I Didn’t Get the Gold, For a Surprising Reason…

How was your weekend? I got back to the regular crosswords/comics setup for a Sunday shopping trip, which was nice.

On to making sense of the title of this post, or–let’s get to it.

I’m a gamer–which is another subject for another post, on another blog most likely–console games, online games, phone apps–I’ve discovered and played a lot of it.

In one of the games I play (I won’t name it–I don’t think it’s well known and the details won’t matter) they hand out gold bars as a reward for doing daily missions. With all the other daily missions, you do the requirement, click “Collect,” and the reward hops in your sack.

Over the last few days, I was having trouble collecting these bars. I would click “Collect,” the button would disappear, and the little gold bars wouldn’t be in my sack afterward.

It was almost like there was some glitch–the game said I’d officially collected the bars, but they wouldn’t be there. I even put in a couple reports about it, in case there was something the game developers missed.

And then I looked over things today. It turns out…

You can’t have more than 20 of these gold bars in your sack at any one time.

Sigh…if only I’d examined things a lot more closely and followed clear guidelines, I would have saved myself a lot of embarrassment.

Besides my love of virtual gold bars to talk about, what’s my point here?

A lot of times in life we’re given directions–some are good, some are bad, and some just are. Especially with client work, starting out, I’ve found that some directions are better followed than ignored–even the simple stuff, like “send me a resume and/or samples to this email” or “write such-and-such word at the top of your response so I know you’ve read my whole post.”

And don’t laugh–there was actually a post in a copywriting group I’m a member of on Facebook lamenting that it’s sometimes hard for copywriters to get gigs, which was followed by someone who hired copywriters saying a lot of copywriters can’t follow directions–which is why they ask for in the posts what they ask for–resume, samples, what-have-ya. The gist of it being I don’t care how experienced you are or aren’t, I want to be sure you can follow directions.

I see it on a lot of freelance job sites too–those people want to screen out potential writers who can’t/won’t/didn’t follow directions.

Sometimes the directions are inane–like writing “purple kitten” at the top of something. Other times they don’t make sense too much–like providing a resume for a freelance gig when you’ve known someone for months. Sometimes things work out, other times not–what matters in writing is results. I’ve heard that a lot lately, and it’s true. But sometimes people want what they want.

So if it makes sense, and you can give it to them, go ahead. Giving someone something they say they want doesn’t mean you have to do it the way everyone else does, though (that puts me on the hook for another topic in another post–two in one day).

There’s also the sense that jumping through hoops is irritating–but there’s a big plus here. In the free market, both writers and clients are free to go elsewhere. Two sides, one coin.

I’ve done things both ways depending on if I’m willing to go through with the requirements, or not. If I’m not as suited to the gig based on the description or what someone wants to have written, and they want a laundry list of stuff I don’t have, depending on what it is, I’ll skip them, and move on.

That’s a choice you’ll have to make–and there are too many variables to list and explain here.

It just occurred to me this is one of the first posts about freelancing that I’ve really written that doesn’t apply directly to either fiction writing or copywriting–feel free to put your detective/thinking/brainstorming gear on and pull out some details for a setting or part of a character (someone who owns purple cats–or someone who’s an interviewer, maybe). If you’re a copywriter, take this advice to your next gig, and see how things work out.

That’s about it for today–if it’s not too strenuous of a requirement, consider going through with the resume, website link, or what-have-ya your prospect is asking for (or an editor or publisher).

And if this coin on freelancing were tri-cornered, I’d say the third option is “you never know if you don’t try.”

Until next time,

Ty

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About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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