Q - How long have you been writing for?
A - It feels like a lifetime
Up until this time our home PC was mainly used to play games, create databases and type the odd letter. However, our recent "Internet Connection" saw me researching all sorts of subjects. Partly looking for something to while away a few hours but hoping that I could earn a little money into the bargain, I began to write product reviews. As they say the rest is history.
Looking back at some of my early work it was truly dreadful. I had been good at English at school but that had been many years earlier. I soon became an ardent writer and with time my writing improved. Rushing headlong into writing ventures, I only researched so far. This meant that each site which I joined, was a learning process. A learn as you go along venture.
In the early days, I learned the importance of having a copy of your work. If a site folds, or your computer stalls as you are writing, your work is lost. it is worth typing a draft into Word or a similar programme, so that if the worst happens you have a copy.
The pen name, Ethel Smith, which now feels like my alter ego was chosen for personal reasons. Now that my writing has improved, hopefully, Ihave stepped out of the writer's closet. We all have good and bad days. Some days confidence dives and creative juices refuse to flow., but that's life.
Online earnings can be good, bad or downright non-existent, but you live and learn. It is best to be selective where you write and only continue with sites that suit you. Writing online can be fun, a pain, social, isolated, creative, a chore and much more. You will need to at least enjoy writing or you may as well look elsewhere.
There are new sites and formats arriving all of the time but who would have thought that a site of my own would have been on the cards?
Many online writers begin to write for all sorts of reasons. For some the money is perhaps the main incentive but most people could earn more for working a few hours behind a pub bar, or the like. Part of the attraction is the freedom, the sense that you are working for yourself, the flexibility, the anonymity, being able to share your opinions and experiences, and having the chance to grow. You do not have to begin as an excellent writer but there is a chance you may become one.
Freelance writing is democratic these days and novices write alongside experienced professionals. In this way it is much easier to get a break as a writer, rather than trying traditional methods to get selected for writing assignments.
It feels like a lifetime?
Online writing invariably means that you reminisce, fall back on your experiences and share some of your memories. Perhaps this is why it feels as if I have written for longer than is really the case. It may only be a few years since I began writing online but in so many ways it feels like a lifetime and it is doubtful I will ever stop.