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Writing professionally

I just read a blog post about writing online as a great career. Don’t get me wrong – I think writing is a great career! But I did not like this blog post.

writing is easy: all you do is sit and stare at a blank sheet until drops of blood form on your forehead. Gene FowlerHowever, the author of that  particular post (and I won’t link to it as I don’t want to been seen as supporting their site!) wrote about how the only writing worth doing is online writing (not business writing mind you, although he also referred to business writing being good) and that anyone can do it.

The standard of writing in the post itself was not particularly high and he was offering writing work to others ‘even if you hate writing essays’ and ‘just know a few advertising principles’.

In response, I want to say that writing is a great career but not everyone has the language skills and knowledge to do it. It also requires some business ability in order to get enough clients and succeed.

As a professional in any industry, why would anyone downgrade the skills of that industry? By saying ‘anyone can write’ he is downgrading his own employees and business – and is not building up a trust in their abilities for prospective clients. And downgrading the industry in that way could also decrease the accepted price ranges for the industry, too, therefore he is not helping his employees either.

As a blog writer, the other lesson from this person’s post is – don’t make your blog posts ads. There is no useful information in his post – it effectively says (in 5 or 6 paragraphs) that writing online is a great job so apply with him now.

Reading an ad instead of an informative post is not going to entice many people back to read another post. People wanting ads can go anywhere – blogs are for information or entertainment.

12 Responses to Writing professionally

  • Cliff Burns says:

    …and sometimes people publish on-line because no traditional print place would touch them with a ten-foot barge pole. The problem with computers and the internet is that it gives everyone the mistaken impression that they can be writers too. Wrong! Writing is a skill set and a level of determination to persist at the task of improving as a scribe despite all the world’s indifference. If anyone can be a writer then anyone can be an airline pilot. Sounds ridiculous when you put it that way, doesn’t it?

  • Melissa says:

    Very good points all of you. This is exactly why I hire a writer (in fact I hire Tash!) to write many things for me – because I know I can’t write about myself.

    It is also sad that he is minimising the industry. Surely he should be building it up, if nothing else to increase his business.

  • Not everyone should try to write, just as not everyone should try to be a banker or a professional basketball player. True, anyone can play ‘bball’ and we all have to deal with at least a bit of money. But perhaps the reason so many books never sell well is because of this attitude that ‘anyone can write.’ Perhaps this fellow is having a tough time finding writers, never mind good writers. Sadly enough, many people have an ego larger than their actual talent, and these are most likely the kind of ‘writers’ such an ad will appeal to. As a published author, I wouldn’t want that kind of job.

  • tashword says:

    You’re right Cliff- it does sound ridiculous whan you put it that way!

    And I wouldn’t want a job like that either, Phyllis.

    I’m so glad you both agree that not ‘anyone can write’!

  • simplicato says:

    Just like any other hobby or profession that requires skill in order to suceed, writing is no different. A person that has the capability to fuse sentences with flare, intellect, and efficiency possesses a rare and special talent. I believe those are three of the most pertinent and necessary attributes that a person should incorporate into their writing. Can the average person do this? To be short and to the point, no. However, there is nothing wrong with that. I agree in full with the above posts. Not everybody is a basketball player, pilot, doctor e.t.c. But writing MUST be put in this category, because it is absolutely a skill that you can’t just expect to have.

  • tashword says:

    It’s great to know your limitations, Melissa – leaves you more time to get on with what you are good at!

    Flare, intellect and efficiency – I’d never though of it quite that way, simplicato, but I agree that there are essential aspects to good writing.

  • isabellagladd says:

    Interesting post. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    Simplicato: You succinctly describe the act of writing with the words– flair, intellect and efficiency. Well done.

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