If you had to sum up the goal of your life in one word, what would that word be?
The other day as I pondered the activities of my life, I wondered how much they aligned with the place I hope to end up in the long run. I wondered about my aspirations—are they just bedtime stories I tell myself during the light hours to keep myself sane? Why do I want these things at all?
In this moment I looked deeper than usual into what I really want in life. And I caught a glimpse of what that was.
What I want most is freedom.
Freedom to pursue a craft. Freedom to have time for the important things. Freedom to be where I need to be when I need to be there. Freedom to feel financially secure.
I want the same thing for you, which is why I started Writing Grid.
Writing Grid is About Freedom
Repeat after me:
Freedom in my craft. Freedom from my craft.
This is the essence of Writing Grid.
To have freedom in and from one’s craft is to have the liberty to pursue the most interesting, most enjoyable part of the craft, without being bogged down by location or the tedious tasks that keep the lights on but turn inspiration off.
In more tangible terms, the freelance writer wants the flexibility to write from her home, RV, or beach, without stripping these locations of their charm and appeal. The in-house writer wants to transform a workplace into a storyplace. Both want to feel financially secure. Neither wants to expend excessive effort scheduling out projects or corresponding with stakeholders.
The Writing Grid dream is the same dream. My dream: to have the freedom to master my craft, when and where I feel I can do that best. Writing Grid is that place for me. Each of you has something that requires some freedom, be it a relationship (I’d rather be married to my wife Laura than married to my business), a lifestyle, or an opportunity to shine. Whatever be the objective for your pursuit for freedom, I hope Writing Grid can help you get there.
How we got here
The young Writing Grid that stands before you today is the culmination of lots of good ideas, bad ideas, sleepless nights, failed endeavors, three different names, and many, many pivots. I’m telling you this because I think you, you visionary freelancer or pragmatic in-house writer, will appreciate the journey.
My first big endeavor (and first monetary investment in technology) was Copy Auditor, a Chrome extension that proofreaders could use to mark up a website and share their edits with the website owner.
The extension turned out pretty cool, but as I approached companies and offered to edit their websites, the general response I got was, “Oh, I just need to rewrite my whole website anyway.” People knew their content was bad, but they just hadn’t connected with a writer yet to solve their problem. Writing Grid was born out of that need.
Why me? And why Writing Grid?
Ever since I started my own entrepreneurial journey as a freelance editor (mostly helping international students with cover letters and essays), I felt like I was extending a family legacy and joining a community of freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, solopreneurs, and every other go-it-alone, lone-wolf, I-can-do-this personality who went against the odds to make a dream come true.
I can see the twinkle in the eye of the freelance writer when she thinks of freelancing full-time. I can appreciate the entrepreneur’s drive to make a product that people love and use. And I can feel the one desire that holds every one of these personality types in suspense: the desire for freedom.
While still in its youth, I look forward with excitement for what Writing Grid will become. Since Writing Grid will never be anything without you, freelancers and in-house writers, I feel a need to share with you what my objectives are with Writing Grid. So, in the spirit of transparency, here is a running list of the services and features we hope to offer writers, be they freelancer or otherwise. (Features in italics are planned features, whereas features in normal text have already been implemented).
- A directory where freelance writers can list their services
- A blog for sharing stories and tips for freelance writers
- A blog for in-house content writers
- A Slack group for freelance writers to communicate and find jobs
- Personalized social sharing to drive potential clients to your listings (more information on its way)
- A marketplace of vetted products, services and solutions for (freelance) writers
- An order-based system for freelance writers to get new work
- A Chrome extension to help users acquire new customers (based on Copy Auditor)
- A software solution to help freelance writers manage their freelance business better
These are some lofty ideas, ones that I’m really excited about seeing come to life. To make it happen, Writing Grid needs the continued support of writers worldwide.
How You Can Help
First off, I want to say thank you to those early adopters who have joined the club. You know who you are, and I’m so grateful for your support.
If you count yourself among those who value the under-appreciated craft of writing, I extend an invitation to come and participate in our community. To make Writing Grid come fully alive, here are some things you can do:
- Post your own listing in our directory of freelancers
- Join our group on Slack
- Join our email newsletter
- Follow us on Twitter
If you have any questions or comments, please comment below! I love this community and am grateful for all you do.
Jack Vawdrey, Director of Writing Grid