How To Defend Your Writing From Your Bosses’ Demands

Man yelling with hands grabbing his own hair

Photo: Ryan Snaadt

It doesn’t matter if you’re on a magazine’s payroll or if you’re helping out a friend of a friend with his website copy—as a writer, you’ll need to answer to somebody for your work, more often than not.

The thing is, these relationships do sometimes come with a bit of feedback, and some people are better at giving it than others.

Trust me, it’s no fun reading an e-mail with a list of things you’ve done wrong, even when you put your heart and soul into it. But receiving feedback and amending your work doesn’t need to be a helpless process. You, too, have a say as a writer.

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NON FICTION: This Is Your Life As A Struggling Writer

Bunch of people taking notes

Photo: The Climate Reality Project

You wake up, you check your phone. You want to know the latest stats for the article you’d posted yesterday. Two views. No likes on Facebook. One spam comment.

An e-mail comes in. It’s from that fiction competition you joined five months ago. “Thank you for your participation,” it reads. That’s always a bad sign, and a quick scroll through the rest of the message proves it.

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NON FICTION: To The Writer Who Changed My Life

Man staring up at skies

Photo: Matese Fields

A stranger changed my life. Someone whose identity I’ve forgotten. I don’t remember the byline, neither do I remember his face in the pictures, but he’d single-handedly set me on a path I didn’t know I would take.

I was a hairdresser, going through the motions every day just to pay the bills. On a particularly quiet day, while I was flipping through all the FHM magazines, I came across this story about an unfit writer’s journey to fighting an amateur boxing match.

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NON FICTION: Why I’ve Stopped Wishing For A Perfect Life

Three women laughing

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez

It seems as if my life’s just about making one blunder after another.

Things have took a turn for the better compared to ten years ago, but the mistakes keep coming. I still have issues to work on, wounds to heal, and a life to improve, yet I often mess them up by doing the wrong things.

Looking back, I wish I’d studied harder, worked harder, and didn’t waste so much time just loafing around. Who knows what I might’ve become had I applied myself much earlier in life?

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