I wonder if you have to talk yourself into the work you want to do by way of talking the world into yourself as the person to do it.
I was trying to make some money as a freelance writer in-between church calls several years ago but had pitiful evidence to support that aspiration. I did enough to get a pitch accepted by a national magazine, and working on that story, telling sources that I WAS a freelance writer working on a story for THAT publication–they bought it. Furthermore, they treated me like I was a writer. They answered some of my questions and evaded others, just like I imagine they would to Rachel Held Evans.
They convinced me that I was what I was trying to be.
[disclosure: the story didn’t get published and my freelance writing career went nowhere. But that’s not the point, is it?]
When you put yourself forward as a person who aspires to do good work, I think people are eager to accommodate you as a professional, without you even asking. Yesterday I got asked to read a novel manuscript and consult with a church about their youth ministry, not things I’m casting about for opportunities to do but things I’m eager, now that I’ve been asked, to take on.
Act like the thing you want to be, because people need you to be it.