The frustration is palpable, and it echoes across every writer’s forum I’ve encountered. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great sites out there for freelance writers. Some even have a few tips for newbies. But I’ve found more often than not:
- The forums/replies sections to articles include a lot of negative attitudes towards new writers. They’re unhelpful, sometimes even malicious.
- Questions by new writers are either mocked or given a cursory link, as if the person who’s ‘helping’ couldn’t be bothered to even say hello- again, undermining the new writer.
- Many of the sites/articles for new freelance writers are geared towards one thing: making a profit off of naivete. You can’t get info unless you buy the program/book/sign up for a year’s worth of tips. I have no problem with people making money off of their skills. I do have a problem that there aren’t many free opportunities for new writers for advice.
- Online writing is so varied and is constantly morphing. It’s difficult for old-school writers to keep up. Being new at something, and not knowing what’s important, where to start or what to do- quite simply- sucks.
- Successful online writers seem to have a convenient memory lapse. They too, at one time, were beginners. And needed helpful advice. Ideas. Motivation.
The second reason I listed, ‘respect,’ is simple: I’ve got respect for online writers. New, old, journos, work-at-homes, professionals, students- I could care less about your credentials. I care more about your words and ideas. How can I possibly expect someone to respect- to read- to interact with me, if my attitude is downward-looking?
Everyone can write, true. Everyone isn’t a ‘writer.’ Also true. Some writers who are successful don’t write well. True. Some writers get discouraged by lack of support and give up, though they have talent. True. I’d like to be able to help and encourage new online freelance writers. A go-to place for any questions about freelance writing, regardless the ‘title’ (i.e. content, creative, blogger, copy, SEO, editor, journalist, niche…)
Rules of the roost here: ask anything about writing, without embarrassment of not knowing. To interact and help out when you get more experienced online. Share your moments. Vent at writing injustice. Don’t be shy. (Actually, the last is pretty redundant- most writers are introverts. Grin.)
On that note, I’ll leave you with a quote by a fella you might know:
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.