I’ve seen more than a few ads looking for “rock star freelance writers,” and every time I see one, it just rubs me the wrong way. Really.
To me, a rock star is someone who is all about image. They have a certain level of arrogance, and somewhere along the way, they lost track of their craft in favor of hype and excess. They might produce something that is in demand, but the public rarely finds out how many takes it took to produce the songs that we eventually buy.
They live fast and die young. Or they may hang on, looking very much the worse for wear, and show up on cheesy reality TV shows. We are left lamenting what might have been (in the case of someone who died too young) or wishing that they would just crawl back under the Rock of Love or whatever, and just go away.
So what’s the deal with wanting a rock star freelance writer? My suspicion is that the client is looking for someone who can appreciate their vision of what they want to accomplish with the project and work from there. A wizard of words, so to speak. Whereas a rock star is focused on themselves, a successful freelance writer needs to be focused on the client.
I am not a rock star freelance writer, and that’s OK. I don’t want to be one, anyway. What I am is someone who listens to what my clients want and works with them to make it happen. I care about the projects I work on and the clients I serve. There isn’t any room in there for me pulling attitude and being arrogant.
I would much rather be known for substance than style any day and if that means I can’t call myself a rock star freelance writer, then so be it. It doesn’t mean I can’t write stuff that rocks, though.
How would you define a rock star freelance writer? And do you want to be one?