Were you glued to the television last night checking out the Oscars? Were you more interested in what people were wearing than who actually took home one of the golden statues, or was it all about seeing people rewarded for their work?
I watched a little bit of the show last night, but didn’t stay tuned for the whole thing. It just doesn’t capture my interest the way it used to a number of years ago. The bit of the show I did watch got me thinking about what freelancers can learn from the Academy Awards.
1. You can get all dressed up for the show and still not win.
How often have we made a pitch or applied for a freelance writing gig and not heard anything back? It comes with the territory in this type of work and most of us have come to accept it.
It’s more disappointing when we have heard back from the potential client, have had detailed discussions about the project and have discussed payment and other terms and we don’t get the gig. The client may have decided to work with someone else, funding for the project may have dried up or it may have been abandoned for a different reason.
Sometimes you can do all the right things to get the gig and still not get the nod. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t talented or hardworking.
2. Being nominated might be nice, but it’s not as good as winning.
Whether it’s an Oscar or a great freelance writing gig, getting picked is much better than making it to the short list. Just saying.
3. People will remember you for more than your work.
When you think of Cher, you may not immediately remember that she won an Oscar in 1987 for her work in “Moonstruck.” Instead, we are more likely to remember her rather unique fashion sense, including the black showgirl number that she wore to the ceremony in 1986. (The actress reportedly chose that outfit as a way to show her displeasure at not being nominated for her work in “Mask” the previous year.)
Get in the habit of remembering that every comment on a blog, blog post, Facebook update or tweet is something that a potential client can see. Yes, the entire Internet is one big job interview, and if you wouldn’t say something to a potential client directly, then you should think about whether you should be posting it at all.
4. There is something magical about getting paid to do something you love.
We tune in to awards shows for the fashions and to catch a glimpse of our favorite celebrities, to be sure, but part of the reason is that we admire those people who are able to take an idea and bring it to life to entertain (and sometimes educate) us.
As members of the public, we don’t see the amount of thought and work that goes into bringing all the elements together to produce a film of any length. All we know is whether the finished product moves us in some way. If it does, then all the people involved have done their job.
As writers, we get to use our creativity to help our clients reach their goals. We harness our creativity to bring all kinds of ideas to life, and have the opportunity to work our own type of magic while doing so.
Do you feel like a nominee or an Oscar winner in your freelance writing career?