From Writer to Writer: Mahesh Raj Mohan's Advice for New Writers

Mahesh MohanMeet Mahesh Raj Mohan

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:

  1. Do you really want to write or edit this material?
  2. Is the time frame reasonable to you?
  3. How did the client react when you mentioned your rate?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, then politely decline the project.

Here’s why:

-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.

Happy hunting!

Connect With Mahesh

Portland Freelance Writer | Twitter//
//

Advertisements

0 thoughts on “From Writer to Writer: Mahesh Raj Mohan's Advice for New Writers

  1. “If the money is way below the rate you established, you’ll resent every second of the project.”

    This is so true and so important for beginning freelancers. It’s hard to turn down work, especially when you’re first starting out, but taking a lower rate is such a bad idea for this exact reason. I also think that subconsciously, you won’t end up doing your best work, because you won’t want to spend precious hours on a project knowing that the pay is terrible. Great tips, Mahesh!

  2. “Writers and editors are not pack animals, and we are not magicians.” I would add that we are also not mind readers. These three misconceptions have probably caused me more problems than any other single thing with the exception of the basic misunderstanding of what a freelance writer is/is not!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s