Did you ever feel torn up deciding between two impossible choices?
On the one hand, you could have society’s definition of success if you wanted to – easily.
On the other hand, you could have your own definition of success…but it would be hard.
Wittgenstein advised to ‘go the hard way, go the bloody hard way.’
It is bloody hard!
That’s how I feel right now.
Walking The Tightrope Between Personal Growth And Financial Success
On the one hand, I do want to earn my living by doing what I love.
If I do not, if I split my time between work time and free time – like a slave -, then I’d be halving both my enjoyment of my life and my earning of my living.
That is hardly a recipe for greatness; it is a recipe for misery and mediocrity.
On the other hand, I don’t want to sell my soul for cheap, to forsake my shot at greatness for meager money.
If I am not a great content writer but pretend to be one, I am not only cheating my clients and their readers but also losing my chance to truly become one.
I am afraid that by lying about it, I’ll lose my integrity – and with it, I’ll lose myself.
You see, I don’t want to merely be credible as the real deal; I want to actually be the real deal.
I train my muscles not to look ripped, but to be ripped; likewise with my mind.
This training, though, takes time – time I don’t have, because of money I don’t have.
Nobody serious will hire a writer who proclaims they’re new – who admits to having no prior publications and no prior experience.
Yet, every writer is new at some point, even the greatest.
This creates a situation where it feels like we are all expected to lie – whether by omission or by outright peacocking.
I will not lie; I will speak the truth.
I will be successful both as a business owner and as a human being.
This is not so much a fear requiring a reframe (we’ll get to that as well), as it is a problem needing a solution.
And I want to share with you my solution to it.
Building a Succesful Content Writing Career – The Hard Way
I am publishing for free on Medium, doing an unpaid internship at YoAir, and learning guest blogging.
This way, I will indeed have both publications and experience to speak of – honestly.
I took several professional content writer certification courses to showcase my dedication.
I built my own professional writer website from scratch, where I practice content writing daily.
I aim to research, write, edit and publish a two-thousand-word article on my website’s blog every day – for the whole year of 2022.
I know how to write an engaging, SEO-optimized, well-researched, well-structured, well-illustrated ultimate guide; I wrote several already.
I am now learning how to write in different content frameworks, and when and why to apply each.
Jon Morrow at SmartBlogger told me during a call that I am a level 2 writer, soon to be level 3 (out of 4).
I am confident I can help my clients to rank on the first page of Google, and their readers to enjoy my post both for its usefulness and for its stylishness.
I am nigh certain I can do a decent job of getting results…more so than many a ‘freelance writer’.
Still, something is holding me back from applying to jobs and pitching as much as I should be.
Turning One’s Greatest Fear Into One’s Greatest Drive
I do have one fear.
It is my greatest fear as a writer.
You see, I don’t want to do a decent job; I want to do an excellent job.
I am afraid of being labeled as – or, worse, actually becoming – yet another dime-a-dozen writer, another brick-in-the-wall marketer.
I am afraid of making a decent, mediocre first impression in this market, and tarnishing my reputation as the genie of the inkwell.
Yet, it is by learning that we discover our ignorance, and in lifelong learning that we acknowledge its cure.
To relinquish the fear of mediocrity, the resistance to imperfection, one must understand that there is no end goal for learning – because there is no limit to it.
Each utopia is only a milestone that opens the perspective to new utopias; each framework is only a cornerstone that paves the way to new frameworks.
Each sphere fulfilled, each act completed, is revealed to have been only a fraction of a sphere of greater scope, of an act of greater complexity.
Understanding this, the fear of mediocrity becomes a drive for greatness:
A drive that does not paralyze but instead propels the learning journey;
A greatness that does not aim for outward recognition as much as for inward betterment.
Now, instead of being afraid to make mistakes, I am driven to learn from and correct my mistakes.
Instead of being afraid to reveal my imperfection, I am driven to practice through and perfect my imperfection.
My perfectionism still burns as bright as ever, yet it is no longer bound in fear but boundless with drive.
Reach For The Stars
May our hearts forever sing alongside the great writers of old:
Sic Itur Ad Astra (Reach For The Stars)!
(And let us share each other’s thoughts in the comments in order to create new, greater thoughts together on the topic.)