Ah, the immortal words of George Michael. Up there on a par with Ghandi and Martin Luther King.
Freelance writers and anyone else engaged in an artistic endeavour which end is not guaranteed must have faith. You must have faith in two people. The first person is you. The second is that one as-yet unmet individual whose belief in you can change the course of your career, if not your life. If you are so inclined, you may also believe in a third person commonly referred to as God, or in some non-religious Universal Power that works in tandem with your efforts to bring about your desired result.
But in the flesh and blood realm, you just need to have faith in two people. Why only two? Because that’s all it takes. However, it is quite normal when starting out to think the whole world has been waiting for you and what you have to offer. In fact, I would say it’s essential. Given the odds stacked against you, a little delusion is exactly what you need to power you through those early days when all is not going well and the naysayers are telling you to quit.
The problem arises when time is moving on and you still maintain this belief, but not much is going on in your career. There is a disconnect that occurs where you cannot reconcile your belief with what is (not) happening. Putting that initial helpful dose of delusion to one side, it is unrealistic to expect that the whole world is awaiting your product. Believing everyone will be able to see your talent is counterproductive because you may grow disillusioned before you’ve really given it a go.
This is when it’s helpful to scale down your belief. Actually, you may have no choice in the matter; your delusion may simply crash down upon your head. But that’s okay. You can lose faith in the ability of practically everyone to recognise your talent and still become a success. Providing you have faith that there is just one person out there who will “click” with you.
You know how that works from watching TV. An actor appears in a drama and then, that’s it, he’s never off your screens. One person picks him, and then everyone else jumps the bandwagon. And it can happen the same with freelance writing. I remember seeing an actor in this category interviewed once, and he was asked what it was like to be an overnight success. He laughed and said: “I don’t know; it’s taken me twenty years to become an overnight success.”
Where it will go wrong for you is if you stop believing in yourself, or you start thinking no one – not one solitary individual – will ever see in you what you see in yourself, or if you wake up one morning, still believing in those two people, but with the certainty in your mind that you just don’t want to wait any longer for it to happen.
Until that time … faith-a faith-a faith.