Writer Spotlight: Oriel Roy — Enquiring Minds Want to Know

Curiosity didn’t work out for the cat, but it’s a different story for writers. The naturally inquisitive among us often thrive when writing, using the opportunity to learn about new topics. American author Zora Neale Hurston may have described it best. “Research is formalized curiosity,” she wrote. “It is poking and prying with a purpose.”

Poking and prying? Those happen to be our specialties here at Writer Spotlight! This month, we meet one of our most curious writers. Freelancer Oriel Roy, known in real-life as Hannah, says she’s “nosy by nature,” but this desire to learn has served her well.

Our story begins in the United Kingdom. Hannah grew up in Surrey and lives in Kent, in southeast England. She began writing three years ago before the birth of her son, and worked her way to freelancing full-time last year. “I started writing as a way to fit work around my little boy and have loved every minute of it,” she explains.

A qualified primary school teacher, Hannah spent seven years as a literary specialist teaching young children. She continues to teach privately around her freelancing commitments, but has long dabbled in writing. “Beforehand, I wrote a few self-published romance novels. I wish I could say that they were a roaring success, but I’d be lying. I have no plans to attempt another anytime soon.” Romance publishing’s loss is definitely Crowd Content’s gain!

Hannah brought her skills to our platform after a blogger recommended Crowd Content as a great place to work. Because our clients come from diverse industries, it’s been a great fit. “One of the things that I love most about being a writer is the chance to research a wide range of topics and discover new interests. I always find medical writing fascinating,” she says. And you never know when Crowd Content may help save the day. “Sometimes, things I’ve learnt while I’m writing have come in very handy,” Hannah adds. “We had a plumbing disaster recently and I knew exactly what to do after doing a lot of work on the plumbing blogs!”

Hannah suggests writers new to Crowd Content dive in with enthusiasm, even if they’re intimidated. “I suffered from a certain degree of imposter syndrome when I first started, and sometimes felt worried to try new things,” she reveals. “The only way to learn and improve in this job is by doing, and it’s good to try to be open-minded about the type of projects you want to take on. My favorite projects haven’t necessarily been the ones that I felt drawn to initially.”

Hannah loves the Resume Builder team the most. “I’m a little nosy by nature, and I’ve rather enjoyed learning about what’s involved in an incredibly diverse range of jobs,” she says. “It’s given me an interesting insight into other people’s lives.”

When she’s not writing or teaching, Hannah spends time picking up new languages. “I’m studying Russian and Korean at the moment,” she says. “My hobby has given me the opportunity to meet lots of new friends online to practise my language skills, and I would love to visit in the future to put what I’ve learnt to the test!”

You might also find her tuning in to classic British sitcoms like Fawlty Towers, Vicar of Dibley, and Only Fools and Horses. “We watched them endlessly as kids, especially at Christmas, and they always bring back comforting memories of evenings at home with my family,” she recalls.

But her ideal way to spend free time? “Go to the coast with my son and husband and spend a whole weekend on the beach and eat too much food at the pub,” she says.

Our research has turned up some good information about Hannah so far, but it’s time to get to the real scoop.

Who is your favorite author? What’s your favorite book? “My favorite author is Hilary Mantel. I love everything she’s written, but my favorite is Wolf Hall.”

What’s your favorite restaurant or meal? “I love Indian food and my favorite treat is a big takeout meal from our local restaurant. I’ve been learning to cook my own curries at home, but they’re never quite the same!”

Have you been published by any notable sites or organizations? “I’ve had a few articles published on Listverse about some of my weirder interests, including a piece about a massive prehistoric fish called Dunkleosteus. That one was fun to write!”

Where do you write? “I’ve developed a terrible habit of writing on the sofa! My morning ritual is to make myself really comfy with lots of cushions, a blanket, and a big mug of coffee. My family calls it my writing nest.”

What do you think sets Crowd Content apart from other content platforms? “I feel that the platform pays its writers fairly, and I love the fact that there is always support available if I’m stuck or having issues. The forum is another major selling point, and it’s great to have a space for writers to support and encourage each other.”

If you could change one thing about our platform, what would it be? “Perhaps an area to explore in the future would be some kind of mentorship scheme, where experienced writers can nurture new talent and help new starters build their skills.”

What do you find most challenging about writing content? “Getting to grips with complex briefs is always a challenge.”

Do you have any advice for new writers? “Take constructive criticism on the chin and see feedback as a learning opportunity… it’s normal to make mistakes as a new (and experienced!) writer.”

What are the five worst words in the English language? “Grotesque, yummy, scrumptious, fishy, and drip.”

I was going to wrap up in Korean to test Hannah’s knowledge, but I’m a little rusty. So, I’ll simply say that I hope Writer Spotlight is satisfying your curiosity about the freelancers working here at Crowd Content. We’ll be poking and prying into the life of another writer soon. Maybe it’ll be you!

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Erin is the Community Manager at Crowd Content, and before that was a project manager here for 3 years. She lives in Massachusetts, is a baseball/Red Sox fanatic and loves spending time with her family.

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