Born and raised in Oklahoma, I decided to be a professional writer when I was eight years old; aside from a brief stint as a canvasser, all of my paying jobs have been related to writing or editing. My reviews have been published by Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper The Oregonian and Hugo-nominated website Strange Horizons.
My screenplay, “Indian Errand Day” is a 2011 Kay Snow Award Winner. I live near Portland, Oregon with my wife Sara.
Mahesh’s Advice for New Writers
As you blog, create a network, appear on bidding sites (like eLance), and/or query editors, you will generate leads.
After you and the prospective client begin to discuss the project, you need to ask yourself three questions:
- Do you really want to write or edit this material?
- Is the time frame reasonable to you?
- How did the client react when you mentioned your rate?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, then politely decline the project.
-If you are not interested in the material, you won’t produce your best work.
-If you rush a project, you won’t produce your best work.
-If the money is way below the rate you established, you’ll resent every second of the project.
Writers and editors are not pack animals, and we are not magicians. But prospects need to understand your boundaries and whether or not you are a good fit for the project. They will appreciate your honesty.
There is no shame in turning down work that doesn’t meet the criteria I listed above. Also, don’t worry that your pipeline will dry up.
If you cast a wide enough net, you will generate more leads. And, as time goes on, these prospects will convert into clients, and some will become repeat clients.