by Jargon Writer

Writing my way to becoming a freelancer

Trial and Error

According to Parker, writers can’t be afraid to experiment. She says that while writers need to find a niche for themselves, at first it’s not uncommon to take whatever work comes your way. It’s only through this kind of experimentation, trial and error if you will, that you’ll figure out what kind of writing you enjoy and what kind of writing you don’t.

Before I began this blog, I jumped on an opportunity to take up some extra work another writer had. She was looking to pass on some overflow and I volunteered, without really finding out what kind of work she needed help with.

It turned out the gentleman she passed along was a very nice author who had recently published his second book and was looking for someone to put together some press materials for him. “Well,” I thought to myself, “I can certainly do that. I’d love to work with an author, after all, I have an MS in Publishing and I love the industry.”

And I did actually enjoy creating his press release and some basic media contact letters. However, what I didn’t realize going in was that he wasn’t just looking for a writer – what he really wanted was a PR Professional. I am not a PR Professional. I am a writer. I do not enjoy making phone calls, hounding people with emails or filling someone else’s social media feeds.

However, he was offering me good money … so we set up a compromise. I researched media contact information, creating what in the end would be 5 lists (bloggers, tv stations, radio stations, print media & bookstores). He set up a PR email account from his domain name. I agreed to email each person on each of the contact lists once – an initial email – and he would be responsible for any and all follow up work.

This has taught me one thing – I was right. I do not want to do PR work. While I didn’t have any trouble creating the first three media contact lists, I was stumped by TV and radio. In the end, I went to a PR friend of mine for help (and compensated her for her time).

In the future, I am going to stick to writing, and try to create a network of people who specialize in all the fields tangential to writing (graphic design, PR, web design, etc.). That way, I can recommend someone who I know will do a good job, and who I know I can work with, instead of having to turn a client down.


February 1, 2010 - Posted by | in practice


  1. Alternate title for the post: Calling a duck a dog.

    I had to focus my skill set at one point, too. I actually have a degree in advertising and PR – but I hate the PR part of it. It was never my intention to be a PR person, partly because I can’t stop myself from saying what I feel. But I took a job once that played more toward that part of the field. It only took two months before I had to go back to the drawing board and figure out where I was supposed to be working.

    Fast forward five years, I’m still asking myself – that’s another story. lol

    Comment by Smith+Fritzy | February 2, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’m just glad I figured it out early in the game. I found someone who enjoys and is good at PR and I’m going to pass the client along if he has any more projects.

    I can still do the writing for him – but this way, I don’t have to do the part I don’t enjoy…

    Comment by mbreau | February 2, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] I am submitting the first half of the work I’ve finished for the author (see here). I’ve done work for him before so I don’t expect him to have any problems with it. I […]

    Pingback by Making it “real” « by Jargon Writer | February 4, 2010 | Reply

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