Today, after weeks of scheduling, I FINALLY met with a local freelance writer for what I like to call a “writers meeting.” She’s been in the freelance game for over ten years so she gave me really great advice, including what local publications prints freelance work. She’s written for majority of them.
Even though she disliked my wanting to go into entertainment, because “there are no real stories,” she was helpful in getting more clips overall. The more clips I have, she said, the more chances I have in landing better freelance work and/or a full-time writing job. I’m open to anything under the umbrella of entertainment (music, movies, food, fashion, lifestyle) so right now I’m going to focus on getting more samples.
When I told her that I went to grad school in LA then came home, she asked me if I was thinking of moving back. I told her yes, and she gave me a rundown of the entertainment scene here compared to LA (if I want to stick to small, regional coverage of entertainment, stay here and if not, move). I want to do the big stuff!
I asked her how she made a living freelancing, and she didn’t really answer my question. However, she did tell me that all of the freelancers she knows do it as a side job. That’s what she used to do (her full-time job was a professor), and I think that’s what I’m gonna do too. As a writer we can basically do anything, I told her. We can learn social media on our own, or graphic design, or editing. Nowadays journalists need more than great writing skills.
It was funny near the end of our hour long conversation when she suggested I look up entertainment jobs and note their requirements. For example if it said that the applicant needed at least 3 years of experience in a newsroom then to get that experience. She echoed what the career counselor told me!! She laughed when I brought it up.
I left the meeting with more direction and advice then when I entered it. I’m glad that I was able to meet with someone who actually did the work that I was currently doing, instead of taking advice from people who weren’t in my field of work. She knew what she was talking about and I felt inspired to work hard. Hey, freelancing is tough, but it doesn’t have to be. She does it and for now, so can I.