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Writing for fun vs writing for profit- part 2 of "So You wanna be a writer"

Updated on December 25, 2012

Writing for fun VS Writing for profit

Welcome back to our series, “So you wanna be a writer”, Last time we discussed and explored finding your writing talent. In this lesson we will look at the difference between writing for fun and writing for profit. We will explore the pros and cons of publishing your writing in online forums, Poetry sites, and blogging for fun.

Then we will look at the serious writer who depends on the literal word to make his or her living. We will take a detailed look into the world of the professional writer from passion to pitfall. We will look at and discuss different kinds of writers and the particular challenges they face.

This series of articles is intended to be a simple and straight forward look into the world of writing. Our goal is give you the young writer good, objective information to help you choose the type and style of writing that is best for you. We also hope that this series can serve as a reference that you can refer back to time and again during your career training and during your career as well.

Last but not least, we will give you the information to help you to decide if writing for profit is for you and how to get started. This will include an in-depth look into companies who hire writers and the millions of scams that are out there and how to avoid them. We will also spotlight the bad boys of online publishing and why you should never write for them. So grab “a cup a Joe” pull up a chair and join us for another adventure into the world of writing.

Writing for fun

This is dedicated to all of my writer friends who use their talent for the good of others rather for profit for themselves. Maybe you are a soccer mom who writes the team blog, or maybe the church secretary who is in charge of the weekly church bulletin. There are millions of blogs and bloggers out there who write as much or more than any paid writer but never earn a dime. These writers use their talent to help others.

Perhaps you have a nose for news and know everyone whose anyone and what they are doing. So you pin your blog to keep everyone in the know of the latest gossip hot out of the rumor mill. Maybe you are the fashion police and write an arresting blog about " I can't believe she's wearing that!" Lastly let's say you are the community cook and blog about all those culenary delicasies that only the "best cooks" know how to make. The birth of the internet has made it possible for everyone to have the chance to pin their passion. It is great satisfaction to hammer out a timeless work of art; not to mention a world of fun to go on a rant about whatever or whomever we please.

Maybe you are a poet and you write for both rhyme and reason. That something just comes over you and before you know it you are spilling your heart out in pen and ink. This happens a lot with young people who are still in the therapeutic stage of their writing. Often these poems are generated by some emotion that the writer is experiencing and being troubled they are driven to try and explain them on paper.

If you are reading this you have already been introduced to Hubpages, their are many other sites for the person who just wants to write for fun. I will list some of the links at the end of the article. If you are a writer who wants to start a blog there are also some great blog sites out there such as wordpress, eblogger, just to name a few. We these site you are the star and the boss, you set it up exactly like you want it to be, there are no deadlines, editors or critics, ( unless you want them by allowing comments). To conclude our writing for fun part of this article, I want to add a word of caution. even writing for fun you are still responsible for what you write, please write responsibly.

Freelance writer Lindsay Hamilton Knowles
Freelance writer Lindsay Hamilton Knowles | Source

Writing for real

Meet Lindsay Hamilton Knowles, 28 year old mother of two, and full time freelance journalist. Lindsay graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi Magna Cum Laude , and now writes for one of the gulf coast largest newspapers. She was "kissed by the muse" at the ripe old age of 5 and never lost her love for writing. At 19 she got a job as copy editor with a local newspaper and showed great initiative, so much so that she caught the eye of one of the regular reporters who took her under his wing and taught her the business. This convinced Lindsay that she was born to write so she went back to school. She was at that time the mother of one child but managed to balance school and home life to graduate with honors.

Stories like Lindsay's are not common, but with sacrifice and dedication they can be done. For professional writers like Lindsay, getting the degree is only part of the battle, once the diploma is in hand and the job is landed the work begins. Freelance writing for any publication is not a 9-5 job. Freelance writers are usually on call 24/7 and work long hours with no over time or paid vacations, and no insurance.

For the freelance writer, getting the story and getting it submitted on time equals getting paid. Sometimes that means driving long distances, standing in long lines, dealing with huge crowds, in often in-climate weather conditions. Then there are the stories that aren't blatantly obvious, and requires some finesse to get past law enforcement and government officials who's standard response is "no comment."

There is also the fact that freelancers must be very meticulous with his or her writing, especially when reporting the news. If he or she writes about someone and the information is ficticeous then the writer and the publication could be sued for liable. That is why these articles stress that you the writer be responsible with what you write.

The professional writer like every other writer has a desire to write, unlike the amateurs and fun writers the professional writer has a nemesis, time. Every paid writer must and does deal with the deadline.That infamous date given by the editor that he or she must have their work submitted for publication. They also deal with real life critics who ruthlessly scrutinize their work right down to the crossing of every T and dotting every I. These critics unlike the commenters on hubpages have the influence and ability to launch or destroy a writers career and they have no quams about doing it.

Now the we have spent some time with a freelance writer we will move on now to the staff writer, staff writers are full time employees for the publication or media company they write for. Unlike freelance writers they have the benefits,paid vacations insurance, and profit sharing if offered by their company. Like the freelancer, most staff writers do their own reporting which means that they may be called on any time of the day or night to cover a story or event. The competition is fierce in this field especially since the introduction of the Internet. Paper media as a whole is having to fight to stay alive in a multimedia world and thus they demand the most for from their writers/reporters.

There are many other types of writers we will be looking at in future parts of this series but we will end this portion of the paid writer with the foreign correspondent. The foreign correspondent, sometimes referred to as a "war correspondent" covers events in foreign lands such as the recent war in Afghanistan. This writing job is for the journalist with a lust for adventure. These brave men and women find themselves on the front lines, cold, tired hungry, and dodging bullets. If that wasn't enough there is the chore of finding a warm safe place to stay, transportation, and a way to communicate with the outside world. Only the best of the best get chosen as foreign correspondents. A journalist in this field take great risk; it's not just about getting the story but getting out alive as well. Freelancers are not typically foreign correspondents, A college degree is normally required to be considered for this Job.

Well that wraps up part two of our series join us soon for part three of this series "Education Vs Natural talent".


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