Becoming a seasoned writer takes years of experience. After years of schooling, workshops, unpaid internships, and cheap gigs making a fraction of a cent per word, only the strongest spirit can withstand the crushing efforts of the writing industry. It is even more difficult now than ever, with worldwide access to the internet, blogs and social media carve out a niche of self-proclaimed writers with no formal education on the subject.
How do you stand apart as a writing professional when surrounded by writing hobbyists?
Writing In The Social Media Era
You can expect me to say it isn’t easy, and that’s only half true. If you have a true passion for writing and are willing to cover nearly any topic, there are plenty of clients seeking content for their website, blog, or advertising. The first feeling you may have is that you aren’t writing about what you’re passionate about – that’s what your personal blog is for. My topics of choice are poetry and beauty, but I found and excellent fit tailoring my style to wedding and event planning, which has turned out to provide me and endless source of topics and inspiration!
Staying True To Yourself
Never cheapen your talents. Like any other service, writing should be respected as such. Know your worth before interviewing any client and make sure they understand what your cost and schedule is like. Don’t be afraid to decline a client if you feel their expectations may exceed your available time, or they are not willing to compensate your time as you see fit. I keep a consistent contract that details cost per word, additional services, and any scheduling restrictions or expectations. Always hold up your end and be in communication when working with clients out of your time zone.
Share Your Passion
Become an educator and form a true professional relationship with your clients. Sharing blogging tips and additional suggestions to improve their message will resonate beyond your contract. Understand their brand, voice, and message to tailor your writing style. Sharing amongst creatives is rewarding no matter what the topic is.
Be Ready To Network
Maintaining a steady stream of clients requires you to stick your neck out. Attending networking events and participating in group forums with other vendors will allow you to share your personality. Referrals can go a long way – keep a positive line of communication with everyone you work with.
My last bit of advice: never forget why you started writing. Sometimes you may find yourself living Kafka-esque, working at a day job while trying to write and edit at night, but that’s what keeps the dream alive. Your art will always be there no matter what way you utilize your writing talents. Never give up on your day dream.