Writer Spotlight: Richard S. — To Infinity, and Beyond!

As a freelance writer, you’re probably familiar with the charms of working at home: the short morning commute to your desk, the flexible dress code, and the pleasure of having your pet as an office mate. Still, writing is a solo gig, and when you’re spending hours working alone, it’s understandable if you start talking to your pet.

That’s why we’re pretty proud of our Crowd Content community. Although you may only know your fellow writers from a profile picture and a few online messages, there’s plenty of camaraderie to be found.

Some personalities shine particularly bright. We know which of you can tap out a witty comment or infuse a dash of levity into our days. One such luminary is Richard S., who’s made more than one writer laugh out loud in our discussion threads, generating requests for a “like” or “laughing” button. Someday, Richard may realize his dream of being a commander in the space navy, but for now, we’re glad he’s part of our elite force. Intrigued? Read on.

Based in Sacramento, California, Richard has been writing off and on his whole life, and professionally for the last eight years. “I used to be an EMT, but I’ve done a lot of weird jobs, including private investigator and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman,” he explains.

In 2016, he joined the Crowd Content squadron. “Work had mostly dried up at the platform where I used to do most of my work,” he recalls. “I tried a Best Buy PD here out of near desperation. The rest is history.”

Richard has since earned his four-star badge and regularly delivers smoothly crafted PDs, articles and web content on a range of topics. “PDs are okay but unchallenging. I especially like articles that make me do some research. It’s like getting paid to educate myself online,” he says of his favorite projects. “I made a living out of Caring and Seniorly in the past, but lately it’s been all Teknicks and HomeServe. I have always preferred long-form articles with minimal formatting.”

His biggest challenge when writing is also the flip side of those work-at-home perks: getting motivated. “My natural state is napping on the couch, so I really have to give myself a shove to start writing in the morning,” he confesses. Richard used to write in coffee shops until the pandemic changed the world. Now, you can find him “sitting in my living room, in my new recliner, a pillow on my lap as a laptop desk.”

While we can confirm Richard’s talents are used only for good at Crowd Content, there are times he’s wielded his skills on those who least suspect it, and with hilarious results. “I’ve been writing bogus complaint letters to corporations and political figures for nearly 20 years,” he admits. “My best so far was when I complained to the makers of Preparation H that their suppositories were hard to swallow. They sent me a coupon and urged me to discontinue use of their product in the described manner.”

Note to self: check if Richard’s written letters of complaint to Crowd Content.

In the meantime, Richard does have suggestions for improving our platform. “I’d like to see a 5-star writer category that pays write+edit rates for the most experienced and reliable writers,” he says. “I would also appreciate making editors wear business suits during working hours, but I’m not sure how we would enforce that.”

An experienced wordsmith, Richard also has advice for those of you who are new recruits. “Have you considered learning to weld? It’s honest work,” he says. “If you must write, step up your exercise routine and watch your diet. Try to build some kind of structure into your day and don’t pull any more all-nighters after age 40. Try to always have a few chores around the house that need doing, so you have something to do while you’ve got writers’ block.”

Excellent tips. But the best way to really get to know our now-infamous scribe is to let him speak for himself. Here’s what else we got Richard to reveal:

What are the five worst words in the English language? “Literally, ginormous, actually, problematic, squish(y)(ed).”

Who is your favorite author? What’s your favorite book? “I can’t remember the last time I got the time to read an actual book. I have gone through phases where I consumed pulp science fiction (think PKD and Heinlein), and other phases where I read a ton of popular science books. When I was a kid, I wanted to be H.L. Mencken when I grew up.”

Have you been published by any notable sites or organizations (digital or traditional)? “I published at All That’s Interesting for several years, and my author page is still up as an archive. If you look at it, please know that I had no control over the editing or layout decisions.”

What’s your favorite restaurant or meal? “I mostly cook at home. For the last several months I’ve been on the Mediterranean diet, so now I make my own pesto sauce.”

What do you think sets Crowd Content apart from other content platforms? “In the beginning, CC’s main draw was the high pay relative to the other platforms. While there’s less of a difference now, CC seems to have the most reliably full queues.”

Complete this sentence: When I’m not working, I love to: “Daydream about being in a space navy.”

Ah, dreams can come true, Richard. But until you can command your own fleet of starships, we’ve got plenty of digital territory for you to conquer.

Before I sign off, a big thank you to all of you. We certainly couldn’t succeed without such a talented, hard-working crew. And now, we’re headed into the stars to find another Crowd Content writer to spotlight. 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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