*Rick was a firefighter. (Closed compound.)
*Rick was a well-respected firefighter. (It becomes a hyphenated compound after being placed before a noun, which is closed compound.)
There are exceptions such as well being, which can be used with or without a hyphen.
It's impossible to list all the exceptions and examples in a single post. And no one expects a writer to be perfect in English and grammar. After all, that's why editors exist. However, all writers should continuously learn and research to improve their writing skills. Master the craft of creative writing with the right editor by your side as your guide. And you will, one day, produce a piece that you can proudly call your own.
Thanks for visiting my blog. And visit my Editor Website