Writer Rant: I Can’t Read Your Mind–An Open Letter to Clients

Welcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging them this week. Enjoy.

cant read your mind

Dear Client –

I’m the person who has been writing content for your plumbing company (insurance firm, blog about sexy rodeo clowns, etc.) By the way, my name is Tracy with a Y, not an I. Anyhow, I am writing to you today because I have a confession. I’m not psychic.

Yes, I know this may come as a surprise to you. I have that psychic look, and I am a Scorpio, the zodiac sign that is often thought of as being the most intuitive with a tendency towards extrasensory perception. However, I’m not clairvoyant—not even a little bit!

Since I don’t have the ability to read minds, I need to ask a favor of you. If possible, could you please provide me with the information I need to write your content to the best of my ability?

Even though the rodeo clown blog is a little weird, I want to offer you the best possible content as quickly as I can—ideally without having to go through a complicated revision process. For me to do this, I need some basic information about your content needs.

Next time you send me an assignment, I would greatly appreciate if you could include the following information:

  • Your preferred title—or guidance for title selection
  • Keywords and keyword requirements
  • What style of writing you want: for instance do you want a promotional piece, casual piece, journalistic piece or something else?
  • What “perspective” you’d like the piece written in—ie First Person, First Person Plural, Second Person or Third Person. If you don’t know what this means, I’ll be happy to explain.
  • Your sourcing requirements – Do you want me to quote statistics and hard data? If so, do you want in-text citations or an end-of-the-piece list of the sources I used?
  • Information about where the content will be posted – I understand this isn’t always possible, but if you can provide a link to the website I can better match the tone.
  • Any particular facts, figures or statements that you feel need to be included in the piece
  • Formatting requirements – for instance, do you want bulletpoints, short paragraphs, bolded keywords, etc.

As I have worked many years writing content for a number of different clients, I’ve learned how to adapt and make do with what information I’ve been provided. However, I can offer you my best work when I can focus on writing and not on reading between the lines and guessing at what you want.

Thanks for hiring me to work with you. I’ve learned a lot about Bucky the Clown and his love for long walks on the beach and jazz music. Once again, I’m very sorry about the not-being-psychic thing. I may need to leave that crystal ball out of my profile picture—it could be the cause of this confusion.

Have a Great Day!

– Tracy with a Y

Tracy S is a freelance writer and blogger who is writing her first book. When she’s not glued to the keyboard she has her eyes glued to a sci-fi book, her mind glued on her pool game or has glue on her hands while working on a home improvement project.

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