Around late 2014, when I had to wait for my academic diploma on legal to be officially issued, I got bored and decided to turn my back on the field I had been studying for more than four years to start with something new.
I applied for VNG as a collaborator to help a team there with content creation and community management. I got in easily thanks to my skills, partly, and my experience with a video game called “DotA”, mainly, as the product they were launching based directly on this DotA game. Anyway, while working there, I spent hundreds if not thousands of hours writing content and copy for websites, social media outlets, reports, etc.
At that time, the “content is king” idea was shaping up here and there in the business. I would see articles on Reddit, sites like Adweek now and then regarding how crucial content was. I figured that my contribution was vital. I started taking the craft more seriously, attended workshops, events. And eventually, I fell in love with writing.
I quitted VNG after two years and decided to build everything from the ground up to become a writer or as an English Vietnamese translator. The ultimate goal in my head then was to write a book, commonly loved by people, with my name on it. I think I don’t have to detail how tough it is with this career path, but here are some of my experiences I want to share.
The first thing I knew I had to do is setting up a website to introduce myself. I did it, the site is a bit outdated for now though. It was built on HTML5, using an Adobe Muse template bought on ThemeForest or CreativeMarket. As getting traffic for it was already a tough task, let alone striking a deal from there. I had to join freelancing platforms like Freelancer, Upwork looking for opportunities. I got the first one after one month searching, applying. Then more offers kept coming more often.
Most of the gigs I got from the platforms were English to Vietnamese (my mother tongue) and vice versa translation – a skill I had to list on my profile to increase my chance of landing a job, for a living, after completely quitting a full-time office job.
I got overly excited when the first ‘real writing’ job came. It was a ghostwriting one, I wrote under an alias, client’s choice – “Clark Kent”. After a while, feeling like I was underpaid and ghostwriting was not so exciting, I dropped the contract to get a new one. This time, I could choose my one ‘Author Name’ – Nguyen LNP. The first article published under my pen name made me proud I shared it on my Facebook.
After around fifty articles, I had to take a break as it was stressful, like any stressful full-time job – 5 articles a day, must be done within a limited period. Then I came back, worked with the client a bit more, when I felt like the articles – which were published online, always with my name at the header section – were good enough for me and for my portfolio to land some better gigs, I chose to leave the project. Soon after that, the articles disappeared. The website is still there, just that my writing is not there anymore.
Well, at least I got paid and got to practice my craft for quite a while.
Moving on, I knew I had to settle down with a long-term project. I still work on it until now, two years later, but there is quite a problem. Though on this project, I can write as much as I want to, my creation belongs to the “grey” area, so I can’t talk about it freely. The client pays nicely, and I have been doing a lot for them as a key team player, but the work makes me feel incomplete.
Last month, after a long break from work, I started practicing and applying for more serious writing projects. After four years from when I first got started, I feel confident enough to take the first step for my’ big dream’.