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Writing For The Fearful
By Karen Braynard
November, 2006, 14:40

Another person's fear of writing can turn out to be your next rent check.
If your experiences are anything like mine, when people first learn that you are a writer by trade, they give you one of two looks Ė the jealous look that says they think you lead a glamorous life of creativity and inspiration; or the look of distaste, which means theyíre wondering how on earth anyone could want to write on purpose. If you play your cards right, the latter can lead to paying gigs.
People have several different reasons for not wanting to do their own writing, but one of the primary obstacles is that theyíre simply afraid. And overcoming a fear of writing is really not very high on most peopleís list of things to do. Lucky for us, their need for good writing often outweighs their desire to overcome their fear of writing.

As Iíve mentioned in past articles (ed. note: search Braynard in our Archives), thereís a whole world out there, beyond the magazines, looking for writers. As writers, we often take for granted the ease and ability we have to string words together. And, if you primarily write for magazines, you face rejection so often that youíre beyond letting that get in your way. This can be your ticket into various types of writing.
Iíve landed numerous assignments writing for people who have something to say, but are fearful to say it themselves. Whether it's web copy, business-to-business advertising, or ghost writing articles or books, thereís money in their hesitation. Using this fear is not taking advantage of the fearful, itís simply helping them find a way around the obstacle instead of overcoming it. After all, not everyone even has the time, let alone the desire, to sit down and write.
When meeting potential clients Ė and practically everyone is a potential client Ė make sure that you mention youíre a writer. Donít be shy to let them know that you are available to write business copy and that you can even ghost write articles for trade journals. They may have thought of writing for trade journals in their profession but were hesitant to do so. Let them know itís a common occurrence for a professional to hire a writer to put their own thoughts into coherent copy. Of course, realize that you are then a work for hire and your name will not appear anywhere.
Another avenue to pursue is offering to write web content for small business owners. The larger web design firms charge a lot to do this, and if your fees arenít too inflated, then you could actually help a small business owner save money by hiring you instead of the marketing/design firm.
And, another avenue, one that Iím currently toying with, is to create a seminar to present to business groups like the local chamber of commerce, to help them overcome their fear of writing. This might actually broaden your client base, and you can charge a fee for your presentation as well. Unless, that is, youíre afraid to speak in public.

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Karen Braynard, a corporate writer and journalist, has enjoyed published success in several newspapers and magazines.  Thanks to her growing list of business clientele, she is now developing writing workshops to help her clients learn how to write for themselves, with Impact and Results!ô.  Learn more at or email  A networker at heart, Karen would love to hear from you.

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