- Make time for your passion projects: It’s been said that you are as good as your last project. This means that as you go ahead with your career, you need to be continually building on a body of work that you can be proud of; balancing carefully the ‘write for hire gigs’ with your passion projects that are uniquely you and have your voice in them. A time will come when the world will be ready for it and having it ready will get you ahead of many other writers.
- Get help from Mentors: This doesn’t mean nailing down a mentor and insisting that they mentor you. Most mentors are very busy. The beauty with the internet is that it has made everyone accessible, and their thoughts on various subject matters available. Are you following those you consider your mentors on social media? Do they have a blog and do you follow it and read it? Are you buying books to help sharpen your craft? How are you getting inspired as a writer? Learning indirectly from your mentors has great benefits and can help you get ahead in your career.
- STOP saying YES to everything: If you are starting out in your career then by all means say yes to everything. But as a professional writer with some credits to your name, you have to stop saying yes to everything and start saying no to some things, so that you save up headspace to be able to work on things that will reward you in the future. Don’t just think about today. Build a portfolio of work that can take you to the next level.
- Over deliver: I feel sad when I see people comfortable with mediocrity. Listen up, even if the producers you are working with have lower standards, you should have higher standards and over deliver. I do my best to over deliver, I never miss a deadline, I always put my best foot forward and go over and beyond. You are a writer, you love writing, why should the amount of money you are being paid for the particular project dictate how much you deliver? Go over and beyond, as long as you said yes to the amounts offered, as long as you took the job, you have to over deliver. And I guarantee you, over delivering pays off later on in your career.
- Eliminate Excuses: A lot of us entertain excuses, ‘I am not ahead because I don’t know anyone, I am not this or that.’ The minute you take responsibility for your life, the faster you will go up that ladder. I didn’t know anyone when I started my career. I have had two careers as a journalist and as a TV writer, as a journalist, in my very early 20’s I got to write for Saturday Magazine, I found a way in by my resilience and impressed the then editor Rhoda Orengo and at Kiss FM got internship from Carol Radull, they didn’t know me but I got IN! If you look for excuses, you will not see opportunities. Eliminate excuses and you will go far in your career and life in general.
- Never Stop Learning: The moment you feel you know it all, marks the beginning of your downfall. It’s a fact. To get ahead and stay ahead as a writer you have to be continually learning. Enjoy the process, keep growing and keep flexing those writing muscles. That’s the name of the game.
I hope these tips inspire you to get ahead with your writing. For more inspiration, information and education. Head over to my website damarisirunguo.com and sign up for my FREE WEEKLY E-NEWSLETTER.
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