The Brand New Jeans Approach to Freelance Writing

old jeansYour favorite pair of jeans is comfy enough to wear every day, but you can’t. You’ll have toss them in the wash every now and then, unless you really don’t care for company. You don’t mind taking them off for that, though. With every washing they become softer and more conforming. You can sit with ease and walk without effort. You wish you could wear them every day.

Sometimes, you’ll have to wear something completely different.

Consider this:

Brand new dungarees are stiff, bright blue and the mark of a denim-wearing amateur. No self respecting blue jean wearer would  step out of the house in a pair of those without first running it through the wash a couple of times.

Well, almost no one.

Every now and then we’ll run into someone who’s pulling off those brand-spanking new dungarees. He doesn’t care that they’re bright indigo and he doesn’t care what others think. He knows that to get noticed he has to break out of his comfort zone. He has to go beyond worn reassurance and branch out to something completely out of his element…and it’s working.

What’s my point?

I feel about blogging and writing for the web the way some people feel about their worn out dungarees. It’s comfortable and if feels real good. It feels safe and warm and it suits my casual style.

Why would I want to give up my happy place to travel outside my element?

  • To get ahead.
  • To get noticed.
  • To reach a higher pay rate.
  • To take my career to a whole new level.

I’ll always have my comfy jeans….

My worn, blue jeans will always be there for me. Even when I had to rock the business casual attire every day, I knew my faded glories were hanging out in my bottom drawer waiting to get me back in to my element.

Writing is the same way. To get ahead we need to venture into the unfamiliar. It may not feel good at first, but trust me on this, it will feel great later. As you take more chances and find new opportunities, the new will become old and comfortable. You’ll be glad you went for it. Meanwhile, your old comfortable opportunities haven’t gone away. Use them for filler. Wear them for comfort. No one says you can’t have more than one favorite pair of jeans, and no one says you have to be married to one particular form of writing.

Here’s my challenge to you…

Do one thing this week to step out of your comfort zone. Take a chance. After you do, come back and tell us what it was and how it worked out for you.

How are you going to break out of your comfort zone? What are you going to wear besides your old blue jeans?

Comments

  1. This week, I’m going to run a survey so that I can write a guest post.

    Never done either of those things before, nervous at the moment, but I’ll let you know how it goes ;)

  2. I think this kind of thing is essential to personal and business growth. You won’t get any better if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.

    I usually try to mix up the styles of my posts and articles. I’m also going to start trying to do interviews. That could be interesting….
    .-= Christopher´s last blog ..Is Your Advertsing Unique? =-.

  3. Thursday I’m off to the museum of contemporary art… just for this reason… contemp art isn’t my first choice. I even bought myself a membership this year just to break my own mold… I’ll let you know how it works out.
    .-= Anne Wayman´s last blog ..Freelance Writing Jobs for Monday, January 25, 2010 =-.

  4. Tomorrow I’m going off to my first conservation gig….I’m nervous. I’m used to sitting at my computer writing about conservation, gardening, horticulture…not going into the world to meet a group of strangers and do it.

    No doubt it’ll do me the world of good, I’ll meet a host of new friends and I’ll have a fresh angle to write from. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly! :)

  5. This post was timely. I’ve been spending the past few days doing this very thing, devoting half an hour each day to researching bigger markets. It is uncomfortable, that’s for sure. I figure that’s where the growth comes-from the uncomfortable places.

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