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Are Writers Evolving To or From the Academic Research Field?

Major 39 | 1,393 ☆☆☆  
Aug 27, 2017 | #1
I've been wondering about the careers of academic freelance writers / editors. Is this line of work an early or a final 'career destination' to most of them? It'd be interesting to know how many percent of 'academic writers' have started their online writing careers as an 'academic' writer/researcher versus those who evolved from a different niche (eg. content / advertising / creative).

I personally think only the most talented writers may be successful in the serious academic research field and new or inexperienced writers may be better off starting as content writers than starting as academic research writers. Too many new writers assume that the academic research field is easy (well, it may be if you copy-paste or paraphrase stuff instead of doing actual in-depth research and custom writing). What's your view on that (from experience ;)?
Smiley73 4 | 428 ☆☆☆  
Aug 27, 2017 | #2
Truth be told, I did not even know about the academic writing field when I graduated with an English degree. I fancied myself a potential copywriter for an ad agency since I had some family connections that could have helped me enter that field. After searching for work for about a year, I ended up as a production assistant for a concert and special events producer. It was good work that found me hobnobbing with some of the notable names in the field of arts and music. The most memorable experience I had in this field was working with the Vienna Boys Choir when they performed at a Christmas concert produced by the company I was working for. Eventually, I moved on to script writing for the same company before I finally quit because the schedule was so rigorous, I was burned out physically and emotionally spent. It was during this time that I started writing short stories and novels which were picked up for publication online.

It was during this time when I began seeing targeted ads on Google about starting an "academic writing career". I found myself piqued and made a few inquiries at a few companies. A few tests and account creation procedures later, I found myself hired by the 3 companies that I applied to. I then moved from company to company, trying to find the best employer out there (easier said than done) and finally settled at one company. Eventually though, I began to feel restless again and tried to find a new career path. That is when I found myself in the academic consultancy business, which is my current career description. I find myself quite happy in this particular business. It is something that I evolved into because of my long term experience in the events production field as well as being an academic writer and researcher.

So, based upon my experience, I don't consider academic research and writing as a final career destination. It is only one of the many steps towards evolving in this particular field. After gaining ample , relevant, and important, experience, one will be qualified for more demanding and highly specialized jobs in the field of academic research and writing. This is the main reason that I am no longer interested in gaining writing clients. It is not my cup of tea because I am already beyond that field of work. I am now a specialized academic consultant. I am just at this forum whiling my time away from my current work.
OP Major 39 | 1,393 ☆☆☆  
Aug 28, 2017 | #3
Judging on your comments here, I can tell you earned your English degree with honors :) I wonder if there's money in short stories or even novels; these days it may be easy to publish (especially online), but I'd be wary about the actual number of sales without professional advertising (which would likely cost more than the profit from sales).
Writer4U    - | 6   Freelance Writer
Aug 28, 2017 | #4
Academic writing is never easy, mainly because it is not just paraphrasing some content downloaded from the net neither it is just a description of a place of product. Academic writing needs the writer to look more deeply into the phenomena and understand it, measure it and analyse it, which is what makes it very challenging but interesting at the same time.
Smiley73 4 | 428 ☆☆☆  
Aug 28, 2017 | #5
@Major thank you for the compliment. At the time when I was engaged in online publication, the field was relatively new and with few competitors. I managed to make a decent income from Kindle sales and independent releases. The sales are reliable because Amazon tracks the sales for me. Not too long ago, I also affiliated myself with PayHip for my sales and promotion. These are my aggressive promotional methods that helped to augment my cross promotion deals with other novelists who are always more than happy to help each other out in terms of keeping our promotional costs down.

While I still write with the hopes of bigger sales and recognition for my nom de plume, I've found the market has become increasingly competitive and saturated. That's why I changed my mindset regarding my novels publications from wanting to write the next bestseller (series) to simply writing for the joy of it. If I sell a few along the way then I've achieved my career goal in that field of writing at a degree acceptable to me as a novelist.

@Writer4U I meant no disrespect towards the academic writers. I understand your line of reasoning and excitement about the job. However, when you have written over a fifty thousand papers covering almost 30 years of writing experience as I have, the repetitive nature of the research work, regardless of the new information that one learns about, tends to create a sense of boredom. At least that's how it happened for me. That's why I needed to evolve within the career path. Once you find your brain beginning to stall at having to write an updated version of a paper you've written twenty times over, you'll know that it's time for a career change.

In my opinion, a career change eventually happens because one outgrows the line of work and starts to look for a new challenge. Something that takes you out of your comfort zone. When it happened to me, I found myself in a new, but related field of work. I'm not saying that this will or should happen to you. What I am saying, is that just as in any profession, it's alright to find yourself in a rut that you'd want to get out of. If you find yourself in one, don't be afraid to spread your wings and grow.

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