The Internet would have you believe we’re all shiny, happy writers. We’re perfect and typo free. The truth is the longer we’ve been in business and the more successful we are, the more mistakes we’ve accumulated.
In the 7 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve pumped out prose for companies and publications I’m pretty proud of. That doesn’t mean I haven’t made my share of embarrassing mistakes.
Here are 2 I hope you never have to make:
1) Applying to everything.
When I first found jobs online, actual writing jobs, I got a little apply happy. In other words, every time I saw the words “writing job,” I applied to it. As you can imagine, it wasted a ton of time. It left me with little energy to focus on the jobs I really wanted and when I did get recruiters, hiring managers and potential clients calling me back, I was confused. I couldn’t remember what job I applied to and what company it was for. Pretty embarrassing. Which leaves me to #2.
2) Winging it.
Because I wasn’t focused on what I wanted to do, I got a lot of response from companies I didn’t have time to research. Talk about humiliating. When they asked me the standard, “Why do you want to work for us?” or, “Can you tell me what we do?” I was at a lost for words. It still haunts me. In fact, I’m cringing as I type this.
What it taught me is the importance of waiting for the right job. When I say “right,” I mean writing projects that a) you’re qualified for 2) you’re passionate about. Nowadays when clients contact me, I’m clear about who they are and what they want me to do. I’d say I’m pretty lucky. And that luck is dependent on me being choosy about who I decide to work with and for. It eliminates writing jobs that aren’t a good fit and it leaves me time to research those that are.
Have you made any embarrassing mistakes in the past? Let’s share our awkward moments together.