Every freelancer needs a few mentors as we get our careers off the ground and start to find our way. Since I started seriously pursuing writing opportunities three years ago (ack! It's been that long already?!?), I've been very fortunate to meet (either in person or virtually) a number of freelancers who have been incredibly gracious with their time, talent, and wisdom. It's been great (and very reassuring) to have a few "go-to" freelancers I feel comfortable approaching with questions about various issues. There are also a few freelancers I don't know personally, but feel I've gotten to know as I've read their blogs and learned more about their career paths and focus areas.
So here's my list (in no particular order) of a few freelancers whose devotion to the field, longevity, creativity, and graciousness never fail to inspire me:
Jodi Webb. I basically owe my start in freelancing to Jodi, whom I met at my writer's group eons ago (OK, in 2007, but it seems like a lot longer). I'm always amazed at how she can get countless story ideas out of one concept. I don't know how she does it--a fact I often share with her. The fact that she's also finished a novel sort of humbles me, too!
Michelle Goodman. I've read both of Michelle's books on freelancing (My So-Called Freelance Life) and alt careers (The Anti-9-5 Guide) and I think she's great. I love her conversational, candid writing style. I also love how she's made a career out of writing about non-traditional careers.
Lori Widmer. I just started reading Lori's blog a few months ago. I admire her outspokenness and advocacy for writers asking (and receiving) wages comparable with the quality of their work; so much so that she is the brain behind the annual Writers Worth Day. I look forward to reading her blog, Words on the Page, daily.
Caroline G. Keyser. Caroline is a new Internet friend and it's been great swapping markets, ideas, and basically building our careers one query/LOI at a time (OK, sometimes multiples of each, but you get the idea).
Linda Formichelli. I was familiar with Linda thanks to Writer's Digest, but the sheer number of other major (and minor) markets she's written for is mind-boggling. Her Renegade Writer blog is another one I read regularly.
Thursday Bram. Thursday is a great resource for all things business-related. I've emailed her quite a few times with questions on various issues and she's been a terrific help (and I've managed to avoid some bad decisions thanks to her advice).
Susan Johnston. I've been a devoted reader of Susan's Urban Muse blog for the past year or so, and I have to say, I would be the happiest of campers if my own writing career could emulate hers. Also, she's been another invaluable source of advice and is another writer who has helped me avoid some rough situations (I should also add that I sold an article to a very big market that was included in her e-book!)
What freelancers do you admire?