I am up to my nipples in work right now – mid-stride in the busiest month I can remember for a long time. It’s very exciting for me – I have lots of really interesting projects, none of them even remotely related to each other. I am working on sites all over the world, with some really fantastic people. Articulayers itself has more writers in-house this month than ever before – we’re in the middle of the most aggressive content strategies I have ever been a part of. And my guys are nailing it – if I don’t say it enough, my hat’s off to you, brothers and sisters.
But this is not a means to trumpet about anything I am doing specifically or what my good friends here at Articulayers are cranking out, as much as reflect on the fact that all of this great work is not coming to me – I am going to it, and engaging. I am pursuing that which I’d like to do – though grateful that I do get many solid requests for projects from intelligent clients. But I am not waiting for them to come to me – I go after what I want to do, and starting consciously working toward it.
Work begets work.
Many of my writers on board now are just starting out. This isn’t their first writing gig, but I am willing to bet that for most of them, it is the first one where they were assigned 100 pages to write. This will keep them all insanely busy – hammering away at the keyboard, turning out the prose like champs. Working on a heavy deadline, answering the client’s needs.
During these 100 page assignments, they are going to come to know things about how they work best. Do they need it quiet to get focused, or is music a good motivator? How many pages can they do in a day? How long does it take to edit and finalize the copy? All this and more will be dealt with – and they will all emerge stronger as a result.
But then, this project will end, they’ll get paid and they’ll need to get more work. Some of it might come from here, certainly, but it might not be enough for them. So they can take the lessons learned from creating 100 pages, and roll it over into a pitch for doing something similar for someone else. They’ll now have samples they can share of what they do and can use the work they completed as the tangible means to establish new working relationships. They can prove they got paid to write in the past and I will be right here to confirm it for them. They are experienced professionals by definition…and this is valuable.
Work begets work.
Not every one of these writers is going to like doing this work – it is inevitable. But this is not a bad thing to realize – this is actually a positive thing, too. Because writing for a living is not glamorous very often. If hammering out 100 pages, or doing a tri-fold, or writing a website is not your cup of tea, then look into other kinds of writing, or other kinds of work – but knowing what you won’t do is just as important as knowing what you will do. It is important to try though, to not make a judgement call from the cheap seats without first getting in there yourself and slugging it out for real.
The one thing (besides awesomeness) all of my writers share right now, is a willingness to jump in. They are all committed, and trying their best and that does matter, it counts. Not just to me as their boss right now, but it matters to them – because they are learning things about themselves, how they work, and getting a taste of what it means to be a writer for a living.
Work begets work.
When my awesome month is done, another will take its place. Followed by another, and even more after that. But I am not going to be standing here, looking at my reflection and murmuring Abba songs, I am going to be using the lessons learned to be creating more great big piles of work to do. I have a roster of clients that is comfortable, yet challenging. There is diversity in what I do, and I seriously love it, every single day. I have had LOTS of jobs, and know really well what I don’t want to do any more…and I am not even close to it.
I won’t have to look for anything that is not writing-marketing-internet focused. I have the benefit now of being able to create projects on my own, or I will gladly do whatever one of my clients wants me to address. I take none of it for granted, and am grateful. I want to give back, because the people who have helped me find success were so good to me, it needs to continue. The best way I know how, is to keep working, to stay plugged in, and to be here – ready and eager for the next project.
My newer writers might wonder about what it is like to write all the time, but when we talk about it next time, we will have a common frame of reference through this project, and be able to take the conversations and understanding further as a result. This is important, and meaningful. And it happens this way, because they are willing to work first, then talk about what it means – they get in there and start typing , and hand in 100 pages before we start talking about forever.
I have a great deal of respect for people willing to work. It is fine to understand that some work is not for you, but typically only when you are pursuing the work you champion, and have some experience or relative logic behind the things you shoot down. I don’t like to say no to work – and normally, only other work stands in the way of working on something.
I know my mantra well.