6 hours. Before, I used to write one article every day. Now, I aim to write three well-researched articles every day.
I realized that the trick to writing is to simply write.
Being “Good Enough” every day adds up to solid results at the end of the month. As long as I showed up (even if late), I will be able to reap the rewards later on.
In the beginning, it was simply hard
I remember at the beginning of getting up in the middle of the night to write, my son would sense that I woke up and wake up, too. I’d end up making him pancakes and entertain him until he went back to sleep. It would be 5 am by then. I’d take an hour to write an article and submit it to a publication.
I remember when I first started my blog, I worked non-stop through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year to upgrade my Wordpress website to set it up for collaborations with other bloggers. Juggling quality time with my son, I ended up working multiple all-nighters to get the job done.
I remember working through unbearable pain from my tooth infection. Between the pain medicine and the coffee that I consumed, I somehow completed all my articles for myself and for clients.
I remember falling asleep next to my son while playing with him after writing all night. My son usually shakes me awake when he realizes I drifted off.
In time, everything became easier.
In the middle of my fourth month of writing regularly, I mastered the art of writing prolifically. When I spent time thinking over ideas for my articles during the day, I can usually write a good article in about an hour or two.
I also used the idea of “sprints” to force my words and sentences to come out. I find that putting just the right amount of pressure on myself allows me to hold myself accountable.
The one thing that persistently held me back as a writer is: perfectionism. In the beginning, I scrutinized my choices of wording and sentence structures too much. In time, my mindset changed.
In order to make a living, I realized that writing “good enough” articles leads to new ideas for other articles. Inevitably, some of these articles will be great articles as I developed each idea thoroughly.
In my mind, with or without readership, simply completing articles and writing “good enough” articles are enough for me as a writer. One day, if I practiced long enough, I will be able to write a book.
Writing can lead to other careers
In this day and age, everyone’s trying to claim expertise in a subject matter. Experts often use writing as a tool to publicize their work. When I started to write, I still thought of myself as a technologist. By writing, I am hoping to go back to my career as a technologist. Writing is a kind of a bridge for all the careers that I’m passionate about. Writing is also a bridge for all the entrepreneurial activities that I embark on.
Writing helps me reflect on past careers, past experiences, and past passions in a way that allows me to take these passions to the next level.
Sometimes, writing client articles even pushes me into learning new technologies and stay on top of technology trends.
Writing is only the first step for me. As a mom, I am unsure where this will lead. But, the journey has been amazing so far. I am now earning a small income to support my family. My next steps are to take on more clients, write in dedicated topics that I love, and write more creatively. In the fall, I will venture into my first technology project after a long absence from programming and data science. As long as I concentrate on being “good enough” along this journey, I am confident that I will end up somewhere.
About the Author
Jun Wu is a Content Writer for Technology, AI, Data Science, Psychology, and Parenting. She has a background in programming and statistics. On her spare time, she writes poetry and blogs on her website.