I have several professional writing gigs under my belt now. My phone is even starting to ring without me persistently following up and tracking down those I want to write for. I’m also earning some money.
What have I found so far? It seems that a lot of writers out there who claim to be professional writers aren’t that good. People seem AMAZED at my writing, and frankly while I think it is good, I’m not sure it is amazing. I guess it is all based on comparison though. The other thing is that many writers out there don’t know how to behave in the business world. I get thanked, that’s right THANKED, for calling people back or responding to their emails, or questions. I work for you, remember?
Apparently though that is the exception rather than the rule. It would seem the bar is set pretty low in professional writing. That must be why I see so many writing ads that seem comical in how much qualifications they try and get. My personal favorite is the recent post looking for someone with 7 to 10 years experience in writing in an online university setting. Um…guys? 10 years ago was 1998. When do you think the whole online university thing really got going? eCollege is the first one I remember and they MIGHT have been around in 1998, but they were the only ones.
That’s a pretty small candidate pool if you are only willing to hire people who worked for eCollege in 1998. So, I’ve started ignoring the job qualifications and just applying based on whether or not it sounds like something I want to write about. I keep getting responses, so I guess they can’t find those guys. I wonder if other fields work like this. Do you think an engineer ever looks at a posting for someone with at least 10 years experience with hybrid-cars?