7 Types of Freelance Writing Careers That are Perfect for Highly Sensitive People
Because they give HSPs satisfaction and the freedom to work in a way that’s best suited for them
Most highly sensitive people do not enjoy typical 9-to-5 jobs. Commuting in traffic, frequent and unrealistic deadlines, difficult managers, and a competitive, as well as toxic corporate culture, make such work unappealing to HSPs.
HSPs like to work at their own pace. They prefer to do work that is satisfying. They prefer to collaborate rather than compete, and would rather not have to report to a manager. HSPs have a lot to offer to the world, but it’s different from what others have to offer. Everyone is different and each person has to make choices that are healthy for them.
Because of these personality traits and values, writing (especially freelance writing) can make an excellent career choice for highly sensitive people.
Writers can work at their own pace and from wherever they want, and even though there’s a need to get the work approved by an editor, it is different from working for and reporting to a manager on a daily basis. Writing also involves attention to detail and gives us ample opportunities to write about topics that matter to us and the world.
In this article, I will discuss seven types of freelance writing assignments that most HSPs would find satisfying and financially sustainable.
Freelance editors take other people’s articles or books and improve them to perfection. This is a great work option for HSPs because we are naturally detail-oriented and have excellent focus. We also like to help people, so work that involves helping a writer improve the quality of their manuscript is very rewarding for us. Along with the satisfaction of doing a great job and having helped someone, editing also pays very well.
Editing is an umbrella term. There are many types of work that come under this umbrella. A few examples are proofreading, copyediting, developmental editing, editorial assessment, and query letter review. Some editors offer all types of editing services, while some do only a few. This gives us the leeway to select what kind of services we’d like to offer.
There are many people who want to share their life experiences with others but don’t have the skills to write a good memoir. Many of them seek out memoir writers to write their books.
For a highly sensitive person, memoir writing can be very satisfying because it involves deep conversations with the person whose memoir we are writing. It also involves understanding their life, empathising with them, and reporting their experiences in an authentic and engaging manner.
Writing memoirs engage our natural traits in a way that would benefit the client and give us satisfaction.
Niche Travel Writer
Travelling is as diverse an experience as the people who travel. Some like luxury resorts, some like to travel in nature, while others like road travel. Some people like to travel fast while some like to savour their journey and travel slowly. Some like to engage with the local people while others prefer to spend time at monuments and museums. There are people who enjoy traveling in groups while there are others who love solo travel.
As travel writers, we have the opportunity to write about travel experiences that we enjoy the most. Many highly sensitive people love nature, exploring cultures in depth, ecotourism, and exploring experiences that nourish the mind and body. We can engage in whatever type of travel we like and write about it to earn a living.
Writing About Topics That Impact the Environment
Humans have been harming the environment and the earth for centuries. Unbridled greed and focus on bottom-line profits have created an unsustainable situation on earth. Depletion of the ozone layer, melting ice in the polar regions, and extreme climate variations throughout the world are a reflection of what we have done to our environment.
No animal destroys its own house, but humans are sadly an exception. However, the silver lining in this cloud is that more and more people are becoming conscious of how our actions impact the environment. They not only want to make environmentally conscious choices but also want to advocate conscious living as a lifestyle.
As highly sensitive people, we are naturally attuned to the environment and nature. It makes us sad to see the devastating impact humans have on the environment. By writing about how we are impacting the environment and how to make better choices to live in balance with the larger ecosystem, we can make a positive impact on the planet and, as a result, do work that fulfills us at a deeper level.
There is an increasing number of publications that are interested in fiction and non-fiction stories about the environment. Some pay for the story while some run competitions where the prize money goes to the winning essays. Writing about the environment may not pay sufficiently yet, but it is work that will give satisfaction to our souls. As writers, we can carve out a certain portion of our time to write about these topics and earn a modest amount for our effort.
Writing Personal Essays
Personal essays are all about narrating our unique human experiences and connecting them to our shared humanity. When we read a personal essay that describes experiences similar to those we’ve had, we know we’re not alone, and very often, we learn that we are not flawed or crazy for thinking the way we do. Personal essays are a healing experience for the writer and reader alike.
By sharing how being highly sensitive impacts us, the challenges we face, what we have learned, and how we navigate the world and overcome challenges, we give hope and courage to millions of other HSPs. Good personal essays share wisdom through lived experiences. These are invaluable for other people who are similar to us.
More and more publications are interested in personal essays that can inform and inspire others. For example, a few weeks back, I came across a publication that was accepting essays about the joys and challenges of the single life. This would be a great opportunity for single HSPs to describe their experiences, help others, and earn a living. This is just one example. It’s possible to publish personal essays across the entire spectrum of our lived experiences.
Do you have a vivid — perhaps even wild — imagination? Are you a history buff? Perhaps you like sci-fi and imagine alternate worlds, or maybe you like romance. Most highly sensitive people have a rich imagination. And there’s a story in all of us. Some of us may be born storytellers while others have to learn the craft. But, either way, writing a book is a very satisfying experience.
Unlike decades back, when writers had to send countless query letters and endure the dejection of being rejected, now we don’t have to wait for a traditional publisher to publish our book. There are many self-publishing channels to choose from and there are lots of successful self-published writers who share their processes to help others. We can learn from them, and although it might take some time, I believe with perseverance, we can achieve success as authors.
Self-Publishing Non-Fiction Books
If you are an expert in a field of study or a field of work or even a special interest field, then you can share your knowledge in the form of non-fiction books. Others who are seeking knowledge in that field would love to buy your books. This is a great way to utilize the knowledge and experience you have gained and earn money by sharing it with others.
If you are interested in exploring writing as a career option but are uncertain about whether it will pay the bills, then you don’t have to leave your day job immediately to become a writer. You can pick up one or more of the above, take small steps into the world of freelance writing, and make future career plans based on how soon you are able to make writing sustainable. Some people break into this field right away, while others take time to figure out their niche and voice. But, sooner or later, most writers who persevere are able to make a successful career from writing.