Why You Need to Freelance

Thursday, April 19, 2012

magazine shrink ray?
Image Via Creative Commons




I was in the 5th grade when I announced to my parents, teachers, and friends that "when I grow up I'm going to be an author." I remember thinking that title sounded so important, so regal. 


Two decades later I have yet to publish or even write a book. Sometimes I get a bit disheartened by this but I'm encouraged when I remember that I am still a writer nonetheless. I've written for magazines, webzines, and newspapers and I blog like crazy. I know that all the smaller projects and assignments I'm doing are good practice. And practice makes perfect, right? 


In fact, writer and blogging superstar Jeff Goins says that the best way to start a writing career is to write for magazines. Goins writes:
"It doesn’t matter if you’re a future novelist, nonfiction author, or journalist. Writing short-form pieces prepares you for long-form. This is a great alternative to endlessly working on multiple drafts of your book and letting it sit in a drawer for years."


He goes on to say that writing features for magazines, websites, and other publications teaches you to be humble about your work (yes, even you need an editor) and teaches you how to meet deadlines. And on top of all that, writing for magazines usually pays.


If you're wondering how to get started, Goins recommends writing reviews, doing interviews on your blog, and working to gigs with online publications. Read more of Goins' suggestions here


For those of you who live in Birmingham, Ala., you have the opportunity to learn even more on breaking into the world of freelancing. On Tuesday, May 15, See Jane Write, an organization I started last year for local women writers, will present Freelancing 101. This event is a panel discussion featuring successful freelance writers and editors of local publications. Click here for more information and to register for this free event.


For those of you who don't live here in my Sweet Home Alabama, don't fret. I'll be sharing plenty of freelancing tips in the coming weeks and after the panel discussion. 


Happy writing!  

4 comments:

  1. In future posts about freelancing, I would like to see you elaborate on Goins' suggestion to "use a past success to get your foot in the door for a future one." Also about Goin, I noticed he said magazines are best, not newspapers. Sad, interesting and probably true.

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