Happy Monday writers, readers and wanderers!
This past week has included so many oddities and beautiful surprises out of the blue I have had to sit back and think, “WHOA, this is the world!”
A few housekeeping updates:
I wrote an article for The Fix over a year ago and I had been rolling some ideas around in my mind to pitch to write for them again. The pay is very good–$250 for 1,200 words–at least, that is good to me. I kept thinking to myself, I can’t pitch that, it’s too loose. I can’t pitch yet, I haven’t secured sources… Do I need to secure sources?! So one day I finally sat down and wrote out two pitches and sent them off to the editor I worked with from my initial article and VOILA! They couldn’t take one article but they gladly accepted another. Hence, in the works comes my first official ‘reportage’ assignment!
Other developments: pitches accepted for my local alt-weekly The Gambit. Word back from Kirkus to write a test review to see if I meet the standards to regularly write reviews for indie publishers. CRAZY!!!
So, a few tips I want to instill upon you, dear reader, in the moment that the world has lovingly paid off:
1. Focus, focus, focus on whatever you need to do RIGHT NOW. No half-stepping.
This past weekend I was at my boutique job and I kept getting the urge to go and work on some freelancing stuff–securing sources, reading a pamphlet Kirkus sent, generally being anxious wondering “Can I do it?! Can I do it?!?!” YES, YOU CAN. But! The biggest pill I am trying to push down my own throat right now is discipline to focus on the task at hand when it is in front of you. If I have some freelancing thoughts in the back of my head, that’s awesome, that’s great, but I can’t half ass four things at once just to scratch an itch. That way, when you do sit down to begin interviews or writing or research you can put your whole focus onto a clean slate. And it is important to note that my boutique job is very busy in different ways and it’s simply disingenuous to not hone in on my focus in that arena too.
2. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, you will either collect some sweet fruits or fall on your ass, but you won’t die.
Examples of random risks out of my character: actually utilizing LinkedIn to find writers and journalists that went to my college and reaching out to them. I found a girl that graduated a year or two ahead of me who is not an editor at Playboy (?!?! CRAZY!) and even though I never met her I requested to connect with her and yeah, she may deny my ass but if she doesn’t? Out comes a cute little note asking for an opportunity. Because in reality, who cares? Once you’re established half the fun of it is helping other people up, too.
3. You are capable of writing whatever you want to write. With discipline, focus and intense Googling, you will be okay.
Repeat, repeat, repeat. If a pitch was accepted, it’s because the editor thinks you can write it. One of the most lovely things in my opinion about freelance writing for the creative spirit is the nature of a deadline. No matter how full of nerves or anxious you may be, you have to push through your own ego to get the work out and finished. And trust me, you (and I) will do it.
A parting gift: some laundromat poetry that I adore in my local spot.