Random aside: I just realised I know very little about female sportspeople. Sad.
Anyway, the point is that I could kick your ass at worrying. And then I'd worry about having offended you, apologise and offer to let you prove you're a better worrier than me.
One of the things I worry about a lot is my writing. I feel like I shouldn't really get paid for it. If I didn't, we wouldn't eat, so I'm glad there are people out there willing to pay me for it, but I personally think they're off their heads.
Now I know some of you very nice blog people will feel obliged to tell me that you think I write very nicely, but the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of you (can there be a vast majority in a handful of people?) have not seen my writing.
Yes, you've seen my writing here on my blog. But you haven't seen my writing writing - the stuff I write for clients; the stuff out of which I make my living; the stuff I get paid to write.
And even if you have seen a piece of my writing, let's say a magazine article, you haven't seen all the other stuff I write - brochures, website copy, press releases, annual reports (can anyone say "ugh"?), personal profiles, case studies... the list goes on.
They are all different types of copy that require different styles. And every single time I have to do something new, I freak out that it won't be good enough and the client will wonder why the hell they pay me money. Or they'll refuse to pay me money. Which is worse.
Case in point: this week I had to write someone's CV. Bear in mind that I've only every written about five CVs and they were for me, TSC and a few friends. We are young(ish), inexperienced start-out career seekers, so there's really not that much info to put in a CV. Easy peasy.
But this dude... He's a senior executive at one of SA's biggest manufacturing companies and he's been working for 20 years. He's been at his present company for 10 years. Writing his CV... very different. Very difficult.
He needed something WOW that would make him stand out, not a 25-point list of impressive things he's done at his company. His CV looked like a shopping list. It was BAD. Technically, anything I wrote should be better than what he had. But I am WORRIED.
I've researched CVs. I've studied examples. I've given my draft to a recruiter friend for some critical feedback and I've now sent him the first draft. And now I wait. And worry. Worry, worry, worry.
It was the same with the book I ghost wrote for my client, which turned out just fine. It was the same with the trade presenter I did for an ad agency two weeks ago. Still waiting on that one. And worrying.
I feel like a fraud. Like I'm pretending to be a writer and one day someone will discover I'm actually just me - good at spouting nonsense. And a champion worrier. But not much of a journalist.
Having lost my big retainer client (even though it was because they need the money to hire more sales people, not because of something I wrote. Or so they say), my confidence has taken a knock. But I have to go and find work. This means marketing myself. Marketing myself means telling people why they should hire me. How can I do that if I'm still asking myself the same question?!
I know what I need to do in terms of marketing:
- Finish setting up my website
- Update my easy peasy CV
- Start actually handing out my pretty business cards instead of just looking lovingly at them sitting in a box on my desk
- Try not to let clients catch glimpses of my neurotic behaviour
- Start a Twitter account in my real name and use it regularly for work stuff (Blergh... not keen)
- Ask current clients for recommendations
- Collect testimonials
- Start to believe that there's a reason people pay me to write
- Start a work blog. Maintain total separateness (is that a word? Can I be a writer if I don't even know the answer to that question?) between that blog and this blog (I would DIE if clients read my navel-gazing nonsense here).
- Pitch ideas to magazines I want to write for. Try not to grovel whilst doing so.
- Consider valium as a new inclusion in my diet.
- Learn not to be so hung up about ending on an even number of bullet points.