Monday, May 5, 2008

Choose Your Projects Wisely

In my last post I talked about trying something new with your writing to keep things interesting. I started thinking about that, and thought I'd share another piece of advice my non-writer husband is always throwing at me -- choose your projects wisely.

By this, I mean be selective in what you decide to work on, especially if you have a limited number of hours a week to work like I do. The thought of doing something you don't really love may cross your mind when you think of the extra money it could bring in, but don't do it! I've been in that same position before and it's always backfired in my face. A few examples of this:

  • I wanted to get more blogging experience, so around Christmas last year I decided to take a job with a blogging network to make extra cash. I really should have known better, because my application was accepted way too quickly. Not that I didn't have the experience for the job, but most legitimate gigs process a number of applications before making a final decision. I got offered a job within five minutes. So I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I took this job writing a 250-word post five times a week for 50 cents a post. That was supposed to be for the first three months, then the pay increased. That may sound easy to some people, but each post had to to have two links back to posts within that network. That's kind of hard when you're writing about a recording artist like I was. So I would spend a lot of time finding posts to link back to before I even started writing the darned things. Needless to say, I wasted a lot of time on that job, neglected my better paying clients and got a whopping $5 or so my first paycheck. I quickly burned out a few weeks later.
  • I also decided to do some public relations work for an agency once who only wanted me to call members of the media on every press release that was distributed, even if it only announced the slightest bit of news. I never even got to write any press releases, which is why I was originally hired. I ended up feeling like a sales person instead of a writer and both me and the client became pretty unhappy quickly.
I think I'll finally start following my husband's advice. I'm going to be more selective on what I work on and really think about if it's something I want to spend time on. I'm hoping it will make me a better quality writer in the long run, and help me focus more on the work I really, truly love doing.

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