Sunday, January 8, 2012
3 Key Ways Knowing Your Weaknesses Strengthens Your Position As a Writer!
---"Knowledge is power."
Positioning is important.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re engaged in a game of chess, or vying for your dream job as a freelancer.
Knowing where you stand makes you stand taller, and helps to approach your goals with a sense of strategy, savvy, and overall efficiency. Simply put, it makes your game plan easier to execute.
In fact, it’s one of the things that I credit for my success in my creative career, in the midst of many obstacles. When I started this journey, (more than a decade ago), I had no formal training in writing.
Truth be told, my degrees are in business.
I didn’t have a computer, (didn’t get one until much later). Had no connections or contacts in the business. And worked full-time while attending night school.
What I did have was a solid business background, a strong work ethic, the belief that writing was my “calling,” the desire to excel, and the willingness to be objective about my work---the good, the bad, and the ugly.
And you should too.
Which is why I’m often amazed when talking to potential clients and other freelancers, that many seem to unfortunately have a real “blind spot” in identifying their creative weaknesses. Matter of fact, once I pointed out a shortcoming of someone whom I was trying to mentor, that caused her to be offended, and ended up doing more harm than good. Ouch. (Note to self: you can‘t help everybody). :-)
Here’s another case in point.
If you’ve ever tuned in to the popular talent-search show “American Idol”, then you’ve witnessed how some creative artists are convinced, (despite the judges’ assessments, and voices that sound like fingernails scratching a chalk board), that singing is their true talent! Huh?
Of course, we’d all like to be good at everything. Right?
Not gonna’ happen.
Instead a reality check is needed. There’s much to be said for the expression, “Knowledge is power.”
With this in mind, here’s why knowing your creative weaknesses can actually be a good thing that strengthens your career.
One of the most common complaints from today’s writer is not having enough time to write. Sometimes this is the result of mismanaging time, while at other times it’s the byproduct of pursuing projects or genres of writing that really are not well suited for us. The drawback? Spinning one’s wheels and not going anywhere. For example, mine would be writing for children. Be selective.
The more in tune you are to what your weaknesses are, the greater the likelihood that you can address them, work to improve them, and operate from a greater position of strength. Or in some case scenarios, it may actually call for you to subcontract work out. Say for instance that you’re great at writing, but not skilled at design, or proofing, or photography. You spend less mental wear and tear on these areas, and more focusing on your true passions and positive areas.
Like it or not, we all are in a competition of sorts. There are only so many creative jobs, clients, and projects. Not to mention, as Bloggers, we’re competing for today’s busy readers’ valuable time. Which requires that we put our best foot forward. That we know what separates us from the rest of the pack. And that we know ultimately how to pack a punch and how to deliver it.
Trust, you can fool yourself to make your ego feel better. Some do.
But really great Bloggers embrace their weaknesses, just like their strengths. Realizing that it is this combination of good and bad, darkness and light, challenges and victories that makes for an interesting Blogger who is relatable and real.
Thoughts? Any creative weaknesses you own up to?
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