Monday, October 13, 2008

30-Day Self-Care Challenge: Day 28

Today's challenge: Say Yes to Money

Doesn't seem like much of a challenge, does it? I mean, especially right now, it seems a given to say yes to money. But maybe you're not like me.

I don't want to get into all the hippie-woo-woo things I believe about money and my own personal growth. It's not that interesting and it's not that important for this discussion. What is important is that at the end of the day, I say no to money by not working during work hours, by not doing my marketing and by not returning calls or doing my invoicing.

We all know the stress marketing causes. I know so many writers who go into this business because we want to write, not because we want to invoice... Well you know the old saw. I'm no different. I was paralyzed by the thought of calling someone and offering my services. I thought of it as begging for money instead of offering a service that might be really helpful to the client.

But it turns out I like the marketing and business side of the job. Here's why:

* I like to be organized. That's the one part of my German heritage that stuck. Alles ist ordentlich, indeed.
* I like people. Funny as it may seem, the thing I like about marketing is getting to know editors. People are just interesting. It's just a fact for me. It's why I'm a reporter. And believe it or not, editors qualify as people. I like to know what they're looking for and I find that editors like people who want to understand what they're looking for.
* I'm competitive. I want to win, even if winning means breaking into a new market.
* I'm creative. I like coming up with story ideas and trying to figure out the puzzle of the right market and the right editor and the right publication at the right time of year. It's like the ultimate brain teaser.

That doesn't mean I don't spend time on Facebook, YouTube and other sites instead of working. In fact, lately, I've been dealing with a terrible case of procrastination. It makes me feel miserable. I beat myself up for working, and when I'm sitting at my desk, I lament about what else I could be doing. Sound familiar? That's the sound of saying no to money, my friends.

So here's what I'm doing to make it work today:

* I joined an informal one-week marketing group. Through one of my favorite writers' communities, I said yes when someone asked if anyone wanted to do a friendly challenge. I've got three stories due this week and another story due next week, but if I wait for the perfect setting to query, I'll never do it. I have to jam it in here and there. I have to slip a query in between interviews, after lunch or at the end of the day. The added benefit to this is that I can't get too attached to any query because I'm busy doing other things. Less attachment means less of a sense of disappointment or rejection if the editor passes. Try it.

* I'm drafting a getting-back-in-touch email for some of my favorite editors.

* I'm looking for a marketing class to take.

* I'm following up on old queries and invoices.

What's your plan for saying yes to money this week?

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