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The following is a guest post from Lori Widmer of Words on the Page.

Four years ago this week I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I started my own hissy-fit inspired movement – Writers Worth Day – which has now morphed into Writers Worth Week, an annual awareness campaign designed to help writers everywhere uncover their own value.

In that spirit, I want to urge you to expect more. Expect more of your clients, your value, and your business. Shift your thinking, starting today, from take-what-comes work processes to building a stronger business that sustains you and helps you grow professionally.

Start here:

Redefine what legitimate work is.

Sometimes the problem lies in what you’ve been accepting as work. Take off the I-need-the-money blinders and look objectively at the job and the client. Is this something you’re proud to add to your portfolio? Is the work paying what professional writers should earn? Would the best writer you know accept either the rate or the job? If not, rethink that client.

Set your own rates.

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Don’t allow anyone else but you to dictate your earnings potential to you. Clients should not tell you how much you’ll be earning per project or per hour. You determine that. If they insist, find a new client who respects you as a business person.

Create your own opportunities.

Don’t build a career on the passive approach. Instead of relying solely on job listings where you’re competing with thousands of writers, find your own clients. Locate companies and people you’d love to do business with, then tell them how much they can benefit from your services.

Treat yourself better.

You’re not merely a writer. You’re a business owner. Don’t allow yourself to think negatively about your abilities or your value. Your skills are marketable and you are a professional writer. Say no when you need to and enforce your work and income boundaries when necessary.

As a writer and business owner, you have marketable skills. Those skills are sought by clients who value good writing and professional behavior. If you expect more of yourself, you’ll be more appealing to clients. The reward – a stronger business and a happier you.

About the Author

Lori Widmer is a veteran writer and editor with over 15 years of  experience in standing up for her business (and in writing). The founder of Writers Worth Week, now in its fourth year, she helps writers understand their market value and take control of their businesses. Her e-book, The Worthy Writer’s Guide to Building a Better Business, is available on her weblog, Words on the Page.

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Posts found in this section of All Freelance Writing have been submitted by a variety of guest bloggers.