A friend on Facebook thought about me and linked me to this Article . Please read the article before reading the rest of his post.
My response was so long that I chose to share it here. And yes, This is very true. I am glad that I didn’t go straight into being a full-time writer in my life because of the knowledge and experience I gathered in the process. I’ve been writing and publishing since I was 12 (About twenty pieces before I was 18), and through out my 20’s I wrote for The Los Angeles Time’s, Police & Politics in Los Angeles, fitness, short stories, economics, eco-living, equestrian, and for a documentary production co., among other But it was purely a hobby. I never thought of doing it as a career. Never even thought of it in terms of even wanting it. I loved writing but it just didn’t cross my mind as a career. It wasn’t until my second divorce that I was having a “what am I going to do with my 30’s” convo with a mentor who was a professor and who responded with “you are doing it…keep doing it.”
I had had two full-time career’s, was at the time working on another and in the midst was in a lot of other things, all of which I enjoyed very much. During all of this time I knew that the career’s I was in were short term (model & athlete) and that I needed work experience so I sought “real job’s” (as my nineteen year old self thought of them). Now at thirty-four I have learned so much from so many people and companies….The How To and also How Not To. I now have experience in perseverance, determination, hard work, sweat, blood and tears and keep on going grit (hell, even broken bone’s to get what you want), I have learned not to take “You can’t” as an answer. I’ve learned how to not only handle rejection but also how to respond to it, give 3 minute interviews that make you stand out among 100 other’s that are ‘better’ than you (modeling). I’ve learned in work experience plain old ‘working with people’ which often writer’s don’t realize they could benefit from. I’ve learned how to blend in or stand out and when to do either. I’ve learned when to go for more and when to back down and accept my worth, either way. (Standing up for work right’s, salaries and more as well as learning the line that crosses into spoiled brat-really, I had a few amazing bosses that would explain my weaknesses in a great way for growth, not for breaking me down, and how to work on them and build strength). I learned to ask question’s and to listen. Utilize feedback and criticism. I learned about a lot of people starting in one field and moving to another (I once worked for a group that had together begun the worlds largest internet porn company together, sold it and then begun the company I worked for at the time, the largest U.S. phone-card company, which they then sold and have moved on) I had asked them why porn and then why phone cards. The explanation was about “money and company, their passion was creating a successful top company, but not focused on the product itself such as for me now what type of writing I’d want to do) It was about entrepeneurship…a word I was then introduced to. I also learned both German and Asian and American economics. An eye opening experience at that age to care about, know and understand. I learned a lot when I dipped my toe’s in real estate when California was doing it’s best. I learned what kind of person I wanted…and didn’t want t be, in that time. RE could be wrong, dirty and cut-throat and, like the movie recently out The Big Short, I saw a lot of the wrong happening…and I learned to only do it right. I learned ethics. An important lesson to carry on with me. I also began learning salesmanship, buying and selling, investing and market’s and economic’s of another kind. During this time in a few fields, I learned teaching. How to learn…and how to teach, are both lesson’s for the writer. I seek further learning everyday, not just directly for writing but all seems to influence. I also moved onto learning management, hiring (this is good now as when I need MORE of anything…the story, the details, the vocabulary,of myself even) and when to fire (again good, I have learned to evaluate myself, and reevaluate but also how to improve, call myself out, teach myself, grow or when something is a loss and it’s time to let it go…even when to lose a character in a story this one helps with.) I learned to manage a team and this helps me on creative projects collaborated with others, but also I learned when I am not the best for something and need to collaborate and not do it all myself. I can go on about what is learned. And there is still a LOT more to learn, always. Even that you can do more than one thing. And me, I am not just a writer but also a creator, directer, producer, manager and more so a lot of my work needs working with other’s, managing a situation and knowing when to back off. Even down to time management is something I have learned. File keeping (lord that’s a big one when you do a lot of research work on multiple projects.) My weakness would be #5. and I am working on that one.
J (most un-artistic person ever) say’s “You aren’t a flighty artist, you are a business woman.”
#1, setting goal’s, I am about the most expert business plan writer there is and I LOVE it. I am a natural To Do lister, goal setter and also achiever…not just the un-crossed off lists forever made. I get it done. I know how to know the pay off and remember it when I veer off path. I reevaluate constantly as well. Right now I have a 1,3 and 5 year plan. I then spend some time once a month preparing for the next month, breaking it down further. Each evening is ended making my to do list for the next day and evaluating that day’s accomplishments…and lack there of. Knowing when to change the plan is a big lesson.
#2. I spent a long time in this researching and at time’s I am flexible (I worked for share’s for Board Game Island work and was paid off in a year at the sell of it and did better than I would have thought, sooner than I would have thought. I have done many write-up’s and reviews for restaurant’s and lord let me tell you, this Lady works for food. I even worked for socks, once.)
#3. I do wish that I had done more of this in the past five years. But lessons learned and in the past year it’s on.
#4. Learning to hold yourself accountable is a big thing. I sometime’s need motivation on finishing a project….I’ve been known to cut out food pics from magazine’s and put them on the fridge with a big Do You Want To Eat This Month signs. I also know that the work I do means results, even a “dream board” helps. If I Do I Get idea. My landlord likes rent paid. I don’t like ramen noodles living and love good foods so what work I put in get’s that in results…if I work little it’s ramen, if I work a lot (and smart) it’s filet mignon. I only have myself to be disappointed in and I am my harshest critic. I will sit and evaluate ” Ok Peg, where did you go wrong, what could you have done more of and better on and what will be done to improve moving forward?” I also keep organized using multiple lists in multiple fashions and an alarm system on my iphone, laptop and more. Now, I am newer, only a year back from losing everything in my life and still building up everything from scratch so I do know my ramen days but I know which is which too. Lack of effort and laziness are not things I accept of myself. I have to DO to see results.
#5. I am moving myself out there to talk about my work more and more and learning to speak it outloud. Explaining my work and projecs is so hard! Which is why moving for grants has been a learning experience….I have to talk about it. Explain it and I get feedback on it. I’ve received more feedback by putting myself out there in the past year than in the past five.
#6. Pfft. I’ve got this one. In modeling you learned well to deal with it. You also learned that it wasn’t the fact you weren’t good enough or that someone was better but you learned to receive feedback and tailor to what one wants (big for when submitting to a publication….know what the client wants). I learned this is selling houses, modeling, life failure’s in a small town and more. Grace is the key word and striving to be a better YOU but not different you. BIG! Hell….in small town after a year ago it’s rejection everyday! You smile…you keep your head up and you walk the sexiest walk you know! But do NOT be a bitch. It’s not worth it. It just makes you ugly and burns bridges. In publications and submitting it’s grace. That they have a ton of other submissions that aren’t better, they just work for them better. That when an editor tells me it’s not for them perhaps I didn’t read enough of who I was submitting to and I go back and learn what IS for them….or submit my piece to who it IS better suited for (both really). Also NEVER respond freshly mad, upset, rejected….take a walk. Hell half the time you will see me taking a random walk around town because I read….stood up and immediately walked away from my computer. Now if I could only do so well in dating-relationships. In this I would like to ad listening to feedback and critisms. A good example is recently a friend who is a fellow writer as well as editor and director who’s experience, blood, sweat, and tears has him knowing a thing or two, and whom I respect dearly, he sent a message about my writing that at first I thought was a bad comment…I simply asked “clarify?” and he explained it further and turned out to be SUCH a good thing. I beamed for days. But I also learned something in that too, a weakness to work on in my writing. And one needs that pointed out at time’s.
#7. I will submit a piece to ten places, receive ten comments but rejections…then make some tweaks, learning, listening, and re-submit….don’t just file those away and forget about submitting again to those publications because you miss out on a lot. Also people who seem truly interested is good to keep updated. I had one real estate agent who asked me my prices to write some real estate articles. But then didn’t want to invest into them. Not that he couldn’t. So I didn’t get that job. So I wrote and submitted to something else with the idea fresh….then when they got published I reached out and sent a “Hi, hope all is well, been a moment since I spoke to you but last we did was about___so I followed through with submitting some I wrote with the idea of it fresh and thought I would share them with you. Thanks for the motivation!” type of message….I then received my rent for the next two months from him taking me on having some done for him. Follow up and follow through.
I’d ad a few more things.
1. All eggs in one basket means they all break when it drops. And you go hungry. This can mean have a second job…part time…one that somehow feeds you which can also feed you mind, body, and soul, be part time and give rather than take away from your writing. Working in the arts, working and interacting with people, animals, nature, books. Write outside your box. Also helps with writing for different publications which can mean food on the table.
2. Keep seeking wisdom. Classes, volunteer with kids at the library. Interacting with other writers (seminars and workshops, etc.)
3. When utilizing social media such as instagram…learn about branding. Take marketing and branding seminars and classes. Read. A lot. Connect to Entreprenuer Magazine, themuse.com and more and utilize those things for your business of writing. Utilize LinkedIn.
4. Learn some on business management. Always treat what buys your food and pays your rent as a business. Live in your passion but treat it like your support. We don’t always want to get up on a Monday morning but your boss will fire you if you don’t. Be your boss.
5. Don’t get stuck living, playing, breathing and working only inside the Writer’s Bubble. Step into life experience. Such as, don’t only read and follow writing sites on social media. If you write about yoga…follow yoga. If you write technology, follow technology. But also don’t forget to feed the soul to be able to feed the writing. Interact with friends, seek out arts and culture. Step outside your box in life TO write.