We’re back with the BlogMutt freelance writer spotlight for October. This month, we wanted to bring attention to one of our long-standing writers: Simon Stuchlik.
If you haven’t already, check out the post Simon wrote for our blog on how writing for BlogMutt has impacted his family’s life. It’s one of our personal favorites and showcases Simon’s outstanding writing prowess.
His BlogMutt profile is a testament to the many happy customers who regularly receive awesome content from him. We’re always impressed by the caliber of Simon’s work, but we’re especially impressed by how he manages to write quality pieces here in addition to his other work. Wow!
How does he do it? Read on to learn more about how Simon balances his professional writing career, family life, parenting, and a robust reading schedule.
1. What made you decide to become a professional writer?
Simon: Way back when I first began to think about college, I wanted to be a journalist. I don’t know what it is about the written word, but ever since I started being able to read, I’ve been drawn to it. Throughout school, writing just seemed to be what came most natural to me.
Approximately two weeks into my first semester, I realized the career ‘opportunities’ that came with that field, and turned to the next best field that would give me an opportunity to write on a regular basis: public relations. Through various student jobs, that turned into marketing before graduation, and here I am!
2. What trait do you think most characterizes your writing style?
I would have to go with my organization. I have a very formulaic style of writing: do the research, come up with the outline, write the intro, write the conclusion, tackle the content, and write the headline last. That structure means I always know exactly where I want to go by the time I start writing, both in terms of the sources I’ll use and how the individual points of a post will flow together.
3. What does your typical writing day look like?
I usually have three distinct writing times in my day: early in the morning, during lunch, and in the evening. I try to get to my ‘regular’ job at least 30 minutes early every day, giving me time to log in and write a nice post. I do the same during my lunch hour and in the evening, usually when the kids are in bed.
Of course, freelancing is not the only writing I do during the day, as I’m also responsible for web content, email messages, and other copy during my job. Not too long ago, I estimated how many words I write during a typical work day, which came to about 3,000.
4. How do you make time to write?
Great question! Between a full-time job, along with a toddler and a baby at home, time can be difficult to come by. But I enjoy it enough to make time for it on a daily basis: before work, during lunch, and in the evening. Of course, I also have the weekends, where I tend to get in a pretty good rhythm when the two little ones take a snooze.
5. How do you motivate yourself to write if you don’t feel inspired?
For me, finding the mood to write is not typically the problem – finding the right topic is. I tend to stick to my areas of expertise, but if I just cannot seem to think of a new topic or angle that actually benefits clients, I start branching out. That’s how I’ve written about foundation repair, car sales, drone races, and other exotic topics. By challenging myself to try something outside of my comfort zone every now and then, I make sure that I never get tired (or repetitive) writing about the same topics constantly.
6. What is your best advice to a writer beginning the BlogMutt platform?
Keep going. At first, it seems like the rewards never want to come. Your first post may be rejected. Even if it isn’t, you probably picked a customer with a long queue that doesn’t get you paid in months because you still need time to get used to the system.
But it will get better. In no time, you will have written a number of posts that are spread out to be purchased across the next several weeks. Once the ratings, comments, and payments start coming in, you’ll be hooked.
7. How do you choose customers on BlogMutt?
At this point, I have a set of established customers that I know well enough to get started without needing to do much research about the company or brand. But I still like to branch out, in which case I start scanning the customer list for clients that have had less than 10 posts written for them.
8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Did I mentioned that I love to read? You’ll hear that a lot from me when talking about spare time activities. Of course, a pre-school toddler and a 6-month-old don’t always allow for much spare time, but they are a joy in themselves. I still love to travel, but you will most find me with a good book or the latest long-form journalism piece somewhere comfortable.
9. What’s your favorite book?
I thought about this question for quite a while, and cannot seem to come up with a single answer.
Here are the three finalists:
1) Winnie the Pooh.
The book that literally taught me how to read. Back when I only knew a few letters, I would read the original A.A. Milne book over and over again, understanding a bit more each time I got through it. I still have that book on my shelf, where it’s patiently waiting for my son to get old enough.
No explanation needed, other than the fact that I sincerely believe JRR Tolkien to be the best fiction author of all times. The way he was able to use nothing but words to build an entire world is fascinating to me, and his storytelling is unmatched.
3) Everybody Writes.
I just had to get a writing book in here somewhere. Ann Handley does a marvelous job at explaining the detailed concept of writing in simple, funny, and relatable terms. Blog writers will recognize the formatting of each chapter. In all, the book is a must-read for any current or aspiring writer.
10. What’s the most interesting fact about you that most people wouldn’t guess?
That depends on who you talk to! But my accent is almost gone by now, so most people that talk to me wouldn’t know that I was actually born and raised in Germany. I didn’t come to the U.S. until I was an exchange student in high school, where I met a girl. That led to a LONG-distance relationship, until I came back over for college and simply stayed.
That girl is now my wife, and happens to be another BlogMutt writer!
11. What’s your favorite joke?
I tend to go with situational humor, but here is one joke I can’t stop laughing about since I first heard it, especially given my heritage:
Q: How many Germans does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: One. We’re efficient, and we don’t have time for humor.
Thank you to Simon Stuchlik for fitting in an interview with us—even with his busy schedule. We appreciate all of the hard work he does for his customers and are proud to have him on the BlogMutt writing team. Thank you, Simon!