Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Have Confidence In Yourself.

Lara Haddadin is one of my students based in Jordan and she's just about to start tackling assignment 4. The amazing news is that she's already netted herself 3 columns!

"With Family Flavours magazine, the column has started, 'A Cup of Coffee with a Working Mama' and the first issue was in January. It was a great joy to finally see my name in print. So far I have sent them articles for this up to the May issue. There is another magazine that is published in Arabic (my mother language), in which I have two columns, one that is prose, the other that is a medical article."

This is all brilliant news, and congratulations go to Lara. But next came an interesting comment in her email;

"The same magazine is offering me a job in editing, which I don't feel myself ready for yet."

Wow! Now I quite understand how Lara feels. Having only completed 3 assignments to date, her confidence for doing an editing job is understandably low. But I think most of you know me by now that I like to look on the positive side of things, and I think this sends an amazingly positive message.

What this statement is saying, is that the people in the business believe that Lara has the right skills and abilities to do this role. And remember, these people are professionals. The image that Lara has projected by writing for the market and presenting her work in a professional way makes those magazine staff believe that she's been doing this for years and is capable of the position.

This is why we bang on about presentation and cover sheets, double-spacing and being specific with your targeting. If you do this from the start of your writing career, this is the image that you'll project. The first time an editor comes across your submission in their inbox or post, your professional image will make them think that you've been doing this for years. Your work will be as professional looking as that of one of their regular contributors.

If you do this, an editor doesn't know how long you've been writing for. You know that you're still tackling your coursework, or are just starting out trying to change a hobby into a career, but the editor doesn't. So have confidence in yourself. Just before you pop your submission in the post or click on that 'send' button, stop for a minute and take a look at your work one more time. But this time, look at it from the eyes of an editor. If you're impressed with what you've produced, then hold your head up high and be proud of it. You're playing with the professionals every time you send something off, so be confident that your work can survive out there with the professional's work. And every time you have a success just stop and think about it for a moment. Your work was chosen over that of other professional's work. And that should make you feel super-confident!

Good Luck.