We like to focus on failure. We often tell ourselves that we should learn from our mistakes (and indeed we should), but if we stop there we’re not doing ourselves any favors.
You see, while we don’t want to repeat our mistakes we definitely DO want to repeat our successes. But we can’t do that unless we understand what went right. In this post, I identify five questions you should ask yourself when a writing project goes right.
Did you just finish a good writing project? Well, congratulations! I mean it. Give yourself a huge pat on the back–but don’t stop there.
You want this success to become commonplace and not an isolated incident. To make that happen, you need to find out what you did differently that worked. Here are five questions to ask yourself:
- How did I find this project? What was the source of this work? Often the seeds of a successful writing project are sewn long before you start work. Looking for a writing project lead in a new place may result in an entirely different type of client.
- Did the negotiation process for this project go better than usual? If so, how? Negotiations are critical for writing projects. If you compromise your values and needs as a writer, the final project is often less than your best work.
- Did I change my usual contract or written agreement? If so, how? One of the biggest mistakes new freelance writers make is not establishing a complete written agreement with the client. If something is left out rest assured that it will go wrong.
- Was there enough time to do the job? Rush jobs are not only inconvenient, they often lead to miscommunication, mistakes, and other project problems.
- How was the communication on this project? Did I try something different? Miscommunication can sink a project. Even though, as writers, we are communication specialists we are still vulnerable to communication problems. Be careful and make sure both sides are communicating.
Once you know what went right with your project, you can take steps to make it a part of your regular writing project process.
Oh, and by the way, you just did a great job on a freelance writing project. Remember to add it to your portfolio and/or ask the client for a testimonial.