I’ve been working on my first freelance contract this week – a proposal-writing gig for a friend of mine in the US who runs a networking and IT-support company specializing in service to non-profits. Lucky me! I have a good friend who already trusts my ability to communicate, and both his regular proposal-writers were too busy to take the gig.

I agreed to give it a whirl even though I thought I had no idea what to do. I mean, write – yes. I can write. But the work is technical writing in a field I’m only partly familiar with, in a business environment totally different from my regular job. And on top of that? My friend has never submitted a proposal of this sort to a client, so he didn’t have much to show me by way of past work.

Now, I was hoping that freelancing would bring me newsletter articles, web copy, a bit of blogging for some local business – but instead I got some *hard* writing work right out of the gate – which has turned out to be the best thing for me. The proposal isn’t finished quite yet – tonight I’ve probably got a couple hours of wrestling with it to get it polished for the company client tomorrow morning – but I’m already declaring this first experience a success. My friend’s offer of work not only got me researching and writing in a new field – but because his proposal is for a service-bid, it stoked the competitive me which helped put more energy into the work. And after years in the same government job, it’s good to be reminded that 1) I have skills and 2) they are not so limited as my bosses (these days) would have me believe. Confidence-boosting for sure!

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