Story by Skip Press
I knew I’d be a writer when I was seven.
One autumn day, coming home from my friend Diane’s house, I saw the wind whip up leaves from the street and swirl them through the air and I thought, “This will be a great life.” In that instant I think my future was locked in. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a writer’s mind. Many moments turned into something I could write about.
Writing lets me express the things that matter to me. When I write instructive books, I get to help a lot of people, mostly aspiring writers. With editing, my clients get to see their work expressed more clearly. Often they don’t even need me the next time because my editing is instructive. So I love seeing people become more able.
In 1977 I went on a game show and won $14,000 in cash and prizes (and a new car!). Because of that lucky break, I could afford to start my career.
The first non-fiction book I sold was based on a course I taught at UCLA Extension Writers Program called “How To Write What You Want & Sell What You Write.” That book has been selling in some form for 20 years and is about many types of writing, all of which I’ve had some financial success creating. Given my experiential track, I can pretty much handle any need of any client.
I’ve found Thumbtack to be an excellent source, but you have to be fast to get a quote in! Still, I’ve gotten most of my new clients from Thumbtack since I started participating in the service. I wrote a book about Craigslist and used to get quite a lot of jobs from that site, but with Thumbtack (my five-star reviews help) and similar sites I stay very busy. I also have a number of clients find me via my books, website, or word of mouth.
Tips for New Pros
Collect good reviews as quickly as you can. Use the Thumbtack app and have a standard message you can use quickly. Get set up to receive notices, whether on a cell or email, and check them as soon as they come in.
Thumbtack has made it much easier for me to find interesting clients and I’ve gotten to know some great people as a result. I love having my own writing business because it’s the only job I know where I can sit in my bathrobe in the morning and not worry about what my clients think!