(On 16th November, 2016, Writers Guild Kenya, Moi University Chapter held a Discussion with Wr. Daniel Nyairo. Below are few excerpts from the Conversation)
You need passion first to even describe yourself as a writer. But you need money to live on as a writer.
One sacrifice you have to make is to create time to learn. The moment you start thinking of yourself as a good writer, it is the moment you stop being one.
Create time to learn the craft of writing and inspiring people with words. Read a lot of books and blog posts on writing. Watch a lot of videos on writing. Listen to podcasts on writing. Do many online courses on writing.
Don’t hesitate to spend time and money to make yourself a better writer.
Do you transcribe?
No, I don’t do any other thing other than writing. But I have friends who transcribe. And the most successful of them are those that don’t write on the side. They’ve concentrated on transcription until they’ve become experts.
If you want to succeed in writing I will recommend you stick only to it. Even better, choose a narrow niche to write on.
How much can you earn from writing in a month?
“I know of a guy (not Kenyan) who makes up to Ksh 5 million from writing for clients on Upwork. That depends from person to person. It depends with the quality you give in exchange and where you source your clients.
I won’t tell you how much I make, but I make enough to pay my bills. Hint: my hourly rate on Upwork is $31 and my fixed rate is $15 per 100 words.
Where do I start from if I am interested in online Writing?
Create a profile on any of the following sites and start reaching out to clients:
Have the genuine commitment to learn and work to improve.
What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is growing my skills. Most people don’t realize that to become a writer you need years of training and practice.
Unfortunately there are not many places you can go to train writing in writing. You are lucky you are in a caring platform like Writers Guild Kenya where resources are availed to you. Make good use of them.
How easy is it to get clients?
For beginners it isn’t easy. With patience though and working on your craft you can convince someone to hire you.
What books would you recommend for someone beginning in Writing?
The following books are good for you.
For fiction writers, I recommend James Scot Bell’s books. Especially ‘Write Your Novel from the Middle’ and ‘Super Structure’. Also read Lisa Cron’s ‘Wired for Story.’
For those who write creative non-fiction, read ‘Made to Stick’ by Cheap and Dan Heath, ‘The Psychology Influence of Persuasion’ by Robert Cialdini and ‘Everybody Writes’ by Ann Handley. Also read ‘The Complete Guide to Article Writing’ by Naveed Saleh and ‘Writing Feature Stories’ by Matthew Ricketson.
The world is desperately looking for quality writers. Sadly, many claim to be writers, but they haven’t taken time to look at their quality. The world has no place for a below average writer, but it is ready to pay quality writers as much as they aim at.
A choice for you to make.
(Prepared by Rumona Apiyo; Chapters Cordinator; Writers Guild Kenya): Contact Daniel firstname.lastname@example.org
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