If you’re thinking about getting into a writing career, there are literally dozens of writer jobs out there from which to choose.
Creative writing, article writing, blogging, and copywriting to name just a few.
Today, we chat to Celia Belgraver, a copywriter, to find out a bit more on what she does and why she loves her writer job.
Let’s chat to Celia…
What is your job title?
Freelance copywriter editor, proofreader and translator
How long have you been in this role?
I’ve worked freelance since March 2002.
What are your working hours?
Flexible. Whatever I allow or choose them to be. Depends on how much work I take on, the complexity of the work and therefore how long an assignment will take and also the deadline. Sometimes I have to work after hours, over weekends and public holidays but I also get to take time off during the week.
What qualifications and/or experience landed you this position?
I have a 4-year B. Journ majoring in English and Journalism and a Master’s in Journalism and Media Studies both from Rhodes. I did the MA part-time about ten years after leaving university.
What can someone expect to earn in this position?
It depends on various things, for example their fee and how much clients are willing to pay for their service. The income is not stable, can be affected by public and school holidays, and whether one does repeating assignments such as daily, weekly or monthly writing, editing or proofing, or mostly once-off jobs.
On a scale of 1 – 10, what is your daily stress level on the job?
It varies. My stress level is influenced by my workload, the complexity of the assignment, how tight the deadline is and whether I get multiple requests from regular clients in a short pace of time. Trying to keep everyone happy and meet multiple deadlines can be stressful, yet I get it right. What can be stressful for any freelance is clients who are slow to pay. Having to haggle after the work has been delivered is tedious.
Describe a typical working day.
Check my email, continue with an existing assignment or start on a new one if something has come in. Do admin work, read the newspaper and news sites, check into the social media to keep track of what is trending.
What benefits does this job have for you in terms of your ultimate career goal?
I work for diverse clients and therefore am always learning. Because of my work I am always expanding my general knowledge. Working from home and working the hours that I do enables me to spend time with my husband who works irregular hours.
What is the company culture like?
I have no employees but my three Yorkshire Terriers go to the office with me, by choice. The doors to my office open onto the garden, so instead of telephones I hear the chattering of birds while I work.
What are you most proud about, or what is your biggest accomplishment?
I love it when I deliver on a challenging brief and my client is delighted.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to work in media and communication?
Consider getting a qualification and gain experience by doing an internship, joining a cadet programme, or working with a mentor, if you can. Learn from you peers. Build up contacts and join relevant associations.
Don’t be precious about your work. Know and accept that it will be criticised.
Learn to read your work with a high critical eye before you submit it. Be committed to meeting deadlines, be organised, meticulous, self-motivated and self-disciplined, be curious and keep on learning.
To be a freelance you must be self-motivated, disciplined and comfortable with your own company.
What do you do in your spare time?
Sport, gardening, savour wine, watch TV.
Photo credit: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot, freedigitalphotos.net
Cecilia has loved words all her life and made a living playing with them, reading
them, tweaking them and working with them for over 20 years. Words come
naturally, numbers don’t.
She worked in corporate communication as an editor, writer and translator for
12 years before going freelance. Clients are big and small, are from the private
and public sectors and assignments are diverse.
Her feature writing has appeared in niche magazines, her tweets appear daily
under the name @Celiabelgraver