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Pursuing freelance work?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by flexmaster33, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    How aggressive are you on pursuing freelance work?
    Let's put the 1-10 scale at...
    1) No effort, but will consider it if asked
    10) Constantly checking local events and e-mailing out of town papers for the work.

    I'd put myself around a 5...my schedule is busy enough that I pretty much only offer on events that I would be covering anyway, but will send out e-mails to pursue some of those double-duty assignments.

    I have more time in the summers and may search out more events.
  2. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    When I was a full-time freelancer, um, it was a 10.
  3. ianguerin

    ianguerin New Member

    Ditto playthrough. Before I started Career No. 2, I was probably borderline annoying to many a sports editors around the Southeast. It paid off.
    I took the advice of many people on this site: When I was using it as my primary source of income, looking for work was just as important as covering games, writing features, etc. You always have to be looking for the next assignment.
  4. writingump

    writingump Member

    I'd say I'm an 8. I've managed to land some decent gigs the last couple of years, simply by asking and being semi-persistent. I've learned that the worst thing they can tell you is no, so it never hurts to ask.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, when I was full-time freelancing I chased very little event coverage. Sometimes a gig would come up through the freelance board here or through other contacts, but when it's your livelihood you need to put more time into finding features that pay a few hundred bucks than game stories that might bring $100. Though it's good to get some one-off gigs so you can have that resume line which says "playthrough's work has appeared in big paper x, y, z."
  6. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    I've always been curious how that works...I assume you need to be in a populated East Coast area for that to be an option at all. Out here in the Northwest there just aren't enough publications to keep a steady paycheck coming in.

    So did you like the freedom it offered, or was it stressful?
    In my situation, it's always just been a nice bonus...some money to put away into the vacation or Christmas fund.
  7. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    As an SE, I must say I never get tired of proposals...especially when they come via e-mail (sometimes repeated cell phone requests can get tiresome). Even though I have to say no 9 times out of 10 any more, it's great to have that willing person out there for that time I get approval.
  8. ringer

    ringer Member

    As a freelancer, you can't think too locally or you'll starve. No work = no pay. No pay = no eat. It's beyond stressful because you're never off-duty and you can never say no.
  9. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Think of it another way, though. There may not be outlets in the Northwest ... but there sure are a hell of a lot of outlets in the East who can't afford to send anyone up that way anymore for games.
  10. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Pretty spot-on. It was stressful -- and I was fortunate to be married to someone with a steady job and benefits. I admire the heck out of folks who successfully freelance full-time without that safety net.
  11. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    I can't imagine doing freelance solo without the safety net...kudos to those who work hard to pull it off.

    @ zebra ... Yes, I'm starting to see those options better now with schools coming in to face some of our colleges and such.
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