What does writing teach us

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What does writing teach us


To read and to take delight in what I read fascinated me. Even as a teenager, I believed writers must be special. They had the uncanny knack to let the words speak for them. I always found writing to be exciting, the best way to express myself and to be heard. It was the best way for me to connect myself with other like-minded individuals. 

Over a period of time, it also became the earning option for me. I was keen to explore the earning options associated with writing. And to my amazement, I was thrilled to find many writing opportunities exist on web and even across the offline spectrum. There are number of sites that offer writing jobs. Though, I came from a non native English speaking country, yet, I was competent enough to get writing projects.

I was very particular about the way I managed my clients. There was no way, I thought, I should betray my client’s faith on me. I would take special care to jot down the client’s requirement and how to fulfill those. It was satisfying to find my list of clients growing. The hard work that I put in finally paid off; I noticed that if there was one factor, which eventually made the difference, then it has to be my reputation in the writer’s market. My reputation brought me more clients. I knew that I cannot afford to damage my reputation. 

Times can teach you strange things, though; on the other hand, times can also make you forget things that you had learnt. And I found the truth the hard way. The growing number of clients began to take toll on me. I relished the fact that I became successful in the face of stiff competition. In the huge storm of success, I left vital facts, somewhere in the garden, only to see it fly away with the wind. The most tragic part is I never realized I lost it, till I felt the need for it.

I began to take more interest in the list of clients, rather than in the project itself and when I look back, I know that somewhere in the thick of things, it was my attitude that made the difference. The confidence that my client will not leave me, crept slowly on my head. Somehow, unknowingly, I had taken my clients for granted. I also became complacent, and complacency is perhaps, the beginning of many downfalls, in life or in sport.  

For me, revising articles was equally important as writing it. I spent considerable time scouting for any errors that may have crept. However, now with my new found confidence, I was reluctant to give too much effort in re-evaluating articles, as I thought, my writing was perfect enough. Reassessing articles to find any grammatical or tense errors was simply a waste of time for me now. 

In the beginning, I was not able to twig how it will affect my career in the future. I was more confident now. In the hindsight, I thought, I made a wise decision to spend less time on revisions. The number of clients grew; my focus had shifted on how to get more clients. The pressure to perform kept growing. It became increasingly difficult to push myself to meet deadlines, every now and then. I felt that I was getting more tired. 

 My inner resolve to complete the task at hand was simply amazing. I was myself surprised on how devoted I was. Meeting deadlines every day, day in and day out was difficult, but I did them. 

However, things changed, after a while. No matter how hard I tried, I began missing the project submission deadline, occasionally. Though, in the beginning, it was marginal, but eventually, the margins grew. My trustworthy clients questioned my delay, which was now more evident.

Never in my wildest dream did I realize that I will lose clients in the whole process. I gave it all in the beginning, to build my writing business. Now it seems to fall apart. My clients started running away. The confidence that was present within me began to fade. It was gradual, yet so sudden, but the truth began to dawn on me. I strove to keep my last few clients. The writing business actually fell apart, and I just couldn’t do anything, because I never saw it coming. Success could take so much time, but the power of failure is stronger than success, it can kill success within moments and minutes. All it takes is the little opportunity to destroy it. 

There was no one I could blame for my downfall. I decided to post mortem the cause of my fall, I found that it was me, and my attitude, which was ultimately responsible for this debacle. The shock was too much for me. I took the focus off my work, and decided to find the cause that led me here. It was then I realized that there were two major failure components that led to my downfall. The first was my negligence to revise my written articles. Secondly, the project submission deadlines I missed. But the most important of all was my attitude, and the way I took my clients for granted. 

The lesson I learnt was never to take opportunities for granted, and never to neglect the opportunities that come your way. I decided to rebuild my writing career. The first step I took was to write a list – rules that you should never forget. 

I jotted down all that I learnt in my professional writing career, and pasted right in the wall above my writing desk. I made the point to read it every day before I started my day. 

I mailed to all my lost clients and requested them for work. Some responded, while some never did. I started the second part of my career, with the will and the determination to not commit errors that I had committed in the past. 

The one good thing about opportunities is that it comes again. I was prepared this time to grab them with both hands, and never to let it go.

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