Writer Experienced with Forklifts Wanted

©2014 Wendy Scheuring


A while ago, I came upon this online ad for a writer:

Writer Experienced with Forklifts Wanted

 I am looking to hire the services of a freelance writer who has some form of experience with forklifts.  The writer will showcase his or her knowledge of operating a forklift by providing unique and informative articles. Please reply with details about your experience.

Compensation:  Negotiable

At first, I let out a laugh because the ad was so limiting.  Immediately a couple of funny scenarios came to mind, such as bakers needing nuclear engineering experience, or scuba divers needed with cosmetology experience.  I surmised that it would be quite difficult to find someone with expertise in two unrelated fields.

But then I came back to the premise of the original ad:  that writers with specific experience in a subject area are more qualified than those who don’t.

But, is this necessarily true?

Having experience in a given area could be a double-edged sword. Those with knowledge in a certain field may already have formed their own opinions about the subject matter and be less open to what the client actually wants to say.

And, the underlying assumption that writers who know their subject matter ignores one simple thing:  That the act of writing is not actually the first thing that a writer does!

A writer listens before he or she begins writing to “get the story.”

Then, as the process continues, the writer begins to shape ideas into words as he or she confers with the client. It is an ongoing process where writers must constantly adapt as they sift through conversations and interviews and written documents and research to mine the most important facts and details.  That’s when the client’s ideas begin to blend with the writer’s gift of verbiage, creating a truly collaborative work.

So rather than looking for a writer with forklift experience, or a horseback rider with tree cutting experience, or a sea cucumber gatherer with skiing experience, look for a writer who knows how to ask questions, a writer who knows how to connect the dots, a writer with discernment, and most of all, a writer who understands who you are and what your message is, and will not be afraid to write it!


4 thoughts on “Writer Experienced with Forklifts Wanted

  1. Writing on what we know also creates other problems. I discovered that writing about my past as an attorney often found me leaving out details I assumed all would know. I am learning quickly, however, that it is much easier to become an expert on a topic than one may realize.
    What a great post!

    • You’ve made an excellent point. Once we become experts in a certain field, we tend to forget what we had to learn to get there! Thanks for your valuable comment!

  2. I completely agree with your post! I actually find inexperience with a subject matter to be far more valuable, because you approach a subject as a novice, and ask the questions that readers would ask. This has resulted in more informative, approachable pieces. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for your comment, Sharon! After years of working as a journalist, and having acquired interview “know-how,” this is the most common sense approach to me too! Once, you become an “expert” in your field, it becomes more difficult to see your industry from a newcomer’s pair of eyes!

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