Recently we reached out to WriteWorldwide email subscribers and asked for new interviewees for our reader interview series. Thanks to everyone who responded, we’re looking forward to publishing your interviews soon! Today we’re talking to Joseph Odhiambo of Writing Made Easy.
1) Please introduce yourself to the WriteWorldwide readers.
First, I must say it’s a great honour to be featured in this authoritative blog and thanks indeed to the WriteWorldwide team for according me this glorious opportunity.
Well, My name is Joseph Odhiambo, and I’m an experienced freelance writer and blogger. I’ve been in the writing game for the past one and a half years. People recognise me from my power-packed blog, Writing Made Easy, which is relatively new but already causing ripples in the local freelance writing landscape.
I started this blog to share everything I know about freelance writing. I believe every writer has a responsibility to nurture new writers by sharing useful tips and tricks to enable them to navigate the ever competitive freelance writing space.
2) Why did you choose to be a writer, and have you experienced much success yet?
Well, I have to say that my entry into writing was a fluke. I was shoved into it by the need to make ends meet. I wasn’t really making enough money off my 9-5 job to fully cater to my routine living expenses (rent, utilities, and food).
Also, I was more than a brother in our family, which means I had to support my siblings, too. I had to develop another income stream be able to accomplish all those responsibilities, and that’s how I stumbled into the writing world.
However, it turned out that I liked it and I became really good at it, thanks to my strong background of reading books and watching movies and series. Another key contributor to my entry into writing was the need to quit my boring 9-5 job.
For starters, I wasn’t happy with that line of work. Secondly, I wasn’t making any progress in life, financially. So writing offered the greatest possibilities for achieving all those dreams.
I haven’t experienced success yet. I still have a long way to go to make a name for myself out there. But, I’m able to earn and live decently through writing.
Considering the amount of time I’m investing in my freelance writing business, it’s just a matter of time before I start experiencing success.
3) As an ESL writer, have you faced any challenges?
As an ESL writer, my greatest challenge has been competing in the same marketplace with native writers. And we have to admit that most clients or hiring agencies gravitate towards native writers.
However, some clients give native writers a chance. Well, those who gave me a chance have never looked elsewhere. Over the years, I’ve learned that the only way to match the native quality expectations and even outrank native writers is to deliver extraordinary work, consistently.
4) What’s one thing about you most people don’t know?
I’m a generous kind of guy. I like to give back what God has blessed me with; which is why I created writingmadeasy.com.
5) What would you like to see more of on the WriteWorldwide blog?
For ESL writers, the WriteWorldwide blog is heaven sent. It’s packed with insightful tips on how to navigate the cut-throat competitive writing marketplace.
It also gives ESL writes a unique perspective on how to source high-value clients instead of immersing themselves in the time-consuming, energy-draining and low-paying content mills.
I believe this blog will take ESL writers to a whole new level of excellence in freelance writing. I can’t pinpoint anything unique that I would love to see on the WriteWorldwide. This platform covers pretty much everything ESL writes need to know about freelance writing.
6) Are you connected with others ESL writers, and is that helping to boost your confidence?
I have to say that not connecting with other ESL writers was my undoing when starting out as a writer.
If I had known about creating networks with other ESL writers, I believe I would be on a whole different level as a freelance writer right now.
But, I’m committed to making more connections than ever today. For example, I follow Bamidele Onibalusi’s blog (Writers in Charge) religiously. Walter Akolo’s blog (FreelancerKenya) is my go-to destination for anything writing in Kenya.
WriteWorldwide blog has dramatically made it to my top 3 sites for anything writing, since I’m now focusing on taking my writing game to the next level.
7. What’s your favourite aspect of being an ESL writer?
Over the years, I’ve learned that native writers have certain privileges over ESL writers, and as an ESL writer, it has only given me the necessary impetus to work harder to be at my best all the time.
I like it when a client reads my copy and is mesmerized by the scintillating display of skill, engagement, and mastery of the English language, despite the fact that I’m an ESL writer.
8) What’s your daily writing routine?
I like to wake up late and work till late. I realized that I’m more productive at night. Typically, I wake up a 3 pm and work until 8 am. I dedicate 1 hour each day for a serious workout regime to avoid burnout and to build up my motivation for the next writing session.
9) What methods do you use to keep your writing skills sharp?
I like to scavenge the internet a lot to learn new things about writing. If I stumble across a fresh blog post from my three favourite blogs (Writers in Charge, FreelancerKenya, WriteWorldwide), I make a point to read it to the very end to get more writing insights.
Also, I don’t have a good reading habit, so I listen to audiobooks a lot. I like audiobooks because I can listen to them even while lying in bed. On top of that, I make sure I write at least 2000 words each day. Not to forget that I’m a sucker for movies and series. I spend most of my free time watching series to polish my English skills.
10) What are your plans for growing your writing business and client base in the future?
I’m planning to scale my freelance writing business in the coming year. I’m currently writing an e-book that focuses on teaching beginner writers the intricacies of freelance writing.
I plan to write two more books by the end of next year. I’m also looking to take my blog to the next level by dedicating more time to it. Although time has been a scarce commodity in the past few months,
I’m planning to sacrifice some time to start monetising my blog and to post actionable blog posts every week. I also plan to start cold pitching in 2018 because I believe I will be proficient by the end of the year.