The week this article is being published marks my 2nd anniversary here at Associated Content that’s gone by so fast, it made my first anniversary pass by without any reflection last year from your time-obsessive writer. Well, consider that textual rumination I wrote last summer on writing 500 articles without having to enter a carpal clinic to take the place of reflecting the first anniversary. Now I’m closer to 1,000 articles being realized and, inexplicably, see that 500th article consistently ranked second on Google’s search engine when Googling up my oddly familiar (yet still extremely misspelled and misinterpreted) pen name.
For anniversary articles, though, it’s obviously best to reflect on where you came from, where you may be going and how many left turns are likely ahead.
Without being too autobiographical, I’d been an occasional freelance writer (and potential novelist) in other avenues after graduating in the mid 1990’s from college with a degree in Business Management. Writing was always relegated to a part-time job for a good decade before it hit me that the internet was going to be the future of freelance writing. Unfortunately, I didn’t do enough early homework to see that Associated Content was one of the leaders in jumpstarting that prospect already by 2005. Not until early 2007 did I seriously take a look at what that site called Associated Content was doing and decide to hop aboard to see what I could do there in creating a substantial online audience.
Ultimately, this place became very good for me with eventual generous gestures from within that perhaps I dare not mention here to prevent the impression I’ve been given any favorability over other writers. The truth is that I’ve managed to make a number of good friends within the friendly, hard-working AC staff, though still get commensurate treatment with all the other veteran writers here–pay and all. Nonetheless, my longtime amicable communication with familiar staff names Darnell and Tim Kane (as just two) enables getting errors corrected and gaining valuable feedback as a major headache removal. Plus, getting word last year that AC’s staff had been fans of my work for a long time made my mad dashes to write considerably more here worth the effort.
And, let’s not forget another major part of this big bubble called joy: Befriending some of the greatest writers AC has to offer. My friendship and business association with fellow writer Timothy Sexton alone has been more valuable than anybody here could comprehend. For those who follow this guy’s incredible and exhaustive work (yes, I do mean beyond his political pieces), you’d know that Tim has tirelessly and generously championed my own work since I first arrived. His writing, along with fellow writing peers/friends, Will Stape, Carol Bengle Gilbert, as just a few names, all fall under what you could easily label substantive writers.
I say that because they consistently craft each piece to emerge a strong point about something outside the confines of the main subject. That immediately attracted me to those writers when first signing up–mainly because I’d been long known for doing the same thing with everything I’d written, no matter how mundane the writing task.
If you don’t believe that there isn’t plenty of introspection from the start about the liabilities of such a thing in a freelance writing career, then keep reading…
While I admit that during the times I’ve attempted to write more within an extremely tight schedule, my sense of quality was arguably compromised on occasion. Tim, however, almost convinced me otherwise recently. Going back and reading my back articles here in recent weeks, I can see some things that turned out to be a miracle considering their rushed nature, and then a few others that were borderline disasters. But consider it what you will, I’ve always had an innate architectural approach to writing that enables a structure and a deep-seeded idea to spring forth in a way that’s always created a strong, compelling pull for me to sit down and put words to paper (or cyberspace).
When you do that, though, you’re demanding more of the average reader who may be more in the mood for looking up how to make wind chimes or who won “Dancing with the Stars.” The good news is that I’ve written about similar mundane things to prove myself capable–yet attempted to instill in them something meaningful so it wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill play by play of a subject.
There lies the mystery and perhaps confounding secrets to freelance writing on the net in the near future. Those of us in this career know that expanding freelance writing on the net means writing mostly how-to pieces and similar information-laden articles. Here at AC, I’ve been given the freedom to expand to extremely multi-layered philosophical territory that most online writers dare not go for obvious reasons. I nevertheless put the idea forth that I’ve still made them accessible so there isn’t a feel that you’re just reading a college-level textbook leaving the mainstream out of the fray.
It’s my fervent hope that you’ve appreciated that route I’ve taken and will continue to embrace it as I attempt to expand my freelance writing to other places on the net and through private clients in ensuing months. If there has to be an attempt at breaking rules, then perhaps infusing the mundane with something unexpectedly meaningful is the true way in continuing to be successful at this racket. This isn’t to say that every single day isn’t spent thinking about how many readers have been siphoned away with the assumption that if it’s too substantive, it’ll be inaccessible. I nevertheless thank all of you readers out there I don’t even know who try to prevent that from happening.
Finding the balance is where the art truly comes in and why I’ve long appreciated AC as being a platform where it can be done without an editor telling you to change it or be lined up along a metaphorical firing range. Even though Associated Content is currently in the middle of technical turmoil as I write this, here’s a suggestion to those outside readers to read the writers I mentioned above to prove how it can be done and why it should become diffuse on other emerging websites begging for talented freelance writers.
Beyond that, I’m looking ahead to future ruminations on the mundane reasons why I’ve written thousands of articles rather than having the worry of thinking substantive writing is tantamount to reader anathema.
I’ll report back in another year to let you know how that particular left turn turned out…