The writers mantra
If I had a penny for every bid on a freelancingwebsite that used the words “writing
is my passion” or “writing is my life” or “writing is my destiny” I would be a very rich man. I don’t doubt
the statement is true for many people but it must be starting to wear thin with some employers who read it day-in and day-out; sorry, I forgot I was talking about bidfer sites most of them probably only look at the lowest bid with completion in the quickest time.
I’m hijacking my own blog now to say I have never seen so many jobs so urgent
they can only be completed by journeying back in Doctor Who’s Tardis. (How many of my US friends know the reference or is it available in the US as well?) Don’t get me wrong I know rush jobs come in or something’s been forgotten so suddenly all attention has to focus on getting it done, but my own feeling is if a job’s urgent it should be worth a little more to be completed rather than the same basic sub standard rate being offered on the bidfer’s.
Why am I writing?
Unfortunately I cannot make these claims; what I can say is I have always wanted to write, I remember writing a script for a comic strip when I was about 12 or 13, my one and only rejection slip; I would love to say “everything from then on was just acceptance slips” but alas it would be one huge fib as I have never submitted anything else since.
I came to the writing world because I needed to find work, preferably where I could work from home and have the flexibility to walk away when I needed to. In my working life I’ve had 2, what I would call, substantial jobs both lost through illness due to pressure and stress through unrealistic expectations of employers.
Neither of these jobs I hated and in both jobs I was achieving good results and working beyond the call of duty. Unfortunately those days are now behind me so I just draw on the memories, knowledge and experience they left me with.
Since starting writing earlier this year as a freelancer I have written close to 200 articles which are very likely distributed over the internet in many different names other than mine.
During my former working life I’ve written probably on a daily basis, not necessarily creative prose but the majority of work would have been dictated by facts or relating to a set of circumstances. Statements had to tell a story, so a need to be creative and remain within the truth was sometimes difficult when the quality of a witness was not so good; but statements should never sound like they were a ‘story’.
I remember taking my first statement as a young Military Policeman while stationed in Germany . It was regarding a road traffic accident as we used to call them in the good old days; pull up a sandbag and swing the lights and I’ll tell you, as we used to say in the good old days, I seem to be entering a hall of mirrors here so I’ll quickly step out of it.
Back to Germany and the statement; I can remember taking a commissioned officer and his wife into an interview room and worried I might miss something I committed to paper nearly everything they’d done practically from the time they got out of bed to the point when they walked into the police station, ‘overkill’ is probably the right word. Of course I’d covered the accident in infinitesimal detail but it faded into insignificance among the details of the couples day. The tragedy was I had to write it out twice once from her perspective and one from his; those poor people, bet they wished they’d brought sandwiches.
I learned a lesson that day reinforced by the rhetoric of a sergeant and company sergeant major who screamed more indecipherable words at me than the total amount of words I’d used in the statements added together; they’re a very vocal and strange breed those Army guys, well they certainly were in my day, pull up a sandb….
This lesson taught me the need to focus on exactly what you’re meant to be writing about and not to get distracted by what you think may be needed. When you have established that write it in a succinct, chronological and easily readable way. Back to the sandbags, editing today is a lot easier if you word process on a computer because in the old days (yawn) making two mistakes on a written page meant a re-write; and that’s if you had a forgiving sergeant.
I think transferring this to creative writing means you can embellish your content as long as it is relevant to your subject matter; after all in statement form the fact that “the long grass moved gently back and for in the heady breeze that hung heavy with the smell of gorgeous flowers” is irrelevant unless of course the grass was that long or the smell that overpowering they were responsible for the crash.
I have no idea where this blog came from but I hope it was helpful.
- Tips in Personal Writing (financeandlife.wordpress.com)
- Interview with a ‘Business Opportunity’ – Honest (wrapcloth.wordpress.com)
- Am I a Snob Because I do Not Want to Write for Content Mills Anymore? (wrapcloth.wordpress.com)
- My Experiences of Writing for Bid-For-Work Websites (wrapcloth.wordpress.com)