find jobs
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip code
Have you considered a career in professional writing? If so, you may enjoy this interview with an editorial adviser. In the interview, the writer tells about the good and bad parts of the career, as well as shares some lessons that had to be learned the hard way.

Q: What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in this field? How would you describe yourself using only three adjectives?

A: I currently work multiple writing jobs right now, but my main job is writer and editorial adviser for a website. I have roughly 5 years as a professional writer since graduating college in 2006. Three adjectives that I would use to describe myself would be motivated, dedicated and optimistic.

Q: What’s your ethnicity and gender? How has it hurt or helped you? If you ever experienced discrimination, how have you responded and what worked best?

A: Typical white male would be the best description about me. Since I work mostly online it doesn't really seem to matter. Most websites are looking more for experience and talent which is how any job should be handed out. When it comes to facing any discrimination, I can't say that I have.

Q: How would you describe what you do? What does your work entail? Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do?

A: I am an article writer and mostly write about business and financial topics. There are tons of misunderstandings about what a writer does. The biggest one that I wish people would understand is that a freelancer is not on vacation simply because they work at home!

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What might need to change about your job to unleash your full enthusiasm?

A: Easily a 10. I love what I do and the people that I have been able to reach through my writing. The only thing I would have to do is unleash my full potential is to stop thinking so much about potential rejection and just go all out.

Q: If this job moves your heart – how so? Ever feel like you found your calling or sweet spot in life? If not, what might do it for you?

A: Moves my heart? Not really, it takes a lot to get me emotional. I do really feel like I have found my sweet spot in life so to speak. My talent and opportunities match my skills and ambitions. There is no success without passion and writing is my passion.

Q: Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?

A: I went to college to be a sport studies major. My first college English class I got a C and almost went to remedial English. For some reason my professor thought I had a good shot of becoming a pro writer. Who knew?

Q: How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?

A: My first published work was a poetry assignment for a English class my senior year. If I could go back and do it again I might have just skipped college and used my experience as my teacher and my mistakes as my classes.

Q: What did you learn the hard way in this job and what happened specifically that led up to this lesson?

A: The hardest thing to learn was that the pay was always going to be unpredictable. I learned this when I got a submission returned to me saying no thanks. There wasn't even a comment or acknowledgment that anyone even looked at anything. Being summarily rejected was expected, but it taught me to never look at the price tag, only the likelihood of getting selected for the assignment.

Q: What is the single most important thing you have learned outside of school about the working world?

A: You're only as good as your latest accomplishment. Business is always about what you have done for me lately. Sad, but true. With that said, it is a great motivator to never let your guard down and to strive to prove myself everyday.

Q: What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job?

A: Everything about being a writer is strange. Sometimes I feel the strangest thing that ever happened to me was that I got into this business. What was I thinking? However, I feel like it has all worked out for the best.

Q: Why do you get up and go to work each day? Can you give an example of something that really made you feel good or proud?

A: Mostly because my mom makes me and says that I can't live at home anymore so I need money. Other than that it is because I truly enjoy it. The first magazine publisher who accepted an article I had submitted. I had been published online, but having a traditional publication accept me was a thrill.

Q: What kind of challenges do you handle and what makes you want to just quit?

A: The two biggest challenges are getting respect in your field and getting a fair wage for work. Some clients want you to practically work for free. Sometimes your friends think you need a real job and not work so hard at a job that offers more financial security.

Q: How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance? How?

A: Stress levels can vary depending on deadlines and other factors, but its all about time management. Yes, work-life balance is important, fortunately being self-employed makes it easy to take breaks on a whim. The easiest way to stay comfortable is to create an environment to do so. Comfy couches, access to snacks and climate control are great assets to have.

Q: What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough and/or happy living within your means?

A: It really depends. Some can make 100,000 a year if they find the right clients. Others might barely make a dollar in a year. Personally, I am paid enough to live comfortably and can live within my means quite well. Making money in writing tends to be a long term endeavor where you can never really estimate your salary.

Q: How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?

A: I try to take at least two nights and one day off a week. It might not seem like much, but with flexible hours and working online I can go wherever I please to get my work done. The difference between work and play is whether or not I have my laptop turned on or not.

Q: What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?

A: An English degree, or relevant writing experience, is desired to really make it big. It really just depends on what a client wants and how hard you are willing to work to prove yourself. Like they say, anyone can be a writer, it just isn't guaranteed how successful you will be.

Q: What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?

A: Leave me alone, I'm not on vacation! Seriously though, I would encourage my friends to go for it. There is plenty of success stories out there if enough dedication is shown to the craft. I would say that a dream not realized is better than never chasing the dream at all.

Q: If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?

A: Probably still writing and sharing ideas on some level. I have political aspirations and running for President someday would be an ideal situation. Writers are used to rejection so it wouldn't be too disappointing to run and not win.