Confessions of a Professional Writer

Some people view writers as mysterious hermit-like creatures who prefer holing up in attics and churning out creative content, 24/7. However, writers are ordinary people gifted in arranging a meaningless string of characters into an attractive prose. A talented canvas-on-oil artist skillfully weaves a myriad of colors to produce a powerful visual communication message. Much in the same way, professional writers paint creative patterns in the world of speech to impress, motivate, and inform. And the more experience the writer, the greater a palette of words.

Professional writers exhibit an extraordinary passion for sharing ideas with others. We enliven our compositions by carefully selecting the right quantity and quality of adjectives, verbs, adverbs, nouns, and pronouns.  You can even say that, like classical music, there is a defined and attractive rhythm to our works. For flavor, we might add a pinch of salty humor and–when provoked–even include a dash of pepper.

Professional writers come in all shapes, colors, ages, and sizes. Some of us are journalists and others might be authors, tech writers, or scriptwriters. Others are copywriters trained to  motivate consumers by romancing even the most mundane and humble items on the planet. However, the very serious and dedicated professional writers are most often hybrids of all of the above. In some cases, this can be attributed to economic necessity. However, it is primarily because we are restless and curious by nature, willing to explore new dimensions of our craft.

Many professional writers are also discerning editors and proofreaders who feed upon finding typos in professional publications. These errors often jump out and grab us when we least expect them. At other times, we must hunt to detect the offenders. We feign horror when encountering (and love to correct) common mistakes like your instead of you’re, their instead of there, it’s instead of its, and apostrophes in plural words. 

There are certain commonalities that professional writers share. Even though it is said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” it doesn’t hold true for writers or any other artists, for that matter. Plagiarism is definitely a negative in our books. Professional writers are free spirits. If given a choice, we prefer working in a private nook as opposed to a corporate cubicle, artistic license to micro-management. We have spent years honing our craft and once our works are published, they are subjected to scrutiny by all who read them. A seasoned professional writer is not a prima donna and can take constructive criticism.

Professional writers detest work-for-hire ads offering a pittance (i.e., $6 for a well-researched, carefully written 300-word article). We can detect the transparency of using the recession as an excuse for exploitation. (Really, if you can only afford to pay third-world prices, then please target writers in third-world countries).

We consider clients who pay us fairly and on time to be nuggets of gold in the business world. We dream about these kinds of clients and once we find them, we do our very best to fulfill, even exceed, their expectations. We do everything in our power to keep their trust. Professional writers are just like you. They seek to associate with those who play by the rules–most importantly of all, the golden rule.

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