Notes from a content content provider
When first discussed by PWAC members there was some dissention in the ranks on this question. The argument, which I admit to initially agreeing with, went like this: We are professional non-fiction writers; we don’t just fill the blank spaces for our editors and publishers; we provide carefully crafted information designed to engage, enlighten, entertain, and give context. Should that be reduced to content provider?
I’ve come to accept and even embrace that term now, as have many colleagues. In fact Dawn Boshcoff renamed and repositioned her writing business to do just that—provide content. Many of my colleagues have successfully advanced their writing business to include content writing for a variety of online publications in addition to writing for magazines and newspapers, and doing corporate copywriting. Some write books and use social media and other online sites to write about their work. We provide content to engage, enlighten, entertain and give context and we do it well.
Too numerous to mention here, these are successful working writers. I join their ranks as a content provider and hope I’ll be equally successful. We populate these new media as never before because that’s what writers do—we write. And we want to be published whether in online or print media.
At an event organized by PWAC’s Ottawa chapter Peggy Blair talked about a long and sometimes painful journey getting her first book, The Beggar’s Opera, published. It was discouraging to hear her admit she’d lost the passion for writing, and is now building another career as a real estate agent. (She’d had a successful law career, then became a novelist, and is now a realtor—now there’s a story!) Her publishing contract includes a second book, already written, and an option for a third. She’s learned a lot along the way and, if that third book is picked up, I hope she’ll rediscover the joy of creative writing. (Thank you Paul Lima for that line) Maybe what Peggy Blair has learned is that she needs to provide the right content at the right time to the right client and it will all work out.
That’s what keeps me in this game of writing—the fact that it all does work out, and will continue to. I’m quite content being called a content provider. It fuels my passionate journey in writing, and it pays a few bills along the way.
Are you a writer or do you have other creative pursuits? Do you see yourself as a content provider or something more?