The past year has been a challenging one for all business owners, including those who write for a living. It’s easy to succumb to the negativity in the media, and of course, with prices rising, layoffs increasing and work dwindling, life can look dismal during economic dips. One thing to keep in mind is that WE create the economy. WE refers to all of us, not just people sitting in government offices and at the board tables of major corporations.

Writers need to know about a psychological phenomenon called the self-fulfilling prophecy.” If you tell people things are bad, they’ll make them bad. Fortunately, the opposite can happen. I’m not naïve enough to suggest that wishing alone can make things happen, and of course life is more complicated than that. But weathering economic downturns sometimes requires plunging ahead with plans rather than putting them on hold out of fear … optimism rather than pessimism.

There’s a fine balance between calculated risk and foolish risk, but for writers, risk is part of everyday life. Sending out query letters involves risk. Having something – anything – published involves risk. Allowing fictional characters to have their own voices can be risky. But we do it because we love the craft.

The best advice I can give is to hang in there. If freelance work seems elusive at the moment, continue marketing your product. Be more creative than ever in coming up with ideas that aren’t same-old, same-old and pitch them to editors. Think about expanding your writing in areas you may not have tried. How about web writing or brochure writing? Ask around, let everyone know that you’re looking for writing work, and keep the faith!