Writing to thrive in the gig economy : Pius Enywaru on how to stay Afloat
Waking up every morning to scribble words, churn out sentences and complete articles that make sense to someone is quite cumbersome and also thrilling at the same time. It’s always a tough bet when there’s not really any form of motivation to it that gets you writing all the time.
In fact, if you are not getting a dime from it, it’s very easy to procrastinate or even quit.
There are troves of questions I always ask myself on a daily basis that either remind me that this (writing) is my destiny or make me sail far away from it. However, I’ve since made up my mind to take it on as if it were a full-time job and see to it that while my fingers actively write, the gigs too have to keep coming in if the bills have to be paid.
The thing is, if you want to give the writing venture a shot and thrive in the gig economy, you’re going to have to do more than just writing. Here are a few pointers that have helped me stay afloat;
Blow your own trumpet
Despite what a lot of critics say, being your own number one hype-man is the best way to thrive as a writer. It’s one trick that has always worked for me and has catapulted me to great heights in my writing career. Remember, no one will believe you if you don’t believe in yourself.
While many are always saying that let your work do the talking, I say spice it up and talk highly about your work. As opposed to waiting for people to find and appreciate your work, talk about it, praise it and they’ll eventually notice it.
When you blow your trumpet as a writer, people will get interested and of these could be potential clients. If anyone finds it interesting, they could share feedback and there is alot you could learn or improve.
Be true to yourself
Sometimes the excitement to get another client can overwhelm and you can easily overlook the possibilities and impossibilities before you. That’s fine, it happens to each and every writer who’s receiving enormous gigs and clients knocking at their door.
However, remember to be true to yourself and be sure you can handle your workload and make sure each and every client is satisfied. Our problem as writers is taking on a heavy load of work and failing to deliver it on time. It’s a common thing with creatives. It’s greed!
Always remember to take on only what you can manage at a time as you build your efficiency to take on multiple clients and leave all of them satisfied. It takes time but it’s worth it.
Consistency is key
As a writer, you don’t know when your next piece will blow up or it’s likely you don’t know who your next client is going to be (unless of course you’re established and have grown quite a portfolio). Until then, you need to keep honing your skill and churning out fresh to establish yourself and keep being on top of your game.
Occasionally, procrastination will swing by and seek refuge in your life for days, weeks or even months and for some, it sticks around for years. It’s such a tough decision to wake up every morning and write something especially if you are not being paid or earning from it.
As a writer, consistency should be your number one friend above anything else. While it may take hours crafting a nice piece, it will take a reader less than 30 minutes to read it and move on. If you need to keep having a share of their 30 minutes daily or weekly, you’ve got to keep writing often.
Invest in yourself
When you choose to go down the path of being a writer, you’ve got to thoroughly invest in yourself. Always look out for what you can add unto yourself to make your craft unique and different from the sea of writers out there.
Remember there’s lots of you out there churning out thousands of amazing words and to stand out, you need to be different and I mean impeccably different from what the rest are doing. Before a piece is shared to a client, ask yourself if it’s 100%, free of grammatical errors. If a client asks for some of your work, are you ready to present it or you’re going to panic looking for scattered links for your previous works? Can someone easily find your work without a flex?
As a writer, Invest in a website, brand yourself, pay for a premium package on grammarly( it’s a software for editing) if you’re not sure about your editing. Always ask someone else to look into your work before you hit publish if you are skeptical. Take a writing course if you must.I can’t stress this enough but please writers, INVEST in yourselves.
Align your interests
Writing for ages without a ray of hope will definitely give you rational thoughts like writing just about anything that will give you a few bucks. This is regardless of whether you are interested in the topic at hand or not.
Before you embark on writing anything for a client or for your own consumption, you need to be genuinely interested in the topic and easily pull it off.
To avoid regrets and disappointments, always seek for clients who want topics you have an interest in so as to execute a task well. You can always practice a new interest, style and topic in your free time.