Thursday, June 7, 2007

Encouragement and Another Breadcrumb Trail

I wandered over to, lured by the headline Write Pitches that Turn into Assignments. That turned out to be quite the interesting set of articles on writing in general.

In looking about, I then found this encouraging article by Loolwa Khazzoom about being a full-time freelance writer and a parent. It isn’t a “lightning strike” story about a yappy blog being discovered by mainstream media. It’s about building your career, slowly and carefully.

A couple of clicks down the breadcrumb trail I found her web site, with an impressive array of magazine covers and newspaper logos. It is sites like this that can really get a beginner motivated – or at least playing the “what if” game. It’s important to consider how you can fit freelancing into your life at the start of your career.

For me, my children are too young and my full-time job too financially crucial to our lives to chuck it all and “Just Do It”. But I do have time to research, write, and edit the occasional article. The question is whether I can commit to a deadline. Promising to deliver and failing to do so because your youngest threw up on the dog and the couch in the middle of writing it will not impress your client. Nor is it likely to get you more work through positive word-of-mouth or feedback. Staying up until 3 in the morning after a full work week is hardly conducive to good finished copy, either.

While sometimes I feel like a coward or a procrastinator, the fact is that I am not in a position to do serious freelance work. It’s better for me and better for the name of freelancers everywhere that I remember these points when I’m tempted to sign up for places like (more on them tomorrow) and elance. It seems like a lot of folks are so excited by the idea of being a freelance writer that they leap into it with both feet and end up over their heads pretty quickly. I’d rather wade in slowly and feel my way.

Some days, though, that feels more like rationalizing than reasoning. Those are the days when I’ve been sucked into perusing craigslist and reading too many blogs.