Jimi Hendrix came up with his first album titled “Are You Experienced?” practically 40 years ago. Even by today’s standards, that album can with ease hold the epithets such as revolutionary, legendary and quite a few others.
I’m not sure whether the question, “are you experienced?” has either revolutionary or legendary status with aspiring, or even not so aspiring writers, copywriters, journalists… but it is definitely they encounter at least three to five times a day. And by that, it is not whether they have experience as such, or as a particular scribbler, but experience in writing within a specific, sometimes too narrow to pass through the category.
In those situations, the authors usually opt to one of the following situations - they say no and give up immediately or they lie - make up some fake experience, get the job and promptly lose it shortly afterward. And you know, a bad word spreads around quickly.
So is there any other choice? Of course, for bystanders, it is easy to say, “be diplomatic”. Maybe by that, they mean that instruction usually given to aspiring, in this case, diplomats get - “never lie, but bend the truth as far as it goes”. In brief, spin it.
I’d say, definitely don’t lie, don’t bend the truth, but don’t give up either. Stress your past or current experience, how it is tied to the one you need but don’t have for the designated job.
This is also a good litmus test whether you are a good writer. If you’re persuasive, it’s two positives, you’ll get the job and it means you’ll be able to do it. You’re good.
Then the harder part kicks in. You have to prove it, and you do that by learning everything you can about the subject matter. If necessary, get a new vacuum cleaner to suck in everything. Mental vacuum cleaner, that is.
And get new knowledge (and experience) in ever-widening concentric circles - a bit by bit. That way it will stick. Soon enough, you’ll be in Jimi’s position to ask the question - “are you experienced?”
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