Don't Be a Drudge!
There's a natural camaraderie between "talent" and "producers"... and in my travels to various studios to do voiceovers over the years, I've enjoyed the conversations I've had with the people on the other side of the glass. The work is fun, and there's room for relaxation and joking along with the serious business of getting the voiceover done to their satisfaction. After the recording, it's not uncommon for all parties to lounge together in the main studio for awhile and just banter. A comment I've heard frequently among us, made either by them or by me has been, "I can't believe we're getting PAID to do this stuff."
And yet, as a Fiverr seller, when the volume of work is high, deadlines are fairly tight, and in some cases, the pay is a little lower than what it might be in the world-at-large, it can be easy to lose that perspective and start to approach the work as just something to "get done." I'll admit to having fallen into that, as my success on Fiverr has made orders more abundant. Regardless of what your area of specialty is, whether voiceovers, art, writing, or anything else, it's easy to turn into a burger-flipper and a drudge, just grinding out work. And when that happens, a lot of the joy is lost.
Whether we're just starting out on Fiverr, and doing jobs for a pittance, or we've been there for a long time and the compensation is significantly better, it's a pity when that happens, isn't it?
More recently, when I've caught myself thinking, "There, that's about the halfway point, ok, there's 75% done, there, finally finished," I've felt I was cheating myself of something important. Rather than marveling at the fortune of being able to make money doing something God has gifted me for, I caught myself acting like a drudge, just wanting to get through the job and deliver it. That's not to say I wasn't still trying to do a good job, but if it wasn't a first-rate job, I wasn't that concerned because I could summon up whatever mastery I have reached at this point in my career to just "make my way through," knowing it will probably be acceptable to the client.
The Steeping Process
When this dawned on me recently, there was an immediate change in my approach to working on Fiverr. I began to count my blessings, and to really relish the work I was doing. Rather than just "getting them done," I started relishing the moments I spent on projects. Now, as I voice my way through a script, I'm looking for the intent and the meaning, and trying to "channel" the thoughts of the copywriter. What are they REALLY trying to say here? What's the meaning behind the words? What's the audience I'm addressing, and how will this message impact them? What emotions are involved? What images should I be conveying through my words? What is the take-away? What action am I calling them to? How can I use pauses and emphasis and variations in inflection to add the right touches to each part of the message?
By slowing down a little and investing myself more in the details of each project, two things have happened. The first is a much pleasanter experience. There's real joy in tapping into the best you have in you when reading a script, regardless of whether it's a big-paying job, or not so much. When you think about it a little, what possible benefit can there be in rushing through a job and not enjoying the process? Saving a few minutes? Really. It's kind of silly, isn't it?
My dad once told me how, when driving the 20 minutes home from work, he'd sometimes pass cars, only to have them pull up behind him once he came to a stoplight on the outskirts of town. What had he gained by that little bit of extra speed? Nothing.