Not as erotic as advertised


Deciding for a career shift of sorts was never going to be easy. And I knew that. But then reality comes along and emphasises just how difficult it’s going to be.

I was talking with someone who said they make $10,000 per writing project. The project takes a few weeks and they get maybe 6 or 7 of these a year. This person also gets a few smaller gigs throughout the year but do those mostly to keep in touch with certain companies rather than out of necessity.

Can you image? 14 weeks work to make $70,000? Now that sounds awesome. However, what you don’t hear about is all the time spent doing a ton of little gigs in order to build a name for yourself.

I am at that stage. The early stage. Looking for work and seriously considering where to go from here. I like writing, it is fun and it’s even more fun when other people enjoy reading it.

Freelancing to success: not as erotic as advertised

If I had bills to pay at the moment, I’d be up the creek. Broke, neck-deep in debt wondering if I’d really made the right choice. And part of me thinks that maybe that is where I should be. That would, probably, provide the necessary motivation for me to sit down at my computer for 12 hours a day until I had enough steady jobs to afford to be a freelance writer.

Because the work is out there. There are thousands of companies looking for people to write their stuff for them. It comes down to what you’re prepared to do for money.

I did a small stint rewriting medical articles…$6US per article. So, not the best gig, and I did it for a few days and bailed. The amount time I was spending versus how much I was making was way out of whack.

So I stopped.

It was, I felt, time to reappraise my plans. Not, mind you, because of one failure (of sorts). More because the romance of the idea had been removed. Which was necessary. The romance inherent in the idea of freelancing — for me — is now gone.

Now it’s about sitting down, writing, networking and putting myself out there as someone who wants to write.

After all, writing is fun. Even if it’s a blog about dental implants, or why an arborist is better than a tree lopper. Or how keying alike is better for your business and did you know an ectopic pregnancy can mimic the symptoms of miscarriage?

What work are you prepared to do to make money?

That’s the real question. Part of me wants to go find some easy job that pays the bills and allows me enough time in the margins to write poetry and fiction.

Then I remembered I tried that and it didn’t work so well.

I’ve written for a gynaecologist, a pre-construction company, dentists, doctors, plastic surgeons, a locksmith, arborist, and some kind of spiritual thing although I confess I have no idea what I was writing. But it turns out, I am not. I know — like most decent writers — if I apply myself spend a little time doing research and talking with a client, I can pretty much write anything and make it sound great.

Turns out, I know what I want to do, now it’s just about getting on with it.

Not erotic as advertised, or why there’s an appropriate cliché here

Really it comes down to this: “Write what you know.”

This piece of advice is more a comprehensive guide on how not to screw up. Because if you stick to what you know, your writing will be better for it.

Essentially: Those who don’t know generalise. Those who do talk specifics.

Thank you for reading.

Originally published at

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