Discover more from Sharon Hurley Hall's Newsletter
Where Did I Go Wrong?
These days, it’s all about being positive. For freelance writers, it’s about talking up your writing skills and abilities and proclaiming your successes to the world. We don’t often like to talk about failure (ewww — who needs all that negativity to bring you down?)
And yet … ignoring or burying our mistakes is an error, because part of the way we learn and improve is by examining what we’ve done wrong, what we learned, and what we would have done differently. Here are some of the mistakes I made when I started out, what I have learned, and how I have changed the ways I do things.
Writing Career Mistake #1
Mistake: Not taking research time into account when pricing a writing job.
What I Learned: Undervaluing my times means that I don’t earn a fair price for my work and I end up feeling resentful.
What I Do Now: Think about all aspects of the job to get a realistic idea of how long it will take, so I can set a price to suit.
Writing Career Mistake #2
Mistake: Expecting other writers to work exactly like me.
What I Learned: That was a pipe dream, and I learned that you need to take different working styles into account when setting deadlines for jobs.
What I Do Now: Set earlier deadlines when handing work to some writers, and leave plenty of time for checking and fixing before I need to pass work on to clients.
Writing Career Mistake #3
Mistake: Not sending enough bids and queries.
What I Learned: if you don’t ask, you don’t get, so keep bidding for work even if you think you have enough.
What I Do Now: send out a few bids every day, even if I don’t always get a response. It means there’s a constant flow of writing work for both my and my writing team.
Writing Career Mistake #4
Mistake: Not backing up frequently enough, which was fine until my laptop died.
What I Learned: Not backing up enough was just plain stupid. It put me at risk of losing clients’ work and wasting my time while I redid it.
What I Do Now: I keep a portable hard drive permanently attached to my laptop so I can backup on the fly. I save important files in emails, and I also use MozyBackup for online backup.
Writing Career Mistake #5
Mistake: Working too hard.
What I Learned: Although there are times when we need to ramp up production, overwork will cause health issues and burnout.
What I Do Now: I now plan my time much more carefully, so that I have enough work to do every dsy without stressing. It also leaves room for the occasional rush job and I have lots of time to spend with my family.