I’m often asked “Wolf, you’re a skilled wordsmith, dashingly handsome, funny and wise. How can I be you?” Well the truth is, you can’t because I’m me. Or to put it simply (and without the completely unfounded ego inflation) we are the sum of our experiences. Rampant ego inflation aside, if you honestly were to ask me something constructive and character building like “what’s your claim to fame?” you might logically expect something to do with writing, however the honest answer would be “check the credits of xyz MMO”.
See I’m a huge gaming geek, king of the nerds and freelance internet wizard at large. As such, writing things on the internet that people may or may not agree with is just something I do. But being among the first to experience a new game and give my feedback on that experience directly to the developers of that game? That’s a little special to me (even more so when that feedback has a direct effect on the final product) It also helps that all this gaming culminated with my name being on a physical monument in Reykjavik (Thanks again for feeding my Edifice Complex CCP).
But if my character building is the end goal, perhaps the question should be more focused on what makes me, well me? As I stated, writing on the internet about stuff and things because of reasons – is fundamentally just something I do. I do it so much it’s arguably the biggest fact about me – it’s my “defining feature”.
When it comes to freelance writing, I find a lot of things need “defining” be it client requests or payment terms. But perhaps what needs defining the most, is the job itself, ironically when you freelance the line separating none working/working life blurs, and eventually fades completely so you could argue that just as I did at the start of this post, you’ll actually be defining/re-defining yourself.
I’m reminded of that Will smith quote:
“You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall.”-Will Smith on Charlie Rose
So consider the “defining” process to be identifying each brick to be laid in your freelancing wall. This is something that advice can be offered in, but that’s all. My wall is different from your wall, just as your wall will be different from others. So while I can’t help you build it, what I can do is point you towards some of the bricks I used.
- A freelancing career is a business, view it as such.
- A big part of freelancing is making sales, to sell yourself is to risk rejection – get over it.
- There are better freelancers, and worse freelancers still earning more than you, learn to accept it and stay focused on your own career.
- Create a workspace that promotes your own productiveness. Anything that helps with this is an investment.
- If you require alone time to be productive, head somewhere you can find it.
- Create a realistic schedule and live by it.
- Present finished projects in a clean, professional manner. The client can have no doubt you gave this your full attention.
- Never promise something when you can’t deliver, never make an agreement you can’t keep and ALWAYS follow the agreements that you do make.
Research, Research, Research, Research, Research and finally understanding