MY WORK vol.001: Writer (Ms. Nishizawa)

As a new series of my blog, I decided to start writing about various works under a title of ‘My Work’.

In this serious, I am going to interview people I have met or I am interested in now in order to see what their job is like and introduce that to you.

Work can be something which we spend most of our time in our life, so I believe you can see the way of life of people though their work. As I’m interested in other people’s life, I was always wanted to write under this subject.

Having said that, I will not be able to interview people so often, so I will write for this series on an irregular base. I hope I could write something stays in your mind.




Today, I would like to introduce you to Ms.Nishizawa whose occupation is a writer.

I have known her since I received an interview request from her about my business.  She seemed to be interested in me selling Japanese products to people who live overseas, on eBay, and she wanted to write about my e-bay story in a magazine.

When she came to see me for the interview, I also asked her to let me interview her about her work as a writer, and she kindly accepted it. And here I am, writing about her now LoL.


Anyway, let me get to the main point.  Ms.Nishizawa, I am going to introduce today, lives in Tokyo, and handles wide variety of assignment from several publishers.

Ms.Nishizawa always brings a self-introductory material, called ‘Work of Nishizawa’ for her work to explain her general workflow of a day so that people can understand what is her job is like.



According to the material, her work includes following;


1. Planning and proposal

To propose a topic, which matches to the trend at the time


2. Structure

To structure pages, fully understanding intent of the plan.  Also, select a place to interview and consider how to take pictures there for a page.


3. Appointment/ interview arrangement

To take appointment with celebrities or authorities, and negotiate payment for them. Cameraman, stylist, studio arrangement can also be done by her.


4. Interview

Ms.Nishizawa always tries to have the best interview as much as she can. Her aim is to obtain interview contents, which only she can have from the person she interviews. She also gives instruction for photo shooting here.


5. Layout

Checking pictures taken during the interview, page layout can be structured by her and this will be handed to a designer.


6. Writing

Summarising the contents of the interview, she starts writing her paper here.


7. Submission

Created text will be handed to a printing company. Deadline has to be met.


8. Proofreading

While proofreading, she also tries to respond to final requests from her client to keep the best quality.


9. End of proofreading

After proofreading and telephone confirmation etc, the document will be passed on to the next person in charge.


So, basically, she is doing one of these every day. I thought a writer literally just writes something, but there are quite a lot more to do.



Now, I would like to introduce Ms.Nishizawa in Q&A format.


Q:   Why made you decide to be a writer?

A:  When I was wondering what to do after leaving a publisher, I was asked if I am interested in a post of a writer. Back then, I never thought I could be good at writing at all.


Q:  How long have you been working as a writer?

A:  7 years.


Q:  How do you usually take offs? Can you have Saturdays and Sundays off like a typical salary man?

A:  I sometimes have interviews to do or deadline to meet on weekends. But if there is nothing special like that, I can certainly have off on weekend. It is true that there are many editors who request writers to work on weekends.


Q:  How much do you usually earn?

A:  It really depends on months, and difference between low and high month is significant. If you look annually, I can say that I’m now earning more than I used to do when I work for a company.


Q:  How can we be a writer?

A:  We usually begin with learning at senior writer’s, and eventually become freelance. As there is no specific ‘qualification’ to be a writer, only one thing you need is pretty much ‘business cards’. That’s what we say  😮


Q:  How can you find a work?

A:  The most common method is to find somebody who can give you a work. In my case, I go speak to publishers by myself, but nowadays, you can receive new offers via SNS, too.


Q:  Is there any change you particularly feel or see recently when you are working?

A:  I can see that paper-based work has been decreasing, and web-based writing is increasing.  However, web-based work is a lot cheaper than paper-based, which can be approx. 1/2 to 1/4 of paper-based work.  As paper-based work has been decreasing, writers are fighting against each other to get the limited work.


Q:  If there is any future target, please let me know.

A:  I would like to be a writer with some strong specialty field. Basically, it will be easier to work as a writer if you could write about any topic; however, as you get order, it becomes harder to get a job unless you have some specialty field.


I see…

To be a writer, you basically need a business card, which says you are a ‘writer’ LoL.

Situation may be the same in you country, but even I can see that paper-based writing assignment has been reduced as a consumer, seeing some long-known magazines has been discontinued…

Also, the fact that she gets work offer through SNS shows how our world works now.


Here is the last question.


Q: Is there anything you always stick to pr follow as a writer?

A: Well… (after wondering for a while), ‘always meet deadlines’, and ‘write clearly and precisely’ are my basic policy…, but if I can add something, I always try to write something interesting which people will be ‘willingly decide to read’.


Thank you for your cooperation, Ms.Nishizawa!

I believe there are many types of writer around the world, so please let me know about writers story in your country, too!


Don’t miss the 2nd interview ^_^


Ms.Nishizawa’s facebook >>>