Newsflash: The World is Now Filled With Writing "Experts" / by Dana Wood

So much has happened since the summer of 2010, the last time I semi-poked around for writing work.

That June, I - along with a fleet of staffers up and down the masthead, both high-level and low - had just gotten pushed out of W during an Editor In Chief "replacement." (Grrrr times a trillion...the saddest chapter in that storied publication's long history.)

But luckily - or perhaps because I'd glimpsed the writing on the proverbial wall - I already had plenty of side projects on my plate. Earlier that year, I'd published my Momover book, and I was busy getting off the ground. Up until that time, the digital version of Momover lived on the website. But when Conde Nast shuttered Cookie in the fall of 2009, the DotCom piece of the puzzle went bye-bye too. 

In addition to all that, I'd committed to writing two book proposals for clients, and they couldn't have been more different. One was totally in my expertise wheelhouse - beauty. The other was very "dude." It was for a dude client on a very dude topic and I have to say that I learned a lot while writing that proposal, and it kinda came out fantastic. 

Behold my very first "shelfie." 

Behold my very first "shelfie." 

For complex reasons that exceed the scope of this blog post, neither client pushed forward with those proposals sufficiently to land a deal. But I stand by them utterly, and would tweak them and trot 'em back out in a heartbeat if my clients' situations change. 

Anyway, I kept on trucking with all manner of writing projects before landing my next full-time staff gig - as Beauty Director of BRIDES - in early 2012. Back I went to the mother ship, Conde Nast. 

Now here I am again, circa fall 2014, gigging again. And in that four-year chunk of time, a lot of people, no matter what type of credentials they sport, have apparently decided they want to write for a living. 

The Competition = Fierce. 

Alongside all these starry-eyed, would-be journalists, an entire cottage industry has sprung up to serve them. I'm struggling with what to call this new group of players, because I'm not sure whether an actual term has been coined....Writing Career Coaches? They aren't really writing tutors, per se; from what I can glean, they aren't in the business of teaching anyone how to write.

Rather, they help all (allllllllllllllllll) the starving writers out there navigate the choppy gig seas. Marketing one's work the best, most efficient, way possible is the carrot they dangle in all the online seminars and ebooks they're selling. 

And the punchline is...: I want to hire one. Despite my little mountain of published clips, my CV packed with magazine staff jobs, and the book under my belt, I know I still have so very much to learn.