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  • Writer's picturelesley grigg

Here I Go Again

What happens when you try to revamp your website and you lose all your blog content? Well, if you’re me, you freak out for a second, take a breath, and start over. This seems to be the theme for my current work situation as well. The last few months have brought about a lot of change. Change that made me freak out, forced me to take a breath and motivated me to start over. It’s not easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. Now that freaking out feeling is starting to transform into freeing up.

If You Can’t Beat Them…

As a writer, I’ve worked with many companies across a wide range of industries and have found one thing in common: everyone thinks they can write. Sure, we’ve all learned from an early age how to string letters to form words and words to form sentences. Those sentences are meant to tell a story, whether for informative, persuasive, or entertaining purposes. Writers learn the craft of each and continue to hone their skills.

The same people who say, “I’m not a writer” or “You’re the expert” usually have a lot of opinions about what’s being written anyway. Opinions are great. We’re all entitled to them. But, the way I see it, if you’ve hired a writer, you should let them do their job.

So far these jobs have come to me through both freelancing and full-time opportunities. I enjoy the freedom freelancing affords. Writing on my own time has its perks. Unfortunately, health benefits and a stable income has yet to be included in those perks (that’s a different blog). That’s where the full-time positions came in. Being paid to write every day, with a steady paycheck, competitive benefits, paid time was wonderful. Of course, both jobs had their fair share of opinionated people, but that comes with any occupation.

The other unfortunate trend I started to see was those full-time positions being replaced with freelance ones. Whatever the reasons behind the shift (money) it was always interesting to see how many times the freelancers underperformed. You get what you pay for. This being said, I’ve also started to shift my priorities from full-time to freelance. After being laid off several times and replaced with a contractor, it seems like the reasonable thing to do. Fool me once… However, after all I’ve experienced, underperforming is not in my nature.

Upping the Game

In my recent job search, I’ve learned a lot. There are dozens of new positions being posted every day looking for writers. Companies may be finally realizing that no, not everyone can write. However, not all of these jobs are created equal. Some writing positions include a long list of duties including writing for print, digital, blogs, and social, plus editing, marketing, and maybe even a little design. This could easily be seven different jobs. Sure, some writers can do it all. It doesn’t mean we should, especially as a freelancer for $20/hour. Again, you get what you pay for.

With all I’ve experienced throughout my writing career, I’ve decided I’m no longer settling. This is a time when people are waking up, discovering their worth, and going for it. I’ve heard that companies are complaining that workers don’t want to work anymore. Not true. Working is necessary. It’s working for less than we deserve that we don’t want to do anymore.

This may be why there’s a new crop of entrepreneurs out there who are done settling. It’s the company’s turn to wake up to the fact that employees deserve more than a wage they can barely live on while they work to make companies more these skilled employees will probably never see because raises are rare or barely make a difference.

I’m sure there are plenty of companies that are making a difference. There are a few examples of those who treat staff like people instead of robots. But for every one of those companies, many would prefer replacing workers with robots if it meant shareholders rejoicing.

Deep Breath

Okay, before this blog tips the freak-out meter, let’s rein it back in and remember why we’re here. We appreciate the written word. We know some people are more skilled at it than others. We’re okay with that.

What am I focusing on next? Working more on the craft of writing. Writing that puts life in lifestyle. As a freelancer, I create my own work/life balance that all companies say they tailor to but soon prove otherwise.

There's bound to be plenty more freak-outs, but now I know that starting over comes with a sense of freedom. It's that period of rebirth where anything is possible, and I'm determined to make the most of it.

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