Why Content Writing Isn’t For Everybody

frustrated writer with head and fist on desk

I remember when I first decided to start writing content, I believed the world would be my oyster. So many endless opportunities, there are businesses being incepted each day. Each one looking for a content writer or a copywriter to help them with burdening the content load. Today, content is King. If you don’t know that already I suggest you read any digital marketing article you can find on Google. I found that to position yourself into the content-creating world, where you don’t have that extensive background or experience, all you need is a go-getter attitude, a stomach for rejection, and a creative pen that never runs out of ink.

Sure enough as a writer, you’ll appreciate the feeling of having an individual acknowledge your writing. To the extent that they’re even willing to pay you to write for them. It’s a responsibility and privilege, unlike many others. However, that euphoria of recognition lasts for about a New York minute, then reality sinks in.

Businesses don't want content writers, they need them. While entrepreneurs are busy running around in a frantic frenzy trying to launch their business to the skies of success, in the meantime they want someone typing away, telling the world their story. It’s a noble job because you are the sole individual responsible for representing their brand and business. You need to bring your A-game, hitting every pain point out of the park. The tone of voice, the content, the writing, the tropes, the rhetoric, the literature, the persuasiveness, everything. It all falls on you. You slip with so much as one spelling mistake and it could cost the entire business and the brand.

And so, responsibility, pressure, instruction, orders, they tend to stifle creativity. Creativity in art is free-flowing. Like an open faucet, creativity flows. There is no structure to it. It’s the birth, or inception, of ideas and imagination oozing out of your mind into the real world. You are putting something out there for a person to pick up and ponder. Does it resonate or does it not? The onus is on them, not on you. Your job ends when the pen is picked up from the paper, and you live with the results.

But when it comes to content writing, and writing for businesses, that is not the case. You have a role to fulfill, a job to do. You are given lengthy instructions, short deadlines, daunting word counts. You must oblige and perform. Your creativity takes a backseat to your artistic prowess. Your ability to perform promptly trumps your passion for writing.

As with all things where money is involved, you must prioritize. Your passion versus your pursuit. Currency versus creativity.

It’s a harsh reality but it’s not all bad. There will be days where your writing will be heralded. Your punchlines serving knockouts. Your tropes trumping all. Your potency so precise, it’s applauded. Where you’ll be firing on all cylinders. Days where you will write with your eyes shut. Words flowing like a river, running down from your mind through your arms out from the tips of your finger. Oozing words, smashing word counts, defying protocol. Justified by your creative candor and your determination to create content that you know will resonate, will engage, and will invoke a reaction from whoever fucking reads it. All this emboldened by a feeling akin to that of being on top of the world.

And then there’ll be the days where you’re spewing shit out of your mouth.

Content writing and writing, in general, are not for the short-tempered. It’s not for the stubborn, the idealistic, or the impatient. But if you manage to get on the rollercoaster ride, and survive it in its entirety, without throwing up, or without losing an ear, then while it’s not meant for everybody, it is meant for you.

A freelance writer.

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