Monday, January 17, 2011

Clients and Clients

In my line of work I meet all kinds of clients. Some are very professional, they know what exactly they want; they know how much they will pay, and they give you good feedback.  And then there are those who know a lot; teach you a few things while you are working with them and they appreciate you when you do good work. Give you feedback when something is wrong and are not averse to paying a bonus if they like the work.
But in this post I want to discuss those wonderful clients, who have no clear idea of what they seek from the writer. They will ask you for samples and then again ask you to write a sample copy. They will haggle over price. Some even offer $1 or $2 for a 500 word article. I wish these wonderful clients would understand that even in third world countries people do not survive on air, water and mud. This kind of money converts into nothing in Rupees.
The third kind of clients are the most interesting. They will ask for your chat id. And then will begin a chat session and start flirting with you. Ask your name, age, and if  by-any-chance they have seen your photograph and irrespective of whether   you look geeky to all your friends. They will start complimenting your looks. They will send you a few files and have no clear idea of what exactly they want. I once had one such client. I was so thrilled that I had an actual American client. However this person told me little about the work. He had  started  a new business and I was hoping he would explain it to me; so that I could translate his vision into words. However, he never did that. Instead after a few days I was introduced to his wife on the same business networking site. I do wonder about such professionals and also their family members. Do they think that people are on business networking sites to look for clients of the opposite sex? And the moment they see a client of the opposite sex they are ready to pounce on him/her. Irrespective of the fact that the person is socially and culturally from a totally different background. Lives thousands of miles away and  is married and has kids. Finally once I was introduced to the client’s wife, I didn’t get the work. Do all my fellow writers come across such professionals? I request my fellow writers to write in and share their experiences and advise me on how they deal with such people.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Do you always play safe?

A recent newsletter in my mailbox inspired this post. In fact I can safely say that I’m very often guilty of this. I try to play safe and say things that please people or if I totally disagree with somebody or something I just keep quiet.
According to the writer of this newsletter, one might as well be dead; because she says whatever stand you take on an issue there will be an equal or double the number of people who will take an opposite stand and three times the number of that, who just don’t care about the issue.
She however makes a very valid point; she says if you don’t want to infuriate anybodyor hurt anybody's sentiments, you can do so only after your death. The dead do not bother anybody.
I think when we continuously play safe we stop our growth as the rough edges that we have in our personality get polished when we are exposed to an alternate point of view. We may agree or disagree, but we learn to explain things better. As a writer if I just sit on the fence, I’m very likely to bore my readers, on the other hand if I take a stand or express a point-of-view, it is quite likely that the reader will think , argue and perhaps give a feedback, which helps me as a writer.
I think as a story-teller if I create a conflict and try and create a resolution or leave it open to the reader to take a stand, I have all the likelihood of engaging my reader and he may like to know what I want to say in my story or what point-of-view I want to express in my story.
With this said, my new year’s resolution is to take a stand on things and not just try and please everybody…