I made the mistake of assuming that all freelance writing opportunities would be a positive experience – when it comes to adding to my portfolio, and just having fun doing what I love – but it’s a lot harder than it seems. If you’re not the right match, Editor to writer, it’s hard to see eye to eye, or even e-mail to e-mail.
For some unknown reason, I didn’t consider that as a Freelance Writer you need REAL contacts. Employers are entitled to ask you for quotes, and these aren’t just any quotations. Depending on who you’re writing for, or what your topic is, you need a renowned fashion critic, famous individual or public relations person to provide you with a reliably quoted statement on the theme of the article. You could always go interview someone of relevance yourself, but not everyone has time for that kind of adventure.
Honing in on this journalist-skill has been difficult, but thanks to some friends in relevant places I’ve managed to pull some things together for a particular article on 60s inspired weddings. As a freelance writer, you need to have A LOT of contacts and enough networks to support your creative inclinations. I definitely learned this golden rule the hard way.
Not every Editor is as productive as others. Without the use of track changes I’m at a loss for what really needs to be changed. I appreciate the insight and suggestions in how to achieve a particular tone that the publisher is looking for, but the back and forth through email can be challenging. I love interacting in person and having a “go-to” to hash my ideas out with.
When it comes to rates, even if you’re like me and have established your own, employers that I’ve come across don’t seem to honour them. With experience you earn more, but that’s over time. Take it from someone at the bottom of the freelance writing pool, it’s hard to keep it all in perspective when you’re being paid practically nothing.
Ultimately, it is a learning experience and you’re not obligated to work for any employer more than once. I was forced to drop this particular project around the time I was asked to do a third version of the rough draft – just about from scratch.
I wish I had a freelance mentor who could help me make the right decisions. Any takers?