Musings

Writer woes

When I originally went through this post in my head, it was an absolute rant post! Now, thinking about it after a couple of days later, it is a much calmer post(hopefully! :))

I have been writing for the past 9 years, and there are several things that I have learnt over the years. Some of them have been nice but some of the them have downright been disgusting! (sorry for the language!)

Here is a list of things that I have learnt:

First and foremost is always the “pay” in the content writing field. Writing is such a beautiful thing and not everyone can do it (any genre is difficult and does take time) In spite of that, in the content writing industry, from what I have seen if you get paid 1 Re/word, it is a great thing! (I don’t know how this thing came about itself) There are people who pay 50 paise/word or even lesser!! And there are still some who will ask for “free writing” too!! I myself have been approached by many people to write for “free” for them. Now, these are not just startups but well established companies do it too(I have never understood the rationale behind this – if you can pay all other professions in a startup, why can’t you the pay the writers as well?)

The next thing that irks me is the way the content is freely attributed to somebody else. Initially, the articles written by me have my name on them but after a while, they get attributed to somebody else (why would somebody do that also, I have not understood)

The third thing that I always find annoying is when we are asked to write a sample writeup for every new company that we are applying(it is fine for newbie writers, I guess) There is so much of my content on the web, and I am still asked to provide a free write-up, why? And sometimes, after we submit the writeup, there is a deadly silence on the other end too!! (what? why?)

Yet another thing on my annoying list…. Many people think content can be churned like magic! 😦 No buddy, good content does not appear so quickly like that(which is why it is good to employ multiple writers or creators) Good quality content particularly in the technical field takes time(at least for me) I have to read, understand and then write(this is me, I am sure there are faster writers) For my Master’s degree program, in the US, we were asked to write several papers and we were given adequate time to finish all of them. I greatly appreciated that fact then and appreciate it even more now.

Last but not least, is the number of revisions that a writer is asked to do. While I have not been asked to revise my content frequently, after 9 years in the field, I unfortunately, cannot revise my content any more, once I have submitted it. I have as it is, revised, edited, re-edited and re-edited and cannot do it any more. Once I have submitted it, it is the best content there is 🙂 English or any language is a relative language and unless you are a perfect English teacher it is fine as it is. And with tools like Grammarly, anybody’s English is just perfect is my thought! 🙂

My experience:

My experience in the content field has overall been good. I have had interesting experiences here and there and fought to have my name redeemed in some articles(though I have left the others)

I have been paid well too and some of my articles have done very, very well. The key to an article doing well in my opinion is definitely the topic selection. If you are passionate about a topic, you will write it really, really well and it will show in your writing. On the other hand, if you do not feel a topic, you will not do well(quite interesting that I can write only on programming, Information security and privacy topics) If you write about a good topic and present it well, it should definitely raise a few eyebrows and get some extra clicks and will last long! 🙂

The silver lining to the poor pay and other disadvantages to the content writing field, is that the world cannot live without us writers !! 🙂

So, come on writers, write to your hearts content….the world is your oyster! 🙂

P.S: I have done my Master’s in the US, but I am currently a freelance writer in India and I am mostly talking only about organizations

Musings

What 8 years of writing has taught me…

I have been writing for exactly 8 years professionally and these are some of my learnings over the years…I started writing strictly technical Java and Information security concepts for about 2-3 years and then, moved onto personal writings over the years.

  1. Writing is hard work – yes, you read that right…it is real hard work..whether it is fiction or non-fiction, writing in today’s SEO world is sheer hard work. I could have never imagined that a good piece of writing will require so much effort, but it does.
  2. There are some writers who can write quickly and with ease, but all will definitely need a plan.
  3. Different people will have a different take on your writing!! (this was the most interesting realization for me!! :)) The bottom line in writing is if you are understood then, you have done a good job!! 🙂
  4. The most important part of a blog post or any writing is first choosing the perfect TOPIC. While we can write on anything in the world, it is the choice of topic that will allow the author to give their best and the reader to enjoy it!
  5. For any type of writing ,the ‘flow’ has to be good and in today’s SEO world, the keywords and other things have to be well rounded too(ugh, the part I hate the most! :()
  6. Writing needs a good ‘Eureka’ moment…when idea strikes, better to pen it right away!
  7. My technical writings are actually much easier to write than my non-technical ones!! 🙂 All I have to do is to have a good grasp of the concept. And for the topics that I do not know, I do have to research a lot on the topic and write.
  8. But, it is obviously my non-technical ones that are easier to understand and which get more views!! 🙂
  9. I have never suffered from ‘Writer’s block’ but I do struggle with writing when the circumstances are not right!! 🙂
  10. Interestingly, I can only write about topics that I am truly passionate and interested in(maybe all writers do this – I am not sure) For all the posts and e-books that I have written the past 8 years, I can confidently say I have written all of them only because I truly believed in them.
  11. In spite of editing and re-editing and re-editing, not all of my posts and writings come perfect. Of course, all of us are entitled to a bad hair day, right? 🙂

What do you think about writing? Is it as easy as it sounds?

Read all my technical posts at: http://blogtech.online

Read all my personal posts here: http://jayanthiweb.wordpress.com