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Talent? Quotes to Inspire Writers

[quotes]A lot of people go into freelancing thinking, ‘I’ve got the talent.’ What they need to realize is a lot of people have talent. What makes a successful freelance business is how strong your client list is.

~ Laurie Rozaki

Found at ThinkExist.com

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Emerson, LOL. The closest I’ll ever get to Emerson is reading “Where’s Waldo?”

    Just trying to say that “successful” means different things to different people, and my theories were assuming a very modest success.

    • Anne

      really, you’d love him… I do in small bites… and you’re right about success… different strokes for sure

  • I’ve been freelancing for three years with about 100 clients in that time — none have ever asked to confirm any of my portfolio projects. It’s actually a little disappointing and scary.

    If I were a liar, I’d accept those odds, and if a client ever did question me … whatever, there’d be many others where that one came from.

    I understand that no one wants to hear this, but y’all need to take off the rose-colored glasses and see what’s really out there.

    And understand, I’m not saying you can be successful without knowing how to write, but I’m not so sure you need some special “talent” for writing.

    Of course, it all depends on what you mean by “successful.” I guess I refer to a definition that means “a modest, but stable, livelihood.” To earn an above average income, you will need more credibilty.

    • Anne

      modest but stable livelihood – where does that come from? Sounds like Emerson? Maybe?

  • Unfortunately, while the concept of the quote is valid, and y’all can pretend that your talent means something, the reality is less so. Yes, presenting a solid client list is key to freelancing success, but anyone and everyone can do that. It’s called “resume fraud,” and because employers rarely confirm the references of freelancers (although most do check for permanent hires), I have to think there are more than a few freelancers lying about their clients.

    I guess my point is that it truly does only require talent — talent at sales — to become a successful freelancer. One need only skim the online portfolios of the most successful freelancers on the popular job boards (Guru, Elance, IFreeLance, etc.) to see that writing talent has little to do with it.

    The fact is that our clients typically hire us because they don’t know how to write, so what makes you think they will even recognize your talent? As they say, “a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.” One need only look to Hollywood for proof that talent means very, very (add about 20 more “verys” to that) little in the world.

    • Anne

      Mostly true Ron, maybe even entirely… and as you say marketing is key – so is reputation for repeat clients and for references when they are checked.

  • But I think sales is a skill that may not come naturally to many writers. Thus, you end up with people who scrape by in this profession–thinking all they have to do is put their work out there and people will simply flock to them and sign them up to do work for them.

    I wish I could say this has been my experience, but it hasn’t. I think it behooves every writer to pick up one book or attend one seminar on the subject of sales. If you’re going to run a business, it’s something you need to know.

    Debbi’s last blog post..Quotation for the Week of May 24

    • Anne

      Debbi, writing isn’t a skill that comes without practice either. I believe enough sales ability can be learned so no writer who can write well need live in poverty. That’s one reason I love Bowerman’s Well-Fed Writer so much. Sure, he’s talking about corporate writing, but he demystifies the sales process for any writer. Good writing must be marketed. Simply posting it, as you say, does little good.

  • So very true. Thank you for the reminder and the deep thought.

    Lori

    Lori’s last blog post..I hate waiting

    • Anne

      deep thought? sigh

  • This is so true! Talent, unfortunately, means nothing if you can’t make a sale. This is true for any writing you want to make a living from.

    Debbi’s last blog post..An Interview with The Freelance Survivor

    • Anne

      yep, and I believe that anyone with talent can learn to make a sale or two.

  • I think it also has a lot to do with luck and positioning. Being in the right place at the right time with the right people can be all you need to get a high profile gig and allow your career to take on a life of its own. In the end, no matter how talented we are, none of us is entitled to success. Focus, drive, determination and luck will make all the difference in the world.

    Yolander Prinzel’s last blog post..Call for Input!

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