Welcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging them this week. Enjoy.
I never realized that when I spent several years working as a cafe supervisor training staff on the best way to brew coffee that I was actually in training to become a freelance writer. I spent numerous hours grinding, brewing and pouring coffee. As a matter of fact, I consider myself a coffee snob, since I got to know what extremely fresh coffee tastes like. I just can’t drink bad coffee anymore.
A serious freelance content writer has to be someone that works with a cup of coffee next to them at all times. Coffee is what keeps the creativity process fueled. For a writer offering website content services for clients on a freelance basis, it is possible to be working at odd hours on any given day or night.
While the majority of the clients that I work with are very accommodating, there are some customers from time to time that have very little concept of how arbitrary a freelancer’s schedule can be. Since freelance content services are offered at the customer’s whim, one day a writer may have only one short assignment, while the next day there are suddenly three customers that need a big job done right away. Because freelance writers are paid by the job, passing on any of the work is a non-issue.
That dilemma leaves a freelance writer like me drinking coffee late at night in order to keep customers happy. You can see why I insist on only the best flavor coffee. I am one of those annoying people who insists on buying freshly roasted whole bean coffee and grinding the beans at home right before brewing.
As does any job with a creative process, writing has an ambiguous factor. Part of what a writer does cannot be measured with any instrument. While we may get paid by the word, or by the hour, what cannot be explicitly defined is the expertise that writers infuse into their writing. Each piece that we write has embedded within what we know about writing, our subject and our audience. While technically any person can learn the skills necessary to write an article, not everyone has the ability to express the magnitude of what language can convey.
As you search for a writer to hire for your website content, social media or marketing materials, consider the time it takes a writer to research, design and produce your content. Allow the time for the creative writing process, while respecting the wisdom that the writer has learned through previous endeavors.
One of the great illusions of freelancing is that a writer can pick and choose their jobs and clients. While that concept is somewhat true, in reality, we all work for our clients on their schedule. The best scenario is to work for clients that respect us as professionals, and as people.
Paula A is a freelance writer who works with a cup of coffee at her side to keep herself fueled. When she is not writing, editing or drinking coffee, she is chauffeuring her family to activities, making jewelry, trying recipes or making a quick run for a hazelnut latte.