I'm on a diet. Have been for, oh, about 7 weeks now. I've lost 7 pounds. Yeah, no, trust me, I'm going somewhere with this.
The reason I'm on a diet is because I have an accountability problem when it comes to food. Generally when I want to eat something bad I come up with some kind of reason that I should eat it.
"I worked hard today"
"I did laundry."
"I had a difficult phone call."
You name the situation and I can turn it into an excuse to eat something terrible. But for the last 7 weeks, I haven't been doing that anymore. Instead, I've been holding myself accountable. I've realized that the decision to eat stuff I shouldn't is a decision that I make, not a decision dictated by the day's events. That gets me out of the excuses thought process and helps me commit to eating properly.
My dieting dilemma reminds me a lot of the blog posts and forum ramblings I see of many freelancers. Every day the same questions appear:
"How do you find clients?"
"How do you find high-paying clients?"
"Are there any high-paying gigs anymore?"
"How do you get clients who pay?"
It's not that having questions is bad, it's that all of these questions are answered in about 8 million different free blog posts all over the Internet. This makes me begin to wonder if the real problem is that the writers asking these questions aren't holding themselves accountable for their careers. It's just like Rebecca mentioned in her post earlier this week. If someone has to hold your hand and personally escort you down the fanciful freelancing lane, then you probably are not capable of doing it yourself. Not for lack of talent, not for lack of business acumen and not for lack of smarts--for lack of accountability.
So what do you think? If you went out, read all the advice out there on blogs and tried some of it yourself, do you think you would become as successful as you want to be? If you decided to send 10 marketing emails out to potential clients each week--and you made yourself do it--do you think you would get the kind of business you want? If you developed a strategy for making yourself more visible within your specialty and then carried it out, do you think you could become a query free freelancer?
I bet you could.
Hopefully next week I'll be back with another freelance writing marketplace review. But hell, maybe by then you won't need it.