Writing has been a dream of mine since I was 13 years old. Now working full time as a business content writer, it’s come true — though not quite in the way that I had imagined it would. Stumbling along to get to where I am now, I’ve learned quite a few lessons. I wish I had known some of them before I started tapping away on my keyword for my first gig!
Top things I wish I had known before becoming a professional writer
There are quite a few things that I wish I had learned before becoming a professional writer. Still, these are the top ones that I use to help inspire the next generation of writers considering the career path. Use these as your compass!
- You have to be your own cheerleader: You’ll get gigs that you don’t want to do, and you will have to do them, especially at first. It may mean you spend more time on them than you’re getting paid for, but you have to cheer yourself on and get the job done. Even when you start working with a revolving group of customers, it’s not uncommon to still get gigs that you’re not loving. Keep those pompoms ready!
- You should always be reading and learning: I really, really wish I had known this! Whether it’s textbooks, how-to manuals, or something like webinars, keep on learning within your niche. The world of professionalism is constantly changing, and it’s essential to keep up to date with those changes by reading, learning, and participating with those in the same trade as you.
- Consider having more than one professional focus: As most of you have undoubtedly noticed by now, I such at grammar. This is very embarrassing since I’m a writer, but it’s the truth. While I’m working on it currently, I wish I had taken the time before I started to focus my skills on writing and editing. It would allow me to be a more polished writer and charge more when clients requested both services!
- You’re not going to impress everyone: I’ve talked about this several times, but I want to take a different approach. You’ll get customers who will be underwhelmed by what you did for them. Maybe you love it, and they hate it. Perhaps you’re both more neutral. Not everyone is going to like your style, your voice, your wording, etc. That’s part of why separating the professional self from the personal self is so important!
Professional writing should never feel like a compromise
There have been times where I have been going on about the negatives of working with customers or deadlines. Even with those frustrations, I still love what I do. Even on the really rough days, I still wouldn’t want to have any other job than the one that I have. I work hard, and I enjoy knowing that I am a faithful, professional writer. If it feels like a compromise, you might want to consider a career change!
We live and learn, and that is certainly the case with professional writing. What are some of the lessons that you’ve learned on the job?
Kelterss is an experienced freelance business writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creating Writing. Having served over 1100 customers while maintaining a 4.9/5 star rating, Kelterss is looking to focus her professional services in writing product descriptions and blog posts.