It does help to have natural talent, and ability to touch type and know basic grammar. It also helps to read everything that you come across to build up an encyclopedic knowledge, so a natural predisposition to studying anything anyway is useful.
You also need to have a thick rhino hide and ignore the voice at the back of your head that is insistent that whatever you’ve just written is awful and accept that it’s good (and it usually does come across to me as good after a couple of days).
Oh, and you have, above all, to be able to handle the stress and vagaries of life and still produce, day in, day out. That’s worth more than $5. I’m not working today. I have that option; but I’ve also lost the weekend off. It’s worth it. But I’m still writing… and reading… and learning.
My prices are high because goddammit, I’m worth every penny and more besides. Your issue is more that you’re probably worrying too much and asking questions when what you need to do is read, write and learn. I can knock out a quality article on just about anything in 10 minutes without research. Within reason; up to 400 words, lets say. Read the brief, think for a few minutes, write. If you write for long enough, you know the structure and the stuff that makes it work.
I had one client recently who… well, it was a business letter. They went for my bestselling gig. It was a business letter of introduction. Pretty dry stuff, pretty dry brief. That’s fine. I wrote it. I made a template with the address-for $25 (100 words), they actually got 250 plus some extras.
“My admin could do this, it’s OK, but this isn’t exciting me”. Well, piss off then. Have a refund because I cannot be arsed to deal with your stupid bs and the shitty review that’s going to follow. You asked for a business introduction letter, you got one. Had you said “make it awful marketing copy” I would have delivered that.
I’ve lost $200 this week to people like this. Look at my reviews. It’s not like I target specific people for awful writing–everyone gets the same amount of care. I know how to make this work. The problem is THEM. And right now, I do not have the energy I usually do to bat them over the head, so refunds it is–and I know how to write that refund note so I’m doing them a favor; one person even thanked me for my “professionalism” (that was after telling me that I was not using professional words in the copy and he expected a higher level of, I don’t know, bs. I mean, I don’t know if a word like “easy” is regarded as unprofessional or not by you guys, and I’d written similar copy for another guy who praised the greatness of the work).
I need a vacation… lol. Oh well… maybe next week. Crazy ppl plz leave me alone.