The truth about being a writer in the digital age
What does it take to be a writer? You might think that all you need is an idea and the ability to put that idea into words. Well let me tell you, bloggers, writers and authors of today can’t survive if all they can do is write. We have to be so much more than that.
- We’re researchers – coming up with an idea for something to write about isn’t enough. We need to back up our claims.
- We’re editors – everything we write must be proof read and checked for sense and mistakes.
- We’re SEO experts – we need to know about search engine optimisation, whether we write for ourselves or others. After all, we want our pieces to be read.
- We’re internet techies – whether we run our own blog or not, we can’t go through our writing lives without coming across a CMS (that stands for content management system). We need to familiarise ourselves with how websites work on the backend. That can include writing in html, adding links, images and any type of formatting.
- We need to know how to source images – if we don’t use our own, we need to find quality, usable images to go with everything we write. Then we must format these images and know how to properly credit them.
- We’re photographers – not all of us, but having a good camera and knowing how to produce high quality images is a real bonus in this job.
- We’re always on the lookout for ideas – reading, keeping up with social media and spotting trends is a part of our daily lives. When we find something of interest, we then need to come up with a new way to write about it.
- We’re social media savvy – keeping up to date with all our social media channels and making sure our work is constantly visible.
I don’t know any writer who doesn’t do at least some of these things. We’re writing for the digital age and it goes with the territory. If only it were as easy as just writing the words, but we wouldn’t survive as writers if that was the only thing we knew how to do.
I’ve learned so much during the last few years and it has enriched me as a freelance writer and copywriter. Every time I write a new article, I learn something new and I move on to the next article with added confidence. What I can promise you though, is that writing isn’t easy and to produce any form of written work for the Internet takes an incredible amount of time.
The start of the new school year brings with it the challenge of getting used to a new routine. This is particularly true for me this year, as I now have three children in three different schools. My eldest has to leave home at 7.30am and my middle daughter starts school earlier than my son and finishes later. Our day, therefore, is longer than it used to be. I’ve been busy writing articles and doing copywriting work and that’s left me with very little time for my blogs. Like I said, a lot of work goes in to publishing a post and finding that time when you have so much else going on, is tough.
Things will settle once we get used to a new way of doing things, but until then, I will blog when I can, in between everything else. Don’t be too hard on me if I don’t post regularly, but I will try to keep up as best I can.
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