How Do I Know if I’m Good Enough to Get Paid?
I remember asking myself this question before I became a vanilla freelancer and then before I pitched my first sex writing article. Am I good enough to get paid? How do I know?
The short answer is…you don’t. But here are a few ideas to help you decide when it’s time to pitch your idea, make your content, or sell your thing anyway.
You Wish You Wrote/Did/Made It
Ever seen someone do something and thought, “I could have done that!” You don’t hate them for it (hopefully) but you’re a little mad at yourself because you could have done it too. And maybe better!
The first time I read a BDSM article that I knew I could have written — and given better examples — it was time to start pitching ideas. Anytime you see someone doing what you want to do and feeling upset with yourself, it’s time to put yourself out there.
Listen to What People Tell You
We’re our own worst critics. But if you’re already doing something for free and your audience loves it, someone out there will pay for it. Maybe not a million people, but someone will.
Writers are the worst at this. Our readers tell us how much we’ve helped them, given them hope, or changed their lives. And we still wonder if we should pitch an idea or write a book. The answer, if you wondered, is YES.
My next venture will likely be in consulting. Why? Because I know my business ideas help people (they tell me so!) and I think someone out there is willing to pay for the kind of help I can offer.
You Don’t Know…Try Anyway
The creative life — writing, podcasting, vlogging, making stuff — is fairly subjective. What one person hates, another person loves. And it’s a craft that allows us to constantly learn and hone our skills. So no matter how great (or bad) we think we are today, there’s room to improve tomorrow. One person will tell us we suck today (ugh, why, though?! Kindness is best!) and someone tomorrow will say we’re amazing.
You’re likely going to get ignored or rejected a lot before you make money doing your smutlancing thing. But if you never put yourself out there, no one ever has the chance to tell you yes and pay you. No one is going to pluck you up out of obscurity and hand you the opportunity and paycheck you want. You’ve got to go out there and find it for yourself. That involves a lot of asking and a lot of rejection, but the only way to “Yes” is through a shit-ton of “No.”
The hustle never really stops. We just get better at sending off the idea or trying the new thing and seeing if it works. But if you never get started, you can never get better at it. You’ll never make any money if you won’t do anything about it. The rejections will come, no matter how good or ready you are or think you are. Keep at it anyway. Keep learning, reading, trying, doing, and making. It’s the only way.