Wednesday, February 12, 2014


It's not enough to just have a talent as a writer to get ahead, you also need to recognise and take your opportunities when they are presented to you. If you don't, several years from now, when you're sitting in your freezing cold bedsit, you'll still be wondering why your career hasn't gone anywhere.

Every opportunity has to be grabbed and made the most off, because if you don't take them then someone else will. There are tens of thousands of writers out there all trying to grow a career and you have to make yourself stand out from the crowd. You might overload yourself with work at first but as you grow as a writer and become more experienced, you'll get to know which opportunities are the ones to pursue and which are the ones to politely decline.

Of course opportunities very rarely appear out of thin air and the vast majority have to be worked for. Making connections, collaborations, occasionally working for free and making yourself invaluable to other media types will go a long way towards this. If you get a reputation for being helpful, polite and good to work with, the opportunities will soon flow your way. You don't need to go looking for them.

A successful writer grabs every opportunity and makes the most of it. An unsuccessful writer doesn't. Which are you?


Tim John said...

You are so right. I particularly noticed, when I lived in LA, how apparently effortlessly so many Americans launched into networking, where many Brits still wait to be introduced or, at the very least, feel uncomfortable promoting themselves. You have to put the message out there. Just know the difference between being confident and being cocky. Mind you, as I noted in "Adventures in Lala land", you can go seriously wrong in Hollywood being self-effacing. When I got asked to Disney to meet execs looking for comedy writers, as soon as I walked in, the head honcho said "Hi, we need some good comedy writers" and I joked, "then you must meet these guys Dick and Ian I play tennis with. They're really funny". Trouble is, the Disney people didn't realise I was kidding, so much so that, on my way out, a development girl took me aside and discreetly handed me a business card while whispering "If you continue to have self-esteem issues, you should see my shrink - he's fabulous!" Think on...

Dominic Carver said...

Yeah I loved that story when I read the book, made me laugh out loud.