I mentioned in my last post that I’m applying for a freelance writing position. I really want it. I’m not going to tell you who it’s for, or what it’s about, simply because I’m still in the applying stage. If I get it, I’ll tell you more about it.
I also mentioned that I’m struggling with the application. The application is several phases, and I’m currently in phase 2, which entails a series of writing assignments. The assignments are quite different from just about all other writing experiences I’ve had. Here’s a basic rundown: the program I’m applying for is already up and running with someone else writing the content. In my assignments, I need to write similar content while maintaining the current “voice” of the writer.
Yikes. I’m pretty good at writing in my own voice, but writing in somebody else’s? A real person, and not just a character (which, face it, comes out of my head and contains a bit of my own voice anyway)? And with content that I’m not overly familiar with? It’s daunting, and I’m terrified that I’m going to screw it up. In my mind, one little mistake will kick me out of the running, and the opportunity will be lost forever.
I worked on the first assignment a few days ago, and I agonized over it. Sentence by sentence, word by word, it felt foreign and wrong. I put the words down, only because the clock is ticking and I need something to turn in when the buzzer sounds. I’ve been dreading the next 2 assignments.
I did the second assignment tonight, and I had an epiphany. I’m still going to do my best, and try to format it the way they’ve requested, but I’m not going to worry about doing it “just right”. I’m going to do my own research, and write the piece the way I feel does it justice. I’m trying to preserve the voice, but it’s taking a backseat to me writing what I think is the best work I can do.
I may fall flat on my face. I’ve already passed phase 1, which means they like something about me. And if I’m trying to copy someone else’s style perfectly, I’m not being true to myself and to my own work. Hopefully they’ll see my best and decide they can work with what I bring to the table. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it any other way.