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Lead Your Team Personal Growth

7 Writers Share What They Love (and Hate) Most About Their Jobs

7 Writers Share What They Love (and Hate) Most About Their Jobs
Credit: Masson/Shutterstock

Have you ever dreamed of publishing a book, creating plot twists for your favorite television shows or traveling the world while reporting the news?

Many people consider a career in writing to be a fun, exciting job — and it definitely can be. But just like with any other job, there are downsides. While most writers and journalists would agree that it's a creative and fulfilling career path, writing professionally and working in the media can also be stressful and frustrating.

Business News Daily asked seven writers in different fields to share their career stories and discuss what they love and hate about their jobs. Here's what they had to say.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Samantha Escobar: I'm the beauty editor of GoodHousekeeping.com, so I write and edit content relating to hair, makeup and lifestyle topics.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Escobar: My absolute favorite feeling is when somebody tells me I've helped them. Yesterday, a woman messaged me to say that an article I wrote got her to finally give up biting her nails, which she says changed her life. Teen girls have emailed me, asking for advice, which is unbelievably flattering. And I often feel afraid to let them down, but the desire to be both informative and assistive gives me incentive to constantly be looking for ways to improve my work.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Escobar: The reaction people have when they hear I work on the Internet can get annoying. Typically, they say, "Oh, so you're a blogger? Does that mean you work at home? But what's your real job — what do you do for money?" Well, I write four articles a day, work at the Hearst office and pay New York rent. Of course I have a real job. Working online as a woman also has its pitfalls, though. At my previous job, I got a fair amount of hate mail, often featuring gender-based insults and occasional violent imagery. At first, it's stressful, but eventually, it just gets very exhausting.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Anne Toole: I'm a freelance screenwriter for video games, comic books, TV, Web series and animation. I've been nominated for a Writers Guild Award for my work on a game called "The Witcher," and I've written for an Emmy-winning Web series called "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries."

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Toole: I love the idea of bringing a smile to someone's face, or making them laugh. I like the idea that I've given people something to look forward to, or an excuse to connect with friends, old and new. Since I work in heavily digital media, I love getting a physical copy of something I worked on, whether it be a comic book or a pen-and-paper adventure. As a freelancer, I also enjoy the variety of projects I get to work on, and the opportunity to travel and work with clients all over the world. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Toole: Where to begin? As a freelancer, I'm not in love with the never-ending need to market, network and do outreach to line up my next project. [I'm] not a fan of the endless to-do list, either. Somehow, the writing I need to do for myself always ends up on the bottom of the list. I also hate the question, "Have I seen/played anything you wrote?" I never ask an accountant if I've worked with any of his clients.

[Working from Home: 5 Tips From a Writer Who Does It ]

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Shawn Binder: I'm an editorial writer and editor for Guff.com in Los Angeles, California. I write creative nonfiction essays about my life, and my first collection, "Everything Is Embarrassing" (Thought Catalog, 2014), is out now. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Binder: What I love most about my job is that every day is unique. I'm always coming into work with the mind-set that I'm going to be doing something completely out of my element, and it has pushed me to be a better writer. I'm working with some of the best comedians in Los Angeles, so being in [an] environment where everyone is so creative and hilarious has been amazing.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Binder: What I dislike most about my job is that it is a pretty stationary job where I sit at a computer all day, so if I don't get up and move, I feel like I'm becoming a lump. I have to constantly remind myself to get up from my desk and stay active.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Rebecca Hiscott: I'm a writer and editor for the American Academy of Neurology publications "Neurology Today," a newspaper for neurologists; and "Neurology Now," a magazine for patients with neurologic conditions. I also freelance, writing mainly about health and science, most recently for the website ATTN:.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Hiscott: I used to tell people my dream job would be to somehow get paid to be a student for the rest of my life. I loved taking classes on highly specialized topics, [like] a yearlong course on Shakespeare, and writing dense, complicated papers that I could barely parse a year later. [I loved] learning new things, diving deep into a topic I knew nothing about and coming out the other side feeling more knowledgeable and more able to disseminate that knowledge. And that's what journalism is: You go into a story knowing very little, and if you do your research and talk to the right sources, you come out the other side having learned something totally new. Right now, I'm working on an article about obsessive-compulsive disorder, for instance, and last night, I spent half an hour on the phone with a friend explaining the neurobiology of OCD. Luckily, he was very indulgent.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Hiscott: When I was interning and working at more mainstream publications, I came across a lot of big egos — people who think they're changing the world with every blog post. Don't get me wrong — good journalism absolutely can change the world, [but] I think it's so important to have a sense of humor about the more ridiculous parts of this industry and not become a total media snob. Fortunately, because my current job is more removed from the mainstream media, people are more down-to-earth. When you spend all day talking to and writing about people who are literally curing brain diseases, you tend not to take yourself too seriously. The other part of being a writer/journalist that I find incredibly frustrating is the constant self-promotion. When I started grad school, I almost never used Twitter. I followed maybe 20 people. But from the first day of class onward, our professors stressed how important it was to become a personality and a resource on Twitter [and] to create a personal brand in order to stand out in an increasingly saturated and competitive field. It was great advice, but it also sucks that this is an accepted and expected part of the job. I've become much more obsessed with how many people favorite and retweet my inane thoughts than I'd like to admit.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Glynnis Campbell: I'm a USA Today best-selling author of historical romances. I work from home.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Campbell: I enjoy creating relatable characters and playing literary matchmaker 
with them. I love being able to bring readers along on the journey, where it feels like they're sharing the adventure, laughing and crying and worrying along with me. It's a powerful gift, being able to touch people emotionally with words.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Campbell: The stationary aspect of writing, combined with the proximity of the refrigerator, can be lethal. When I'm in the zone and typing away, hours can pass where I don't move from a spot. When I'm not in the zone and struggling with a scene, it's tempting to pop up for a snack every few minutes. It's a challenge to maintain a healthy balance between producing books and staying fit. 

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Aly Walansky: I am based in New York, and I work full time as a freelancer writer. I mostly focus on lifestyle, including travel, beauty and food.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Walansky: For the most part, I love my job. I meet tons of interesting people, and I 
have endless exciting experiences. I feel like, being a writer — an independently employed one at that — is akin to spending the rest of your life in college: You are always learning.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Walansky: [It] always feels a bit like finals week. You have deadlines in every course, every day, and no one really is interested in what you have going on in that other class; they only care that you get your stuff done in theirs. It's often stressful. [There are] days I spend hours at a time staring at my email, waiting on that email I need with that info I need to get a story finished. There's a whole lot of hurry-up-and-wait, and I'm always afraid to leave my desk for fear of a missed opportunity, or lead, or edit, or rewrite. I take my computer on days out with friends. I haven't traveled without one in years. People see what I do as "not a real job" and yet, I never stop working. Still, my work has taken me all over the world, and each day, I learn something new and exciting.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Kelly Gurnett: I'm a freelance blogger and editor in Buffalo, New York. I write blog posts under my own name, and also ghostwrite and edit posts for clients on a wide variety of topics, [including] lifestyle, design, careers, productivity [and] personal finance.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Gurnett: I love that I'm able to make a living by using my love of words to turn sometimes boring topics into engaging and interesting pieces. I love that every day is different and each assignment gives me a chance to learn something new. I also love the flexibility I get from being a freelancer — being able to work on my own terms and according to my own schedule.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Gurnett: It can be exhausting to have a job that relies so much on your own creativity. There are plenty of days where I wish I worked in a widget factory and I could just show up, turn off my brain and do rote work that doesn't require me to be on my game at all times. I also hate the fact that so much of my mental and emotional energy goes towards client work each day, because I have my own writing projects, [like] my blog [and] a book I'm writing, that I wish I could devote more time towards, but at the end of the day, I'm usually tapped out. 

Brittney Helmrich
Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.