No matter how long you’ve been freelancing, if you stay in the game long enough, there’s bound to be a time when you hit a bit of a rut. Though there’s plenty of work, there seems to be a lot of the same type of projects. Things are getting a bit stale and you could use some new challenges.
This could be a great time to step up your marketing efforts or take a look at those rejected queries. Can any of them be re-slanted, any of those ideas salvaged? Maybe it’s a matter of trying to get into new markets. Most of my assignments have been with regional publications, and although it’s great to share the stories of exciting people and places with the rest of the world, I’m always hoping to break into bigger markets with a larger readership. I’ve been taking the time to really add a “fresh” spin to my queries, with more of my own voice and writing style in them. For years I’ve been following the query-writing formula I learned at the very beginning of my freelancing days—though I’ve had a bit of success with that template, changing up how I approach my pitches is giving me a much-needed jolt of enthusiasm for my ideas, which I hope is coming across to editors.
The feeling of being in a “rut” can come from many things. It can be the type of work you seem to be attracting (“Another business profile? Yawn”) or it can stem from your approach to finding work—it’s not that you’re marketing or pitching, but it’s how.
What about you? What do you do to change things up and keep yourself from falling into a project “rut”?