I’m a seasoned writer. My career began back in the early ’90’s as as joke. I had written a fictional piece targeted at my current boyfriend. It was all about how he should appreciate me and women in general more (long story…I’ll tell ya about it sometime) and I kept getting compliments on it. So, I sent it in to a magazine on spec and it was picked up. I began writing for them regularly, moved on to other similar magazines, added a few regional and local newspapers…there you have it.
I didn’t start writing web content until probably 7 or 8 years ago, maybe a little more. But to me- the web content wasn’t really writing. It was just something I could do for extra money. It would irritate the shit out of me to have people call themselves “writers” when all they had ever done was write some web copy. Call me pretentious if you like (I’ve been called worse) but I truly felt that writing web copy did not a writer make.
I began to have issues with it myself. I quit the job I had as a columnist and crime writer for a local paper ( the publisher’s wife was a psycho bitch with a history of crack use and an addicted ex husband to prove it. Yet another LONG story I’ll tell you about later if you get really bored). I picked up a few gigs writing for various print magazines like PREP and Southern Living writing columns and sidebars. I started to peddle my Woman Condemned book to agents and publisher. But I needed the extra dough and writing web copy seemed to be it.
I had issues upon issues with it. I was embarrassed to tell my colleges I did it. I would belittle myself for doing it. Telling myself I had lost “IT” and was just another uneducated copywriter telling the world I was a PROFESSIONAL FREELANCE WRITER.
BUT there is a happy ending (or a happy medium I guess) to this story. Years have passed. I started back to school to finish my Masters and I noticed all the classes and new majors for online journalism (cough…that still gets caught in my throat…a little…) But the fact is, it’s happened. People are becoming more aware of online writers. Bloggers are making a bigger impact in the writing world. I’ve had to make a serious change in my thinking and I think all the old school writers will eventually. I think those of us that have worked in print for years have to realize that there is a new beginning coming. Maybe it will be beneficial for all of us.