Apr 292013

[Backgrounder: It’s been a few years since I was 25. OK, let’s be honest. Decades. But at 25 I was in college, taking my first journalism classes, had an 18-year-old girlfriend, still had hair. And at that point I wasn’t published yet. Maybe I’ve become hardened over the years, but I sure learned a lot since 25. Let’s explore some of the things I wish I knew and see if they ring any bells for you.]

Maybe the “oooooh, pick me” works in high school, but not so much in the real world. Few actively seek a writer or musician, and the draft pool is beyond crowded.

OK, I stand corrected. Maybe some will approach you on their own initiative, but these are most likely the ones who want something for nothing. Avoid these at all costs.

A goodly part of the creative process is in me putting myself out there, showing my stuff, screeniing potential clients, networking like a madman and pitching some more. That is, if I consider myself a pro. But being a pro carries no promise that I’ll be picked anyway.

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Oct 092012

It’s real easy to plead ignorance as a reason to not try something. I do it all the time. I’ve turned down jobs because I feel I don’t know enough about tech trends to write intelligently about them, and turned down music gigs because I didn’t know the songs.

Here’s the thing, though. Creating is a learning process. A writer is a perpetual student. A musician learns stuff on the fly. There’s a lot of flying by the seat of the pants when you’re an artist, entrepreneur, or problem solver.

If you know just half of what you think you should, that’s probably enough. Companies promote people with no management experience all the time. You’ll learn the rest by doing, by just getting into it up to your elbows, and growing from there.