Singing… dancing… drawing… acting… playing an instrument… they all share some common traits with writing.
First, these are creative pursuits.
And second, people tend to think you have to be naturally talented to succeed with any of these pursuits.
I’m not so sure that’s true.
There was a time when I would have said, “Yes. Talent is important. Not as important as hard work. But still important.”
That was before my younger daughter decided she wanted to learn to draw.
When she was nine or ten, she would draw just like any kid. Pictures of houses and cars and dogs and birds. Colorful scribblings on par with what most kids that age do.
I didn’t ever look at any of those drawings and think, “Oh wow, there’s a talent here that needs to be nurtured.”
By the time she was 12, she and her friends were sitting outside on the porch late during the summer nights, issuing each other drawing challenges. And at some point, all on her own, she decided she wanted to be good at drawing.
She started watching YouTube videos and Instagram channels to see what other people were doing. She started reading books on drawing techniques.
And she practiced. Oh my goodness, did she practice. This 12-year-old girl who struggled to find the discipline to stay in front of her laundry would spend hours working on her drawing.
As she got better, she asked for the tools she needed to improve further. The right kinds of pens and pencils. The right kind of paper.
And then more hours. And if I hadn’t seen her “natural” capacity for drawing when she was younger, I would have said, looking at the work she was producing by the time she was 13, “This kid has a remarkable talent. I need to nurture it.”
But I never needed to nurture it. She did that. All on her own.
This year, her first year in high school, her drawing teacher has told her at different times, “You can be an illustrator if that’s the career you choose.” And “If you ever decide to turn your work into posters or prints, please let me know… there are several I would want to purchase.” And “I’ve never given out so many million-point scores.” (She gives out weekly assignments and scores of a million points when she thinks they’re exceptional.)
So, what does all of this mean to you as a writer? It means if you have the inclination and the desire and you’re willing to put in the study and the work… even if you don’t feel like you have a natural talent for words, you can develop your writing skills to the point where people read your work and say, “Wow, you are really talented!”
And only you will know how much of that talent is natural… and how much of it is skill you put in the work to develop. Either way, it won’t matter. Your writing will get results… and that’s all you need in order to earn your living with words.
New on the Site
If you can establish your expertise to your prospect, then it’s going to be easier to land the project and you’ll be able to ask for a higher fee too. In his latest post, John Torre shows you six things you can do that will show your potential clients you really know your stuff.
When you’re a freelancer, you sometimes wear a lot of hats. You have to be an office manager, a consultant, and a writer. Sometimes you’re an accountant… and sometimes you’re a financial planner. Other times, you’re a web designer or a legal advisor (to yourself, not your clients). Reality Blogger Tracy Wilson takes a look at these hats and when you should hand them off to a pro… and when it’s okay to keep wearing them yourself.
Don’t forget! Practice Assignments are due this week. If you want your lead magnet to be in the running for the live review next week, you need to send it to me by June 13. You can see the full Practice Assignment brief right here.
Mark Your Calendar
June 18th: Speaking of your lead magnet Practice Assignment, whether you submit an assignment or not, you can learn a heck of a lot about lead magnets by joining in the upcoming review. I’ll be looking at work done by your fellow Wealthy Web Writer members (and possibly by you) to provide feedback on what’s working well and what could be stronger. These reviews are always informative and fun… join us!
June 19th: That’s right… back-to-back events! On Tuesday, Nick Usborne is joining us for a live teleconference. We’ll be talking about all the different ways you can get to know your audience online and then how that translates into your web writing. This kind of audience research can help you deliver over-the-top results for your clients, so you don’t want to miss this.
June 27th: Liz Farr’s web-writing career has taken off like gangbusters in the last year or two. She’s joining us for a live interview to talk about what it was like getting started, the choices she’s made that have accelerated her success, what she’s working toward now, and much more. If you need a little inspiration, this is the event for you! Details will be posted soon.
Around the Web
When you get pushback on your pricing, don’t get frustrated. Just take a different approach. Heather Lloyd-Martin shows you how right here.
This is a great read from Kissmetrics on why content marketing works so well… and once you understand what they’re sharing here, your own content marketing strategy will fall into place that much easier.
Here, Buffer shares tips for using Pinterest to help build your business.
Are you still working on developing a daily writing habit? Here, you’ll find nine tips to help you create a habit that sticks.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!