(This is an adaptation of a similar page on the previous version of this website.)
I have been a professional writer. By that, I mean I wrote things for other people bcause they paid me to write them. What I found is that I'm pretty good at it when I get to follow my own inspiration, and I can be great at editing and improving others' work regardless (for the most part) of what I think of the material. If, on the other hand, you give me a clearly specified non-technical writing task like most copywriters get and I don't believe in the topic or feel inspired by it, I'm really not so good at it.
A couple of examples of the writing work I enjoyed and did well follow:
Raging Swan - So What's the Hoard Like, Anyway?
Raging Swan is an independent third-party publisher of supplemental materials for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (which I used to play quite a bit). Raging Swan's proprietor (Creighton Broadhurst) retained my services as a writer/designer on the development of one of those products, So What's the Hoard Like, Anyway?, for which I was one of two writer/designers, along with Thomas King.
One of the more prolific and popular RPG product reviewers on the Internet (and one of the more articulate as well), under the name "Endzeitgeit", reviewed this product at the website for Paizo Publishing, the publisher of Pathfinder RPG, and gave it a full five stars out of five. In the midst of his listing of quirky and interesting elements of the book's content, I was gratified to see that it looks like every one of the listed elements was something I contributed to the final product, though having read my own copy of the product I see that Thomas King did an excellent job as well.
To be perfectly fair, I must point out that the pickled eggs idea was contributed by the missus. I find her quite inspirational.
I had a lot of fun with this gig, and would consider doing something like it again, especially given the positive reception it engendered.
TechRepublic - Regular Contributor
For half a dozen years, I was a TechRepublic contributing writer. Before the format change from its organization like a tech news site to the newer columnist/blogger format, I contributed occasional articles on a variety of subjects. After the format change, I spent about half a decade with a commitment for a minimum set number of articles per month.
Some time after CBS acquired TechRepublic's parent company, corporate reorganization came with a redefinition of the requirements contributors must meet to be eligible to write for TechRepublic. In the summer of 2011, those requirements rendered me ineligible to continue contributing, as I would have had to provide documentation it was not my right to share. We parted ways at that point, though I remaind an active member of the TechRepublic user community for a while.
Note that the columns following have at times changed names or been reorganized on the site, and may no longer be easily discovered.
IT Security Column
For most of my time as a contributor, I was TechRepublic's primary IT Security writer, with a commitment of eight articles per month. During that time, I built a loyal following and a strong reputation, both of which carried over to my Open Source and Software Development column contributions.
Open Source Column
In the last year of my time as a contributor, I took on a commitment of four articles per month for the Open Source column.
Software Development Column
In the last year of my time as a contributor, I took on a commitment of two articles per month for the Software Development column.