When I tell people that I am a professional writer, one of the most common questions I get is, “What do you write?” I know what this question implies. They want to know if I’m a novelist, a columnist, a screenplay writer or some other fun and zany writing professional. What these people don’t realize is that I am a working writer, which means the work is much less glamorous than penning the next Oscar winner. I largely stick to the income-generating forms of writing, like press releases, marketing collateral, SEO Web copy, custom publications, articles and the like. I also do some reporting, such as my work with Lawyers.com, the A.V. Club and the Huffington Post. And of course there’s that whole creative streak I have with Essay Fiesta and comedy writing, which has evolved into a labor of love instead of a pursuit of riches.
When I tell people this, they usually only perk up by the time I mention Huffington Post. And that doesn’t even pay. So what I’ve realized is that the general public has a very skewed idea of what it means to be a professional writer, particularly how writers actually make money. Likewise, some prospective clients/employers have a very limited view of what a writer like me does. They think I merely set copy to paper. In actuality, because I operate my own agency, I also am skilled in business development, client services, B2B communications, marketing and PR strategizing, media relations and project management.
So calling myself a “writer” maybe isn’t really doing me justice. I’ve been trying to think of a better title that more accurately describes what it is I do. I’m a editorial, marketing and PR copywriter, editor and project manager with business development, client services and media relations experience. Perhaps I’m a media professional? A marketing consultant? An agency founder/president/principal?