Twitter is full of threads with “universal solutions on how to succeed in anything”. Well, let me share some reverse advice looking at this question from the other side.
- Give a shit what others think of you. Their opinion is all you have to care about when starting a new project.
- Multitask whenever possible. Do as many projects as you can at the same time. Time is limited, so try to increase your impact by doing more things.
- Scroll your social feed at least two hours a day to stay tuned to the useless shit unknown people brought to you.
- Check your inbox every five minutes. It’s important to be in touch ASAP. Don’t miss a thing!
- Focus on the outcome rather than the process. Everyone knows that results matter the most in life!
- Stay up late for extra work. Nights are the best time for creativity, all geniuses sacrificed their sleep for success.
- Eat as much as you want and at any time of the day. The food is just a fuel for the body, so stop worrying about junk food and all that. We’re all gonna die anyway.
If you know more ways to fuck up your life, share the wisdom in the comments.
I’ve been in commercial writing since 2017. I’ve come all the way from a freelancer to an owner of a design studio.
Here are 25 principles I’ve crafted over 5 years of my career. They’ll help you increase your value as a writer, and, therefore, your profit.
- Before you start writing a copy, think about how not to write one.
- Your text will not change the world. It’s just another text.
- Don’t play with the words, don’t move them around. It won’t make much of a difference.
- Don’t grind your copies to perfection. Publish fast, then polish. Perfect things exist only in your mind.
- Publish your post while it burns you from the inside and excites you.
- Hire a proofreader so that you wouldn’t have to argue with a client about spelling and punctuation.
- Take responsibility for the result you provide, not for separate words, sentences, or a number of characters.
- Ask questions, shut up and listen to your client carefully. They have all the answers.
- Don’t be an asshole: don’t go missing and warn your clients when troubles arise.
- Don’t teach your client how to write, and don’t be stubborn as a ram.
- Don’t argue about your unique vision of writing and style. No one is interested in it. Solve the problem and don’t try to show who’s the boss here.
- Leave emotions behind when you enter a Zoom meeting. Reschedule if you are having an off-day. Recover, then talk.
- Don’t grovel and don’t settle for bad decisions. Defend your working routine, processes and principles.
- Always work on a contract and take an advance payment.
- There is no such thing as an average price. Only a fair price. A fair price is the one that suits you and your client.
- It’s not easy to make a living on writing. To make more, sell your service and solutions, not a copy or a number of characters.
- Develop skills in related areas: layout, management, design, code, typography, illustration, negotiation, law. They give you leverage.
- Never work on urgent tasks. You won’t make much money, but you’re guaranteed to eat some shit and be a scapegoat in the end.
- Work only on the projects you wouldn’t be ashamed to put in your portfolio.
- Don’t get into a project with a bad context, especially out of need. You won’t be happy with the money made there.
- Remember that you’re great. You make a living using your head. Most people never dare to do it.
- When you don’t see a way out, go back to the initial brief and the task your client brought in. Usually, you’ll find an answer or a hint there.
- See all projects through to completion. In hard times remind yourself why you got into this project and keep the goal in mind like a lighthouse in the storm.
- Take care of your health: sleep at night, exercise, eat well. Make 10,000 steps a day, eat fruit, vegetables, and greens, drink more water and less coffee.
- Be honest and frank with yourself. All problems begin with a lie.
This year I’m going to talk to the authors, writers, and editors, even more, to fill the manifesto with new principles that I consider crucial and useful. I hope that in five years, when the fifth version of the manifesto comes out, we’ll be able to trace how the profession of the writer has changed.
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