Marysville writer gains national attention

Marysville resident Jessica Whitta earns roughly $25,000 a year as a freelance writer, working on the laptop in the upstairs loft of her house. - Courtesy photo
Marysville resident Jessica Whitta earns roughly $25,000 a year as a freelance writer, working on the laptop in the upstairs loft of her house.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

MARYSVILLE — She’s a lifelong creative writer who began writing professionally three years ago, and now, Marysville housewife and mom Jessica Whitta is getting attention from ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Whitta was profiled for a news piece on the show, which was originally slated for Jan. 14 but pushed back to a later date due to the Haiti coverage, about freelance writers who earn their incomes by working from their homes. After 10 years in the banking industry, she began her writing career with a six-month stint as a business reporter for an area newspaper, before she began applying to various Web sites by sending them clips of her articles.

Whitta has since covered topics ranging from music to finance, and she regularly submits pieces to Demand Media, and America Online. She most enjoys her role as Seattle Concert Examiner for, during which she’s interviewed musicians including members of Hinder, the Derek Trucks Band and Candlebox, as well as written music reviews for the Doobie Brothers and former KISS member Ace Frehley. It was Whitta’s article for AOL about coping with the death of a pet that caught the attention of “Good Morning America” Workplace Contributor and Women for Hire CEO Tory Johnson.

“It took me about an hour to complete,” Whitta said. “I earned $105 for writing the story — pretty good for part-time work.”

Whitta explained that her online publishers supply lists of possible subjects, from which she’s free to pick and choose. Her husband is a sailor serving on board the USS Abraham Lincoln, and she appreciates that what began as a part-time hobby has since become a supplemental income for her family, as well as a creative outlet.

“You can tackle the topics that you want, you can work when you want, and you can even choose how you want to be paid, whether by flat rate or page views,” said Whitta, who earns roughly $25,000 a year from her writing, which she also claims as a tax deduction for being self-employed. “You do have to edit and rewrite your work, though. You can’t just post it online.”

Whitta encouraged other would-be writers to explore their options.

“Just do it,” Whitta said. “I’d always dreamed of having a career in writing, so I put some action behind it. I never thought I’d be included in a national news piece.”

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