Thursday, September 13, 2007

Learning To Manage Others

I'm embarking on a new stage in my writing career where I'm outsourcing some of my own work and working as a team leader for an agency I work for. This requires that I assemble a team, mentor the writers, edit their work and manage the workflow process. A week into the new role, I'm already finding some challenges.

1) I want to hire everyone. I feel so fortunate to be writing for a living and know what it's like to yearn for a chance to prove yourself. I am having a hard time weeding through resumes because I want to just give everyone the chance I got. I can't do that obviously because I have to keep my staff at a level that I can manage

2) There are not yet enough hours in the day to write my own work and manage the hiring and review process. Now assignments are starting to come in and I have to find time to proofread and manage a multi-step process there. I expect this to get easier once I find a rhythm

3) Some people aren't serious about working as a writer. Being a writer and working as a writer can be two different things. Freelance writers work hard. Sometimes the assignments you get to test your skills aren't very fun but how you approach them could determine future work. I've already had a few let downs so far with people backing out, not meeting a deadline or wasting my time. I'm hopeful I can assemble a great team quickly and deal only with people who want the work. Is it wrong to want to clone myself? lol. Seriously, when I started out, I worked my tail off to prove myself. I hope I can find a few people like me (a year and a half ago). We'd both make money and I could teach them a lot about writing for a living.

I hope that things settle down for me a little but it's a very exciting time. I have been staying up way too late, drinking way too much coffee, getting up way too early and my house is a bit of a tip but...I love how transitions and learning and being busy. I also love that I've met some great women and men in this profession so far and look forward to running a team and racking up more knowledge and new friends.


Sharon Hurley Hall said...

"Being a writer and working as a writer can be two different things." That is so true, Dana. That accounts for most of the challenges I have had since running a team this year. It's easy to say what you want to do; less easy to cope with the rigours of 20 unique 500 word keyword articles by yesterday, lol

Dana Prince said...

Absolutely! I know many people who don't really understand what I do. They don't quite 'get' what it takes to pull off 10,000 words a day and care for my house and family. It's also hard to let go of work and trust someone will do it. I'm enjoying the work so far and the editing process has been fun. It's interesting to see other writers' takes on an assignment and to think as I edit about whether I'd have written it the same way.

Definitely a learning experience thus far!

Courtney said...

This is such an insightful post! It's true...working and being are two separate things entirely. And it's so important to find people who are in the former group when you are outsourcing. I'm glad you're having a fun (and challenging) time with this new phase of your career.

Dana Prince said...

Thanks for the reply, Courtney. I'm learning a lot and have already found some great new connections including at the forum I recognize you from :)