Doreen is a well-rounded freelance writer who contributes to blogs, paid-to-write sites and revenue sharing sites. Doreen is legally blind and has worked at home for more than 15 years. Lessons learned help enhance her writing and hopefully provide useful information to others.
Hello Doreen and welcome to Friday’s Stars. It is a pleasure to have you at this interview. Please tell our readers something about yourself and about your writing.
Hello Chris, nice to be with you. My name isDoreen Martel. I like to write about financial topics, work-at-home topics and online scams. I like the freedom to write at my own pace.
It isn’t unusual for writers to recall the first time they sat at their desk to write? What about you? Was there any special motivation?
No, I can’t really describe it, it was so much of an accident! The first time I wrote was due to encouragement from a group leader for an online course I was taking about how to deal with disabilities during an interview.
Do you usually find your ideas on your own or you follow your clients’ guidelines?
I really do prefer when clients provide me with a group of keywords or titles to work from. This makes writing much easier for me. I am not particularly adept at creating titles though when given my druthers, I find writing about new home buyer’s tips the easiest to write and I can come up with hundreds of ideas about that.
Are there special topics that you prefer to write about?
It’s not quite that easy! I would say about 30 percent of my writing has to do with mortgages, 25 percent is about various legal topics, 10 percent about jobs and careers and the balance is about how to avoid online scams.
Doreen, many fellow writers face a writer’s block. So, I wonder: does this sound familiar to you?
Not particularly. I do have days when I’m less motivated to write and when that occurs, I simply elect to work on editing or on micro-tasks. This keeps my writing fresh as well.
Are there any challenges that you possibly face as a writer?
Yes, I am legally blind and that is challenging in itself. Some days I have to depend on technology to write and to read my writing back to me. The other major challenge is making sure I stick to the genre of writing that is easiest for me: For example, I am terrible at “sales” material.
With your experience and dedication, would it be right to consider yourself an expert in your field?
This depends on what you consider my field. On mortgages and mortgage markets, the answer is YES! I am definitely an expert in this field. As far as legal topics, I am not an expert by any means, but I do love researching legal subjects.
Here’s a question that I enjoy receiving responses to. If a publisher were to review your work, how do you think they will grade you on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best?
Probably between 6 and 7. I have hundreds of reviews online from clients who have graded my work as met or exceeded their expectations. However, my “scope” of writing is fairly limited, I don’t do PR copy and there are some topics that I simply will not touch. When I factor these in, I see it as between 6 and 7 for those reasons.
And how would you rate your quality of writing from 1 to 10?
Most likely between 6 and 7. I have deliberately limited my writing to legal, business and finance. Because of this, I’m not a particularly well-rounded writer. I couldn’t write a press release if my life depended on it. However, when it comes to quality, I always strive for perfection. I sometimes fall short of that but then, that’s the goal. I tend to think that quality is far more important than quantity and because of that, I am always tough when reviewing my work.
What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Frankly, I do not feel qualified to give any advice to an aspiring writer. I write out of necessity, not for the love of it! While I do enjoy what I do, it’s more because there are so many limitations on what I can do and this is a great way for me to expand my knowledge and make a living too.
Finally, how do you see yourself in the years ahead?
I am looking forward to expanding my private client base and I’m enjoying the vast freedom that freelance writing provides me.
Thank you Doreen, for this wonderful interview! I really enjoyed talking to you! Good luck in your future endeavors. Here’s looking forward to even more productive writing.
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