Hi WriteWorldwide readers, and welcome to the fourth in our series of reader interviews. Today we’re featuring Dennis Sebufu, an up-and-coming freelance writer from Uganda. Please take the floor, Dennis!
1) Please introduce yourself to the WriteWorldwide readers.
My name is Dennis Sebufu, a freelance copywriter from Uganda. I’m the founder of Pearlcopy, Textpro Transcription and Expressprint Uganda.
I have a degree in International Business from Makerere University Business School majoring in International Marketing.
2) Why did you choose to be a writer, and have you experienced much success yet?
Writing is my calling, and it has enabled me to achieve financial freedom. I have run many businesses but none have been profitable as writing.
I just love writing. I have been writing and reading a lot since my days at high school. I used to edit the school newsletter and had two blogs in 2010.
Most people who know me thought I would become a journalist. But here I am, still writing.
My big brother from Kenya Walter Akolo introduced me to Bamidele Onibalusi’s Facebook group Earn Your First $1,000 As A Freelance Writer. Here I discovered how to take my freelance writing seriously.
Now I can testify that the strategies and ideas from Bamidele actually work, especially cold pitching. Through it, I have managed to get clients who give me regular work.
I was also able to get my first website courtesy of Kevine of Copywriting Tipster, one of my writer friends.
3) As an ESL writer, have you faced any challenges?
Some clients think ESL writers cannot write better than Native speakers, which is actually a falsehood. Good clients never mind about where you are from, as long as you deliver the goods.
From my experience, it is mostly clients from bidding sites who will specify they need Native speakers. I do work for clients I get primarily through Facebook and cold pitching on Google, but they never ask about where I am from.
From my experience, the clients you cold pitch do not mind whether you are a Native or ESL writer. High quality work is what matters.
4) What’s one thing about you most people don’t know?
I have monocular vision but am earning my bread as a writer. Everyone can be a writer regardless of their situation. What it takes is passion. I do not believe there is anything I do better than writing.
5) What would you like to see more of on the WriteWorldwide blog?
Thanks guys for doing an excellent job. ESL writers needed something like this to give us the confidence to take on the world. I cannot wish for anything more.
6) Are you connected with other ESL writers, and is that helping to boost your confidence?
Oh yes. In my writing career, my connection with other ESL writers has been of great help. Being a member of the $ 1K challenge enables me to connect with writers from all backgrounds – both ESL and native.
I have connected with people like Spike Wyatt, Walter Akolo, Celia Abernathy, Richard Rowlands and many others. Having people you connect with means, we get to share ideas and consult with each other when we get stuck.
7) What’s your favourite aspect of being an ESL writer?
My favourite aspect of being an ESL writer is visiting a big website and seeing my work the way I wrote it. It really gives me the guts to push forward.
8) What’s your daily writing routine?
The first thing I do when I wake up is to check my email and Facebook inbox for my assignments for the day. I usually never work for five hours nonstop. When I’m working during the day, I give myself short breaks to stretch or take a nap before I resume.
Also, there is one client of mine whose work I prefer doing at 3 am. During the day I do research, find relevant images and make drafts. I wake up to do the polishing, and this is my routine from Monday to Saturday.
9) What methods do you use to keep your writing skills sharp?
I never hesitate to join any new forum for writers I come across. It helps me connect with and learn from seasoned colleagues. I mostly do this on Facebook, which is my favourite hunting ground for gigs as well.
Further, I do keep checking my favorite writer sites including WriteWorldwide, Writers in charge, Writers Revolt and Freelancer Kenya.
Constant writing also helps me to keep my writing sharp. From Monday to Saturday I do work for my clients. Sunday is for my personal development. I do work on my blogs, read or take some writing courses.
10) What are your plans for growing your writing business and client base in the future?
I plan to make a better personal website to market my services, and I’ve already got a free hosting offer from one of my writing mentors.
Learning never stops, so I am always absorbing a thing or two from experienced writers.
Did you enjoy today’s interview with Dennis? Check out this page for more great interviews with writers at all stages of their careers.