Why You Need A Great Portfolio

By on July 27, 2016
Why You Need A Great Portfolio - Writer's Life.org

If you want a fantastic, lucrative and long term career in freelance writing, you need to build up an excellent portfolio of work.

Perhaps there are a few exceptions to the rule, but for most of us, we don’t just suddenly become successful. It takes hard work, practice and perseverance, particularly in the writing game. The only way that you are going to get those exciting, highly paid jobs is by working your way up to them, no matter how talented you are.

Writing is just like any other job, after writing for one year you are going to be only so good, after writing for three years you will be better - and therefore worth more too.

If you are serious about turning your writing into a career, you need to be businesslike about it, and so you need to come up with a structured plan. If this plan is logical and well thought out, there is no reason why you shouldn't be on a trajectory where you are moving forwards, stepping upwards and becoming more successful - whether you are writing articles or trying to get that third book out there and onto the shelves.

Regardless of what kind of writer you are hoping to be, the secret to success is to keep on creating. If we look to some of the greatest authors of our time such as the inspiring children’s author, Enid Blyton, or Nora Roberts or R.L.Stine - they all kept on creating and producing work throughout their careers. They didn’t stop; they always strove to improve.

Building up a portfolio is a wise idea for many reasons. The most obvious perhaps is that this gives you something to show clients or potential publishers.

A strong portfolio of published pieces will demonstrate your experience in the writing field, show your diversity, indicate that you are a writer who means business. Even if your work doesn’t get picked up, you can still use this in your portfolio. It still shows that you are one of the determined ones, someone who will keep producing work and someone who has the drive to improve.

You can look back over your portfolio and see how you have grown. If you take a famous artist such as Picasso for example, you can see from his early work how he developed as an artist over the years. Use your writing portfolio to do the same. Learn from your mistakes.

Let's not forget; it also might be worth something one day! All it takes is that one lucky break, that one book that takes off, or that one piece of writing that gets you noticed and suddenly you are a writer in high demand!

Most of those early Picasso sketches, those little practice pieces he did - they are now on average worth over $200,000! So keep hold of all your work, you never know when you can come back to it, rework it and use it again.

Make your portfolio work for you. Put it on your author website, categorise and date it, and comment on it yourself.

If you have a satisfied client, ask them to leave you a testimonial, if you have a happy reader ask them to leave you a review. This will all help build up your portfolio into something that will be very useful during your writing career, and something that you can be proud of too.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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