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Jack of all trades, master of…

As a freelance writer, I find that I am a jack of all trades and a master of very few. Part of becoming a successful writer is the ability to do research, digest information and spit it out in your own way with your own flair.

How well one does this can be a double-edged sword. Generally, I find that I enjoy subjects in spurts. This week it may be sky diving and next week it may be the naked mole rat. While in the throws of my subject du jour I tend to read, watch and digest all I can on the subject matter.

Once I’ve digested the info, I find an angle, provide information in an easy to read, user-friendly fashion and satisfy my daily, weekly or monthly passion. Once I’m done with it, I’m done.

Enter the Internet

Part of the problem with this type of writing is that I tend to leave most of what I know and understand about the temporary passion in the article and then move on. Unfortunately, once put on the internet it’s there forever.

More and more frequently I’m receiving emails asking for more information on different aspects of a long forgotten temporary passion. That’s not so bad, but at my age, when I forget something it’s truly forgotten.

Not wanting to appear rude, I tend to do some research on the subject matter hoping it will ignite a memory so that I can intelligently respond to the emailer’s question. Usually, I’m able to answer them satisfactorily, but I’ve got to take the time to re-research the issue.

Near and Dear to My HeartEmail

Subjects that are near and dear to my heart such as freelance writing, raising kids and saving money don’t require research time to answer emails. However, my ‘more info’ requests are on topics that I don’t live every day.

Oh well, I guess I should just realize that it’s part of the online freelance writing territory and learn to deal with it accordingly.

Wait…I have the answer. For those subjects that require a little research, my email autoresponder should read something like this: “Thank you for your query. Your query will be responded to in the order in which it was received. I thank you for your patience…your wait time is approximately…3 days.”

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Cassie Tuttle July 27, 2009, 5:04 pm

    You raise a good point, Felicia. And while I also consider myself a Jack of all trades, I know that I’m only an “expert” in a few. Thus, I limit what I write to those topics.

    My mantra is “write what you know, and write what you’re passionate about.”

    It’s all about focus. My life (outside of what I write and blog about) is chaotic enough without opening the door to more chaos. That’s why I think it’s important that I master just a few subjects and limit myself to writing about those topics.

    Naturally, a lot of things interest me, and I learn something new every day. But I don’t feel the need to write about all of those things.

    Keep on learning, and keep on writing! 🙂

    • Felicia July 27, 2009, 6:35 pm

      Cassie, you’re a wise woman!

      I wish I hand known you a couple of years ago. Oh well, I guess the inquisitive emails come along with the territory.

      I’ll keep learning and I’ll keep writing (about what I know). 🙂

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