so, you want to be a numismatic writer? i had wanted to become one since i was a kid. i began writing with aims for commercial publication as early as the age of seven, and by nine i was sending a monthly newsletter to family and friends to help sharpen my writing chops. i then began my long and winding journey into coin collecting at the age of 11 in 1992 and soon wanted to begin writing about the hobby i had come to love so dearly. but that wouldn’t happen on a professional level until many years later. i attended college and earned a bachelor’s degree in english, with a focus on technical and professional writing.
after graduation, i landed a job at an internet marketing firm as a staff writer. and that’s where i spent the next four years, writing web content about a variety of topics ranging from funeral services to office furniture. for a couple months, i even had the opportunity to write web content for a nearby coin dealer and jeweler. while the internet marketing job was fun and helped to pay the rent, i knew writing anonymous web content about cubicles is not how i wanted to spend the rest of my long career.
云图彩票平台while working at the internet marketing firm, i began looking for freelance writing opportunities. i had already been working for one blog as a coin content editor, but if i wanted to earn a living as a numismatic writer, i’d need to supplement my blog income by writing for several other websites and publications, too. i eventually reached out to the editors of a couple of the coin publications i had grown up reading and asked if i could submit content for consideration and potential publication.
云图彩票平台a little persistence paid off, and eventually i earned a gig writing a monthly column for one of those publications. in the meantime, i also began writing history-related and human-interest stories for a few local news publications. this helped me achieve another childhood writing goal – being a newspaper writer. during this time, i also published a few books about my town’s history with a large, traditional publishing house based in south carolina.
after nearly 18 months of working long hours at both the internet marketing firm and freelancing, i had a big decision to make… at the rate i was adding new writing clients, i could afford to make the leap into freelancing full time, but should i? i was 33 years old and decided the time and the opportunity were right. it was a leap of faith, and the first few months were difficult financially. but i made it work.
within six months of working 70- to 80-hour weeks (and sometimes even many more hours still per week), i had added enough new clients that i was earning more money as a freelancer than i was in my full-time internet marketing job. i also had begun writing for a variety of new numismatic websites and publications. in august 2015, i was deeply humbled when the numismatic literary guild bestowed upon me the clement f. bailey memorial award for “best new writer.” my hard work was finally paying off.
Within the following year, I had also been awarded the position of managing editor for FUN Topics, the quarterly publication for the Florida United Numismatists. My portfolio of clients continued growing, and before long I landed larger regular writing gigs. My journey writing for PCGS began in summer 2019, authoring short posts for the PCGS Blog and writing feature articles for Rare Coin Market Report. This evolved into a larger role at PCGS as content manager in November 2019. It’s a role I’m proud to have, and I love writing articles for PCGS and helping to coordinate the company’s content production on a larger platform with a fantastic team of talented writers and industry experts.
As you’ve seen, my path to becoming a numismatic writer took many years and lots of hard work. I also didn’t stay focused on writing solely for numismatics. For me, the path of writing for different types of venues and audiences was quite enriching and instructive. My goal has always been to adopt a writing style that is approachable for all kinds of readers, and it’s a mission I continue working on and am hopefully perfecting with each and every article I write. I also enjoy relating numismatics beyond the coins themselves and into many other contexts, including sociopolitical, historical, artistic, and – whenever possible – the human level.
So, what does it take to become a numismatic writer? First and foremost, separating facts from opinion is key. Knowing how to thoroughly research various topic matter and conduct proper interviews with the experts is imperative in all journalistic writing. You can’t simply write in the bubble of your own knowledge and perspective. Yes, you’ve got to use your unique voice as a writer, but you must reach out to the experts and gain a variety of perspectives on the topics you’re writing about. I try to include at least two or three quotes in each article from various experts in the relevant field whenever feasible. And, I absolutely always use multiple vetted resources in my research. Vetted? Simply put, vetted content is authored by experts and peer reviewed.
If you want to be a numismatic writer, then aim to become a good researcher and solid journalist. And never think you know it all! You don’t, and I certainly don’t, either! Be a perpetual student of the craft and endeavor to learn something new every day. Ask lots of questions, particularly of the experts. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes but do be sure to learn from them! I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given as a numismatic writer, and I can’t wait to write the next story!
May your journey as a numismatic writer be filled with much adventure and many exciting assignments! Cheers!