Maybe you heard the news. It’s a fact that 7% of American adults, roughly 17.3 million people, think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. If you are among those 17.3 million, read no further . . .
You’re probably wondering how the brown cow theory relates to freelance writing. Well, let me tell you! A surprising number of adults have no idea what a freelance writer does, and trying to explain it to them is like digging one’s self into a deep, deep hole.
I cringe whenever someone introduces me: “This is my friend, Jean. She’s a writer.”
Here’s what happens next.
“What do you write?” someone asks.
(I begin digging.)
“I’m a freelance writer.”
(I’m up to my ankles now.)
“I write mostly nonfiction for Christian publishers.”
There’s a pregnant pause. Then someone asks, “What are your stories about?”
(I’m in up to my knees.) “I don’t often write stories. I mostly write nonfiction—devotionals, books of prayers, things like that . . .” (I’m up to my waist now, and the person who introduced me is long gone. I’m in this alone.)
“So, where do you get the ideas for what you write?”
(I return their blank stare, and I pause–pregnantly. ) “The editors I work for give me some ideas about they want me to write, and then I create a manuscript . . .”
(Ouch! I shouldn’t have gone there. I’ve dug myself in up to my neck.)
“Oh, you write scripts! Do you write plays? Do you write scripts for movies? Have you written anything famous?”
(Good grief! I’m in over my head!)
“No. No . . . I’m kind of like a reporter. I get assignments to write something, and then I write it . . .”
(I’m dug in so deep now that I hear my voice echoing.)
“I WRITE! I JUST WRITE!!!
Freelancers, does this sound familiar? What do you say when someone introduces you: “This is my friend. He/she is a writer”?
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