Most days, you’ll love working as a writer.
The great days you spend working as a writer will find you booked solid with projects you enjoy. Your clients will be messaging you just to say how wonderful you are. Your computer will be lightning-fast. The sun will be shining and the birds singing. Someone will mail you a jar of Nutella. All is well.
Some days working as a writer will seem like the worst idea ever.
On other days, you’ll discover you screwed something up. Your client will be one notch below boiling. Your computer will go kablooey. Your project list will either be very short (can you call a single item a list?) or filled with projects you’ve come to despise. You’ll contemplate getting a job somewhere… anywhere, as long as you don’t have to write anything more than your name. Everything you touch will seem like it turned to crap.
Saw a great example of this – and could appreciate it fully, as it was not happening to me – last week at the Funfest in Kingsport.
Aviation disaster avoidance lessons for working as a writer.
There are certain things in life that I adore. Hot air balloons are high on that list. It’s on my bucket list to fly in one, and I’m thinking maybe on my birthday this year.
So, when a friend posted pics on Facebook that showed hot air balloons at Funfest, I dropped everything. Checked the festival’s schedule, and discovered we could see them all take off the next evening… and if at all possible, I was getting on one.
We planned the whole day around this. Early dinner (I know, maybe not smart to eat first?). Fight the festival traffic. Walk forever. Plant ourselves where the balloons would set up and fly.
Then we waited.
Eventually, my very patient hubby offered to walk back to the car to get lawn chairs – thank goodness because we were sitting on cement.
No sign of balloons anywhere.
We watched kids turning cartwheels. We watched a baby puppy taking a nap. We watched the sky, thinking maybe the balloons were coming by air (although I was pretty sure they were supposed to be launching, not arriving).
Finally a truck bearing a sign that read “Balloon Chase Team” pulled up. A guy got out. He inflated a black balloon with helium and let it go. A couple of other guys got out and observed the flight pattern of this balloon (wait, this doesn’t sound all that scientific – maybe flying isn’t such a good idea?).
They shook their heads.
They pointed at the balloon a while longer.
An official-looking woman approached the growing crowd. Announcement time.
“We can’t fly. The wind current’s headed over Eastman (big chemical plant… probably not smart to fly fire-powered, fabric-built aircraft over it). We’ll do a cold inflate and let the kids run around in it, since you’ve all waited so patiently.”
No idea what a cold inflate was. Wondered what qualified as “kids”. Felt guilty as I was only patient on the outside.
Turns out to be a nice save. They used a blower to inflate the balloon on its side. Then they let the kiddos run around IN the balloon… unfortunately, only those who didn’t need to squat-walk to get in through the opening. Darn.
It was pretty cool watching the process, and very cool seeing business sense in action, making sure everyone was safe and happy in the end.
So, what’s your plan for when working as a writer hits a snag?
Snags can happen anywhere along the way.
- Taking more effort than you expected to find paying gigs?
- Not sure how to DO the gig you land?
- Getting negative feedback on deliverables?
- Stuck in procrastination or writer’s block?
- Trouble getting your invoices paid?
- Wish you could get feedback to know whether you’re “good enough” at this to keep going?
- Tech issues paralyzing you?
- Oh, don’t make me go on…
Here’s the big question: What’s YOUR contingency plan to make sure it all turns out okay?
One huge part of my overall business plan is that I talk to a coach. So far, I’ve been unable to stump this guy. He’s always got perspective, ideas on how to fix, and is kind-hearted enough not to smack me in the head… often.
Can’t recommend coaching enough – whether you’re just starting out, or you’re an old pro at working as a writer. My program’s full until the middle of August or so, but if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll put you on the wait list. Check the details here.