I'm piggybacking off of a recent post from Linda Formichelli's fabulous Renegade Writer blog that talks about how writers can find paying gigs. I love her blog and highly recommend it to any new (and established!) freelancer out there--I never fail to find some useful tips!
As I read the post (and others like it that I've seen on various blogs lately), it got me thinking. Most freelancers I know aren't super picky when it comes to accepting work--if it pays a semi-decent wage (that's comparable to the time we'll have to invest), we're almost always up for it. That seems to be the key to surviving as a freelancer. As more and more magazines and newspapers are folding, writers have had to get creative with the types of projects we're willing to take on.
So I thought about my own projects. I tend to go in spurts--first, I targeted the traditional consumer markets for years. Then I moved on to blogs. Then online magazines. Then copywriting. I certainly wouldn't turn down any of these clients if they came calling, and I have had some luck finding projects for all of the above, but I don't consider myself to be just a magazine writer, or just a blogger, or just a copywriter.
Lately, most of the work I've been lining up has been for trade publications, our local business journal (newspaper), one local market whose editor has been gracious enough to offer me at least one assignment for every issue within the past year, a custom publication (I did one article for them which recently ran, and I touched base with the editor last week and I expect to be getting another assignment), an ongoing content-writing project, and, my most recent serendipitous path--college alumni magazines. I connected with one college in a very roundabout way (I think they misunderstood my LOI, but the editor liked my clips so it turned out to be a positive...), so it hit me--Duh! You're in grad school...why don't you ask the editor of that school's mag if he needs writers? So I contacted him yesterday and sure enough, he was receptive. Just goes to show that sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious! I haven't given up on the consumer markets altogether, but unless I get that aha! brilliant idea, I'm happy to take on the assignments that I know editors will definitely run. I think it goes back to my appreciation for stability and security!
How about you? What kinds of projects make up your workload these days?