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John Kunney

Reading, writing, and performing research is a chore. It's like me with my two acre lawn. I would rather pay someone to mow it for me than to do it myself. But for the amount of money my lawn service charged I could have used it for a car payment. So I decided to stop paying my lawn service and do it myself.

Corporate America has the same attitude about writing, research, and communication. No one really wants to do it internally, but they will pay someone good money to do these things for them. But unlike me with the lawn service they won't give in and do it for themselves. They have way too much on their plates when it comes to tasks to accomplish. They will always pay someone to do it for them.

For instance people like engineers. They are specialists at designing new systems, products, and IT. But they lack the time and the skill to write how to use, install, remove, or repair their products. This also applies to businesses that engage in sales to major clients. In order for the sale to be made a proposal must be written and presented to the customer. This can only be executed by someone whose writing, reading and research skills are top notch. In other words these companies and clients are going to depend on people like me and you.

Keep in mind that business writing (no matter what field) is in constant demand every year and companies will need very talented writers to carry out the task at hand. The question you should ask yourself is do you want to work full-time or do you want to be a freelancer.

As a full-timer employee you’ll dedicate yourself to one company and make a career within that institution while climbing the ladder to your success. It does pay well and you will be provided benefits, but you won’t make as much money working full-time as you would as a freelancer like me. We tend to get paid more. However, we’re in charge of acquiring and maintaining our own benefits like health care because we’re considered self-employed. Also the work we do for our clients can last anywhere from one month to 12 months or longer. After which your assignment will end and then you’ll have to find a new client. Hopefully you’ll already have a substantial amount of money in your savings to live without work for a while (which I call the extended vacation) before your start work again.

Now in regards to the matter of a paycheck. Make sure that one of your writing jobs pays by the hour while you pursue the other that doesn't, namely creative writing. I'm a creative writer who is still trying to write that best seller, but I'm not getting paid by the hour to produce it. However my primary job (freelance technical writer) no matter what phase of the writing process I'm in, I’m always get paid by the hour even if I'm not finished with the manual I'm drafting.

As for the pay itself you will be compensated well enough to get by. Working in the technical writing industry one can make anywhere between 50 to over 100K a year. Proposal and SQL Report writing you can make even more. But keep in mind that this is after you had at least five years’ experience.

When the economy crashed in 2008, it had very little effect on my writing career. The longest I was without work was five months. But then I made a change to freelancing and now my average time without work is two the three months. But I really consider this gap my vacation between jobs. If you have an emergency fund that can last between six months to a year, you'll be just fine until your next client.

Answered 2 years ago

John Kunney