Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Even when I do my own prose -- the prose I get paid for -- what I do is take what other people wrote and reshape it for a new audience. I do a lot of contract work, mainly for health publications. So I spend a lot of time reading journals, distilling the information in them, and passing it on to another audience. Sometimes to health consumers, sometimes to clinicians. The clients I write for aren't interested in my opinions. And they aren't particularly interested in my voice. What they want is x number of words, at x reading level, with every statement documented from a reliable source and presented according to their particular style sheet. For doing this I get paid pretty well -- a lot more than I ever made as a teacher. This isn't my phrase, but I wish I had come up with it. Another freelancer who does work very similar to what I do, calls herself a writing whore. I prefer the term mechanic, but I know what she's talking about.