I’ve managed to slide through my writing life on my arse, it seems.

Picking up work here and there from friends, acquaintances, and friends of acquaintances has been the norm for me. And it’s worked well.

Until now.

Maybe because the latest introduction was an acquaintance of a friend (and why is it that every time I type acquaintance I get it wrong?) and not any of the previously mentioned relationships.

I was not ready.

In the past, I’ve been asked to write – and I’ve written. Nobody really asked for writing samples, yet in my mind I was prepared if somebody did make such a request. After all, I’ve written pages and pages and pages of content. Right?

I was not ready.

When the introduction was made, the potential vendor representative asked if I had a portfolio. Samples of white papers, technical writing  – that type of thing.

I was not ready.

Sure! No problem, I told her. Most of the work I’ve done in that space is proprietary, but I’m confident I can find something to share. I knew I could find something to share. But, after hours of scanning through online client folders, I had come up with nothing.

I sent one document and a link to this site, accompanied by an apology and a promise to send more.

How could I not be ready?

It takes a certain level of cockiness to bullshit your way into a job you’re not fully qualified for, and I don’t have that much gumption. Neither is that my intention. I have the chops. I have the experience. And I have the evidence – apparently it’s the organizational skills I’m missing. I’ve made a commitment now. From now on, I’m a Content Boy Scout and my motto is “Be Prepared”. And if I’m not ready, or I don’t have the appropriate portfolio items, I’ll have no qualms in saying so.

For the record, I am working on recovering work that can be presented as a portfolio – I’m over here redacting like a MF. If I don’t get this work, I want it to be because I was not the right person for the job. Not because I wasn’t ready.

PS. Writing anything after reading just a couple of chapters of Benjamin Dreyer’s new book “Dreyer’s English” 1Watch out! It’s an affiliate link! is like writing with a full-fledged grammarian watching over your shoulder. Please forgive my transgressions against the English language and the laws of grammar. I don’t have time to quadruple-check this. I have documents to find!

Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels.