A while ago I was asked,
Why and when did you decide to start writing?
Furthermore - what persuaded you to take your talents to the Internet?
Here is what I wrote in reply.
In 2007 I was working in a pressurised environment for the NHS in the UK. My job held plenty of responsibility and hassle, for few rewards. Feeling that I was approaching breaking point I decided that it was time to walk away. As it has turned out I did return in a few short months but in a part-time capacity and different hospital environment.
When I first left though I took a drop in money. My new, temporary job was only just above the minimum wage and the 16 hours reduction in the working week added to the financial restraints.
Still I was much happier and the break gave me time to re-evaluate life and my priorities.
So, at home, with more time on my hands, and no money, I began to research ways that I could make a little extra money on-line.
Simply google "making money online" and all sorts of opportunities and scams are easy to find.
I wanted something that was legitimate, non pressurised and offered a little pocket money.
I began with surveys and mystery shopping and found the rewards nice. They were not always vast but they were steady extra cash.
English had been one of my best subjects at school and writing seemed a possibility. I had been good at art but my poor eyesight limited these opportunities.
I signed up at Dooyoo.co.uk and Ciao.co.uk and began to write product reviews. My initial reviews were dire. Whether it was lack of experience, my health at the time or simply lack of practice I do not know, but some reviews were dreadful. Still I earned a little money and built up a community. All in all I enjoyed these sites. Epinions was another that I joined, but only for a short time.
As my writing improved I gradually abandoned these sites and moved on. For a while I did go back and amend some of the reviews but as the rewards were small it felt time to move on.
I guess Helium was my first proper Internet writing site. It was in its infancy when I joined. Over the five plus years that I have been a member Helium has morphed into a new entity. Some of this I like. Some I do not.
Then in time I came across Hubpages. That site for me fulfilled many of my creative needs at least it did back then. It was user friendly, easy to get to grips with and did not make too many changes, too often. Yes, it has made some but most have been welcome improvements. Infobarrel was recommended by a fellow Hubber other sites followed. In time I streamline my Internet writing. There are only so many hours in a day and I do not want to be a, Jack of all trades, master of none, as the saying goes.
I guess on the whole I would say that I decided to try writing as a means to earn some extra money, but it turned out to offer so much more. Writing online offers flexibility, instant writing rather than jotting down notes and needs little initial financial outlay except for needing to have a computer.
It has helped me keep track of new technological innovations, make many virtual friends and stretch my brain. As practise makes perfect it has greatly improved my writing skills. At least I hope it has. It has become a big part of my daily life. I use it as a means to unwind from my daily part-time work.
As I am approaching retirement I have seen and experienced so much over the years that in some ways I have a wealth of knowledge. That is true of all of us as we go through life. The Internet enables us to share our knowledge and experience with people around the world.
The Internet was the place I chose to write mainly because it is accessible, relatively free, non restrictive and World wide. I also liked the possibilty to remain anonymous when required or wanted. I have no delusions about being another Jane Austen or J K Rowling but enjoy putting my thoughts into words.
Now with two websites under my belt I have gone from blogger to webmaster. Who would have though it? Certainly not I.
If you think that it is easy to make a bundle of cash writing online you are mistaken. It could however be the hobby for you.