Live To Write Another Day

Live To Write Another Day by Dean Orion

Book: Live To Write Another Day by Dean Orion Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dean Orion
always right. Then, focus on your note-receiving skills, see how nimbly you can use the conversation about your work to shape it into the story that you envision. Above all, show the people in the room that you value their opinions and make them your allies.
    If you can find a way to step into these writer-for-hire shoes throughout the course of your next writing class, my guess is you’re pretty likely to get your money’s worth.
     
Always Have a Project in the Back of the Shop
    Have you ever gone to some local mom-and-pop type store, caught a glimpse into the back of the shop, and seen something you didn’t quite expect? Maybe mom’s got this amazing wedding dress she’s designing back there, or pop has some kind of mad scientist chemistry set that he’s using to invent a new kind of super glue. These are their passion projects, the things they work on a few hours a night after everyone else goes home.
    As a writer working for hire, you’ve got to have this same mentality. No matter how successful you are, you can never get complacent.
    You always need to have a passion project going on in the back of the shop.
    Why is this important? Because spending the majority of your time and energy working on something that isn’t one hundred percent yours will eventually take a toll on you, as will the constant burden of receiving and executing the associated notes. Having a project in the back of the shop, a project where there is a draft just for you, will feed your soul in a way that no work for hire ever can, even if it’s just a sweet little snack for you to enjoy a couple times a week. At the same time, this work will also help you continue to develop your own voice, which like any other muscle will begin to atrophy in the absence of exercise.
    Finally, on a more practical note, this extra effort will not only result in the creation of another piece of original material you can potentially sell, it will also give you a fresh new writing sample, and as any working writer will tell you, you can never have enough samples.

 
    SURVIVAL GUIDE SUMMARY
     
    12. Writing for Hire
     
    Things to Remember:
     
    • You need great writing samples in order to get work for hire, which means writing on spec is essential.
    • When you work as a writer for hire there is no draft for you. It’s a we thing, not a me thing, from the very beginning.
    • Your process is more important than ever when writing for hire. It’s the one thing you can always fall back on to get you through the rocky moments.
    • When you work as a writer for hire, the note giver is always right.
    • As a writer, there will always be some degree of tension involved in the relationship between you and your employer. It’s okay. Just accept it.
    • If you’re taking a writing class, approach the work as if it’s a job. Don’t be a writing student, be a writer for hire.
    • Always have a passion project going on in the back of the shop. It will feed your soul.
     
    Questions to Ask Yourself:
     
    • What can you do to make the working relationship with your employer as productive as possible?
    • Which are the most important battles to fight with respect to the work? Choose wisely. You can’t win them all.
    • How can you use your creative talent to solve any issue that arises between you and your employer, writing-related or otherwise?
    • Which is better for the project (and for your career)—to be effective or to be right?
    • If you’re a writing student, what are the ways in which you can effectively turn your class into a work for hire? What do you want to get from your teacher? From your peers? Write down some goals.
    • How can you shape the notes you get in class into something that is consistent with your vision?

13. Art vs. Commerce
     
     
    Many years ago, my wife and I were in Paris and visited the Musée d’Orsay, where we were lucky enough to catch an extraordinary Vincent van Gogh exhibit that had a very profound effect on me.

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