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How and why did you start writing?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by mspennylane, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. #1
    Hi everyone,
    I'm relatively new to this but have enjoyed reading the discussions here including the advice and stories from many different types of writers. I'm sure you've all explained this before - but for the purposes of this thread I wanted to ask you all how and why you all started writing? What did you write, how hard were you working, were you earning much to begin with...?
    SEMrush
    The reason I ask is that I have recently started writing for buyers here on DP. I have recently graduated from uni in the UK and am waiting to decide what I want from my life and I thought I'd give it a go in between jobs. I already write in blogs etc and really enjoy doing so.

    I didn't really know what to expect from these jobs, so I have been charging cheap rates and I feel I am probably offering quality above the expected level for those rates. I have, however, earned a decent income for the amount of work I have been doing and, although I just started to see how it went, I'm now seriously looking into this and seeing where I can take it.

    I would love to hear your stories, working up from the bottom etc, how you found working for yourself. It's so interesting and so many people love what they do I would love to hear from you!
     
    mspennylane, Sep 6, 2008 IP
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    SEMrush
  2. kiteguy123

    kiteguy123 Guest

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    #2
    I started when my friend told me all about proxies, and recommended that I try and find some writing jobs here on DP to raise the funds to make some proxies. I did it for a while, and really enjoyed it. I worked extremely hard for about a month, making a total of $260 in just a month (maybe not that much, but for my first month I was thrilled to bits), but my account was completely locked by Paypal and I lost it all. It's sort of gone from there, I've done a whole range of writing jobs now and even though I've got anough money for proxies twice over I'm still writing. Why? Because I enjoy it and it gets me a little bit of money :D
     
    kiteguy123, Sep 6, 2008 IP
  3. mspennylane

    mspennylane Active Member

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    #3
    That PayPal situation really does sound like something that would put anyone off. It's terrible, I have heard about that happening to people, do you have any idea why it happened to you? At the moment I'd say I have been working quite hard, not as long as a full time job maybe but harder in other ways since I spend a lot of time at my computer emailing etc. I have managed to earn a few hundred dollars in about two and a half weeks which is why I am really interested to know about how other people's work developed and the experiences they had.
     
    mspennylane, Sep 6, 2008 IP
  4. lightless

    lightless Notable Member

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    #4
    I started writing because I liked it, waaaay before I ever thought of using writing skills to earn money. I used to write stories, fiction and mainly ton-loads of poetry for personal enjoyment. [I've books full of my own poems and songs written over the years :eek:]. I've stopped that a few years ago though.

    I discovered that writing skills could earn you money on the web rather late. Way after I had become experienced in using the internet. I could always use the extra money to fulfill my many little goals, so I began web writing.

    Anyways, web writing is a different beast than writing for personal enjoyment. I have reasonably adapted, I like to think. I have realized that I was way more adept at poetry and imaginative fiction and such that involves emptying the mind on paper than I am at researching and organizing information to prepare informative articles.
     
    lightless, Sep 6, 2008 IP
  5. kiteguy123

    kiteguy123 Guest

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    #5
    Well, to be honest, my account was unverified and I didn't mind that much. Sounds stupid, as I worked soo hard for that money, but I took it as an experience, told myself not to do it again. Funnily enough, one month later and it's happened again. Thought about packing in but gave it one last shot.

    I think it happened because I was receiving a lot of payments, mainly due to the fact I was doing work cheaply and getting a lot of clients. This made it a bit worse because I knew my account had been locked for working too hard!. I just though 'right, I'm getting out of the low pay crowd as that's the reason it happened', and I raised my rates. Really happy it happened to be honest, helped my writing and also gave me some much needed life experience: don't take anything for granted.
     
    kiteguy123, Sep 6, 2008 IP
  6. godsofchaos

    godsofchaos Peon

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    #6
    I wrote at a pro level last December for my own blog and from there everything fell on the right places I guess. Writing is really fun and snazzy all the way and nowadays I think I'm all addicted to writing. Lol
     
    godsofchaos, Sep 6, 2008 IP
  7. mspennylane

    mspennylane Active Member

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    #7
    That is definitely true, something that I am adapting to as well. Depending on the topic it can sometimes be just as enjoyable for me to write these informative articles, but some topics for me I just find hard to motivate myself. Hopefully I can start narrowing down more soon.

    How did you manage to start writing pro for your blog? This must be something great when it does fall into place!
     
    mspennylane, Sep 6, 2008 IP
  8. ErikJ

    ErikJ Peon

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    #8
    I started writing to gain traffic to my websites. Article marketing then I discovered it is kind of fun
     
    ErikJ, Sep 7, 2008 IP
  9. EspressoChick

    EspressoChick Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Hi MsPennyLane, :)

    Well our stories are similiar. :)

    I got a scholarship to graduate school and the deal for grad school was that I worked part time for the school while I went to school full-time. Not like I'm complaining, but I was living on a VERY tight budget and I was bored, looking for creative outlets and I missed doing some of the creative things that I did (like crafts, which just cost too much money as a grad student). So I started several ezines as a hobby and wrote some free articles to publicize them. I started getting hooked on seeing how many subscribers I could get and how many countries I could get subscribers from, it was fun! Two different national magazines actually wound up contacting me over the years to interview me about one of ezines about crafts, which was cool -- but that's another story.

    So that's how I got started on writing web content. I knew NOTHING about keywords or SEO or anything like that. After I graduated I was looking for a job while doing web content writing. I've been writing ever since and I've worked for some really cool clients on some fun projects.

    I'd written for print publications so I do have some experience writing. But as you may know, writing for the web is a bit different. The articles and copy "read" differently. I just barely knew what a blog was, and my first paid blogging job they had to teach me (very patiently) all of the techy stuff. :) But I've totally gotten hooked on web writing, that is for sure!!!

    I do have a not-for-profit background so my original idea was to get a job in not-for-profit communications, but I'm just not finding the right position that appeals to me. So I have a feeling I'll be headed for something else. The web content writing on the other hand, just keeps getting better and better! :)
     
    EspressoChick, Sep 7, 2008 IP
  10. KABLOG

    KABLOG Peon

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    #10
    I started to write, because a friend told me that was the way to go, if I wanted to gain any traffic, etc. Then things has just rolled on, plus I think it's kind of fun to create your own content, too.
     
    KABLOG, Sep 7, 2008 IP
  11. DeniseJ

    DeniseJ Live, Laugh, Love

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    #11
    If you can believe it, I've wanted to be a writer since I was three years old. I started freelancing professionally nearly 4 years ago when I lost my job at a dry cleaning company because I discovered I was severely allergic to the chemicals they use (NOT fun, let me tell you...)

    I started learning everything I could about freelancing and worked on improving my writing skills every day. Eventually, I found a client to work for - and it's been great ever since.

    While I don't plan to write for the internet for the rest of my life (I would like to break into the print world first and eventually publish novels,) I am enjoying the experience and love what I do. I freelance full-time and while working from home does have its drawbacks, I enjoy having the freedom of creating my own schedule. Plus, how many people get to say they LOVE what they do for a living? *Raises hand*

    I do, and I wouldn't change it for anything :)
     
    DeniseJ, Sep 7, 2008 IP
  12. vasago

    vasago Peon

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    #12
    Well I started blogging just 3 days ago :D. And today my domain got finally propagated so I could put it in my signature..

    on your question "Why?":
    Maybe because I'm just a greedy bastard who have heard blogging can bring you money! :eek: I should be really ashamed, i know. But who knows, I started it with the idea I can be useful by giving ideas, hints and even some free but valuable stuff. I'm convinced people should aim to create some kind of value in their daily job. Something that is needed by other people.
     
    vasago, Sep 7, 2008 IP
  13. lightless

    lightless Notable Member

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    #13
    Losing your job isn't that bad if you don't lose your faith in yourself along with it. :D
     
    lightless, Sep 7, 2008 IP
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  14. DeniseJ

    DeniseJ Live, Laugh, Love

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    #14
    Very true! Besides, I'd much rather be writing than anything else. :) It ended up working out in the end.
     
    DeniseJ, Sep 8, 2008 IP
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  15. mspennylane

    mspennylane Active Member

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    #15
    Thanks for all of your replies - it's very interesting to see the split between those who fell into writing and those who wanted to write from the very beginning.

    EspressoChick - our stories do indeed sound very similar, and it's good to see that you are able to learn as you go along!

    DeniseJ - I love to hear it when people talk about loving what they do - it really inspires me. I'm finding my feet, but I am definitely looking to write quality over quantity and looking for buyers who want this too. I am checking out your blog too by the way :)

    As for everyone else it is great that writing has turned out so interesting and successful. I am glad that I have found an outlet and hope that I continue to find more and more rewarding work. Any more info on your stories will be greatly received.
     
    mspennylane, Sep 8, 2008 IP
  16. DeniseJ

    DeniseJ Live, Laugh, Love

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    #16
    Oh lord... I can't remember the last time I updated my blog. I guess this should serve as motivation to start doing something with it again!! :D:eek:
     
    DeniseJ, Sep 8, 2008 IP
  17. smileymarketing

    smileymarketing Peon

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    #17
    Needed the money, had the skills but required some honing there - so I started writing for cheap prices, then I went on to hire a staff etc... and the rest is history.

    Lior Reuveni
    Smiley Marketing.
     
    smileymarketing, Sep 10, 2008 IP
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  18. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #18
    I started "writing" when I was still a kid. :D I was writing fiction, writing for the school paper (being me, that meant exposing things the administrators didn't always like lol), etc. through high school. In college I began freelancing (at 19) for a professor - combination of research, writing, and editing related to other work I was doing (loved it).

    Before going to college to originally study engineering, I actually wanted to be a writer. Stupidly, I bought into the naysayers and believed it wouldn't happen. I ended up in PR. Love that. There's a lot of writing involved in PR, which is how I got involved with the business writing side of things I focus mostly on now. However, my first Web writing work was for a site of my own (getting help with that site is how I ended up on DP actually).
     
    jhmattern, Sep 10, 2008 IP
  19. latoya

    latoya Active Member

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    #19
    I've always loved writing and always took for granted that I was good at it.

    Friends would always ask me to proofread their papers and help them write their essays. I always got A's in English and compliments from my teachers. I never thought anything of it, even when a professor suggested I enter one of my stories in a contest.

    I was in my senior year of college before I realized that writing was a passion.

    I had a very limited knowledge of making money from writing. I thought you only made money from writing books and since I didn't have that kind of time. I didn't pay it any attention.

    An episode of Sex and the City opened my eyes. Carrie needed money to buy her apartment from Aiden (her ex-boyfriend) and she picked up a freelance writing position with Vogue where she got paid $1.25 a word. Since then, I've been on a quest to duplicate that kind of rate!
     
    latoya, Sep 10, 2008 IP
  20. Grant Media

    Grant Media Banned

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    #20
    I started my writing career during college as a journalist for a local newspaper. I got into it because I loved sports, and people wouldn't stop telling me I was "good at it".
     
    Grant Media, Sep 11, 2008 IP