To The Naysayers

Feb 11th, 2013 by Nicholas Pell in Writing

So it’s been over three years that I’ve been in the writing game and about a year and a half that I’ve been regularly writing stuff worth reading. Yet I still hear “HERP A DURRRRR GOOD LUCK MAKING MONEY WRITING.”

There’s always a bit of a “Man in the Arena” quality about such comments. Of course wage slaves who have to fight traffic, grind through another day renting out their time and then fight traffic home are going to be more than a little resentful of those of us who have thrown off the shackles of the 9-to-5. Their criticisms aren’t even criticisms as such; They’re the wailing of people who see no way out of their own situation, kneejerk reactions and mantras that they tell themselves to explain why they’re still working 50 hours a week for 50K, commuting two hours every day to a job they hate.

And the more I work in the writing game, the more I realize just how wrong these people are.

When I first started writing I was sharecropping on the content farms. I constantly heard that it was impossible to break into real, paid freelancing gigs, that the rates were too low to sustain a decent living, that I needed to schmooze and make connections, etc. etc. At the time, a big part of me believed all that. And even today, a big part of me is daunted by the task of leveling up my writing career. It seems impossible at times in a world where everyone knows someone and the vast majority of printed articles are pap designed to make upper-middle-class wankers feel smarter than they actually are.

However, what I do know is that when I measure my success in months and years that there’s a steady upward climb. If I could go back in time and tell myself three years ago what my career looks like now, I’d scarcely be able to fathom such success. What’s more, I know that I haven’t obtained the modest success that I have because I knew the right people, went to the right schools or was born into the right family. I’ve done it because I am tenacious, respond to rejection with hard work and take criticism like a man.

I’m also not a bad little writer. The day I finally learn how to turn my weirdness into an asset on a consistent basis is the day that I become downright dangerous.

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