We hear a lot about heroes in the news lately, and they’re not the typical brave civilian stopping an armed criminal or landing a plane safely on a river. Instead, they’re legions of everyday people helping to keep society safe and providing essential materials where they’re needed most. Truck drivers, medical workers, grocery clerks, and, of course, first responders are inspiring the general population and showing that no capes are needed to be the hero we need.
It’s with heroes in mind that we welcome you to the next installment of Writer Spotlight. While this month’s hero may be safely sheltered at home with her kids and weiner dogs, many at Crowd Content will agree that Clarissa Howard (Kim in the real world) is right up there with the Jack Bauers, Dean Winchesters, and Jon Snows of TV lore — consistently answering the call when we’re in a content crisis.
It started two years ago in early May, 2018, when Kim wrote a Darice product description and a short article about saving money as a vegetarian (I read that, Kim. You’ve come a long way!).
Since then, Kim has gone on to submit well over 4,000 orders. Many of these orders were the result of emails desperately seeking writers to hit a fast-approaching deadline. More often than not, and regardless of quality level, Kim would volunteer her services — even when better paying work was available. A consummate team player, Kim has proven time and again that she’s something more than a freelancer.
Kim’s background includes time spent in IT sales, retail management, and music promotion, but she currently spends most of her time writing for Crowd Content and creating some personal essays for blogs and magazines. Add in a family, some dogs, a second-hand clothing business, and a part-time communications manager job, and it’s easy to see why we’re so impressed with the amount of work she handles for us.
Still, Kim manages to find time for her hobbies and interests. “I’m a huge fan of stand-up comedy and try to get out to the comedy club as much as possible, which isn’t very often these days, unfortunately!” Kim says. “I also enjoy hot yoga and am trying really hard to get into gardening, although I’m absolutely horrible at it.” A hero to all but plants, apparently.
Kim has been writing professionally for four years and has been published by Parents Magazine, Explore Magazine, Huffington Post, and YourTango.com. “Essay writing is my favorite,” she says, “but I also really enjoy any type of sales/marketing writing, except for product descriptions, which I don’t enjoy writing at all!” Have you tried starting with an action verb? It makes all the difference.
Kim stumbled upon Crowd Content while searching for ways to make money from home. An online review of our platform sent her our way. Over time she’s written on many projects but says she “loves writing on the Caring.com/PFSC projects and Lead to Conversion.” Expertise snippets also hold a special place in her heart. If that doesn’t make her a hero, I don’t know what does.
As has become a tradition with those showcased in the Writer Spotlight, Kim offered some major kudos for Crowd Content, and I’m sticking to my story: It’s completely unsolicited. “I’ve written on several other sites, and CC is infinitely better in so many ways,” Kim gushed. “Our project managers and editors are kind and communicate effectively; the availability of work is second-to-none, and the pay is more than fair for the work we’re doing.”
But every rose has its thorn, and for Kim, that thorn is relatively minor. “I’d really love the ability to change my pen name! If I’d known I’d be sticking around here and writing as many orders as I have, I’d definitely not have chosen the name Clarissa Howard.” Let’s see if we can do something about that for you, Kim.
Kim feels that listening to the feedback given by editors and project managers has helped her become the four-star writer she is today, and she urges new writers to follow that same path. “Stick with it and be open to the advice of editors and project managers. I’ve gone back and read some of the work I completed in my earlier days on the platform and I can see how far I’ve come in the two-ish years that I’ve been here. In addition to honing your own skills, being open to constructive criticism is the best way to open doors for yourself and access more work on better projects!”
While this is a treasure trove of compelling advice combined with dramatic heroics, we’re all here for the real news, and as always, Writer Spotlight delivers:
Who is your favorite author? What’s your favorite book? My favorite author is Graham Greene. My favorite book is The Beach by Alex Garland.
What’s your favorite restaurant or meal? My favorite restaurant is a local steakhouse called Caesar’s; they make the best filet mignon and stuffed potatoes in the world. On the other hand, I’m always up for Taco Bell!
What’s your favorite TV show or movie? My favorite TV show is Weeds, I’ve probably watched every season at least four or five times. My favorite movie is The Boondock Saints.
Complete this sentence: When I’m not working, I love to… spend time with family and friends! Even when work is really busy, I try really hard to break up the day with playdates for my kids, coffee with my best friend or outings with the family.
What are the five worst words in the English language? Without getting into the vulgar stuff, I’d say flap, ointment, curd, chunk and slurp.
I would only regret it if we passed on this opportunity to say: Slurp the chunky curd before applying ointment to the flap, Kim.
With that poetic gem, we’ll bring this month’s Spotlight to a close. Kim, put down the garden shears and spare those poor plants for another day. It’s time to take your place among past heroes in the Writer Spotlight hall of fame. Join us next month for another Pulitzer-worthy look into the secret life of a Crowd Content writer. Maybe it’ll be you!