It has occurred to me more than once that people who act and those who write have a lot in common. Check out this list to see if you agree:
1. A lot of people think they can do the job.
How hard can it be to dress up and pretend to be someone else or put a few words on a page? Well, the truth is that neither one of these jobs is always easy. There is work involved, and it can be challenging.
2. There are many more people who want to do the job than those who are actually working.
The unemployment rate for actors sits at around 90 percent on a permanent basis. Writers are either working or pitching for their next gig – most of us are constantly on the lookout for our next assignment.
There are a number of people who want to write for money but change their minds when they find out about the the amount of work involved. The business part of this creative venture may be what turns them off, or they may underestimate how long it takes to get a group of clients who can give them steady work. The feast and famine that can be part of running a business may be what turns them off.
3. The public only sees the finished product.
When an actor gives a performance or the writer submits his or her work to a client, they only see what has been created. The prep work, whether it is time spent in rehearsals or writing drafts and tweaking it, isn’t shared with the person who is paying for it.
4. It takes more than talent to be successful.
Having some degree of talent is a must if you want to write for a living. It’s also important to develop good relationships with other people who can help you along the way. These include your existing clients, potential clients, and other writers.
5. You’re only as good as your last gig.
Unfortunately, the fact that people have hired you for writing positions in the past doesn’t mean that they will be lined up to hire you in the future. Turning in good quality work on time and treating your clients like gold are ways to increase your chance of having steady work.
6. A big ego can get in your way.
The minute you start believing that you are special and that no one else could possibly do what you do, you are sunk. Clients can always choose to hire someone else for their projects. You aren’t doing them a favor by agreeing to work with them; they are honoring you by choosing you.
7. It can be a satisfying and lucrative career choice.
Getting paid to do something that you love is wonderful. Like anything else, there are challenges and frustrations that go with the territory, but deciding to be a freelance writer was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I act and write, so yes, I agree there are some similarities. Here’s another one: you’re constantly offered jobs where your pay is “it will look great on your resume!”