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Posts Tagged ‘Freelancing’

 

Ever since I started freelancing, I’ve felt more creative and productive than I ever have in my entire life. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m taking control of my own destiny or the fact that I’m writing on a consistent basis, something that even novel writing doesn’t always afford, but I seem to open typing programs more. I used to freeze up when I saw the blinking cursor. I thought that only handwriting my work first would give me the creativity I needed but now I’m finding that I enjoy typing again.

 

Freelancing is fun. Doing research on something as simple as a news item has become something of a game for me. I set a deadline for myself and I stick to it. Reviews have definitely been the most eye opening. I’m playing games and reading magazines, not just because I enjoy doing both, but because I want to hone my abilities to adequately give feedback on what I’m doing, while also maintaining a high quality of work associated with that medium. I think it will pay off in the long run.

 

Thus far I’ve built something of a solid portfolio for myself, though I’d like to write a number of articles to add to the growing news feeds and reviews that I’m currently doing. I’ve been kicking around a number of ideas but I haven’t put any of them to paper yet. I don’t want to give anything away but one can be credited to my buddy Shane from work. We had a back and forth about the topic awhile ago and it got me thinking about the limitations of technology, both over-arcing and item specific. If possible, I want to work on that one first, because I think it has a good basis and solid footing.

 

I thought that freelancing would cut into my other projects but I’m finding that those projects are even more productive than they were before. Perhaps it’s because I can’t afford to waste time on frivolous things or maybe it’s because deadlines have helped me rein in my penchant to work on too many projects at once. Either way, I’ve finished things that I didn’t think I could finish and am well on my way to building a solid short story portfolio as well.

 

I wonder what the future will hold. No one knows, of course, but I feel as if I’ll get everything I desire. Maybe not everything, but definitely a good number of things. One can only hope.


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There’s something about editing that I both love and hate. I guess all writers feel this way. It doesn’t help that I’m a perfectionist… to the point that it’s probably unhealthy.Whenever I finish writing something, be it a manuscript, lyric, or article, I always feel a burning need to re-read it. I’m ego-centric, I admit, and have a desire to see what my thoughts look like on paper. But once I start going through it… I end up re-writing entire sections for no reason other than to make myself “sound smarter” than I really am. Or maybe it’s for readability… Either way, I hack through anything I’ve written and destroy it before I’m done.

This generally leaves me with about 1/5th of what I originally wrote and the now burning desire to claw out my own eyes. Why? Burn out. Just as I’m a perfectionist, I’m a completionist… once the editing process starts, I can’t… just… leave it. I have to finish. In one sitting. This is a pretty tiring process.

So what does a perfectionst/completionist writer do? Write novels, of course! Since that’s what I’ve been “writing” my entire life (ed: I’ve finished a number of them but I’ve started/nearly completed at least 30 or 40; I’m just now seeking to publish one, though), it seems only natural that my idiot self would want to edit my work. Unfortunately, it means I’ve spent the last two years editing (after I finished writing in a little over a month and a half).

I think I am an agent/editor’s worst nightmare. It’s not that I don’t finish projects, because I do, it’s that I’m such a perfectionist that since they never feel finished to me, an agent has to rip the manuscript out of my cold, dead hands.

Any other writers feel this way? Have you finished something and had it published that you wish you could go back and re-do completely? Or add sections in?

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It wasn’t until a few years ago that I considered pursuing a writing career outside of novel writing. The idea of journalism had never really appealed to me and even though I did things like give reviews on video games or books I enjoyed, I never actually wrote my reviews beyond the fairly personal and grammatically free variety.

Last year, I got up the courage to actually step into writing as a career. I’d been growing tired of my day to day job and I needed a change. I knew it would be a long time before I could say that writing was my career choice but I also knew that there was no way I would be able  to make writing my career unless I actually put one finger… in front… no… that won’t work. I wouldn’t be able to do it unless I actually sat down and wrote.

Don’t get me wrong, I write every day, and I don’t mean blogs. I work on my novels on a daily basis and I’ve recently started penning my comic book series. I make sure to do a few pages of each a day and if I’m entering that point where I’m a little burned, then I make sure to at least do something related to my art. Sometimes it has nothing to do with my projects but most of the time it does. Any headway is good headway, even if it’s only a little. But this will only take me so far. Both of these avenues take promotion, which I’m not adverse against, and neither of these paths offer a sure-fire way to making a living. There are so many writers these days, it’s almost scary. The amount of informative blogs, self-published novels and comics, and independent and professional screenplays on the market are staggering. It can make someone who is an unpublished but avid writer since the day they could form actual words (and before even that, as I have some books from the 1980s that prove I was at least putting scribbles together on paper for as long as I could remember), such as myself, develop a deep-seated fear that I will never actually make any money with my writing. And that’s a very real possibility.

It dawned on me, however, that there are other ways to make money writing, while, at the same time, working on those projects (novels and comic books in my case) you’ve poured your heart into: freelancing. I’d never considered this route because I knew nothing about it. How did you get work? How did you maintain steady work?  How much were you paid for your pieces? Not to mention the fact that the idea of having my pieces read and critiqued by, perhaps, millions of people was almost too unnerving to think about. But last year, all of that changed.

I was, oddly enough, on Neogaf.com, like I sometimes am during the afternoon, when I happened upon a thread talking about a site that needed video game reviewers and editors. About a month or so before that, I had started getting an itch to “report,” not in the traditional sense, but in the “this is why you don’t/do want to use this product” kind of way. I can’t remember what triggered the itch, but it was there and it wasn’t going away. I looked at my fiancee, told her about the subject of the thread, then agonized over what to say in my application letter. I sent along a sample after responding and asking questions in the thread and waited.

I didn’t get a response back from that website, but there were other websites that were also looking for reviewers, newshounds, and more. I sent applications and samples to these sites and waited.

Less than a month ago, I got a response. It was one of the other sites that had been looking for people. They needed a reviewer and possibly someone to write articles and editorials.  We corresponded back and forth and found that I would be great as a reviewer and doing articles when possible, mostly because of my schedule and my lifestyle.

It was that easy… I suddenly became a freelancer. It’s not permanent and if they don’t like my reviews after a few submissions, they could easily sever ties with me. But I suddenly became a freelancer, in what amounts to the blink of an eye. There wasn’t any fan-fare. I didn’t need a degree in Creative Writing or Journalism. I didn’t even need to rub shoulders with industry bigwigs. I simply needed to send an application letter and a sample. I needed to take that first step. That’s all you ever need to take. I’m glad I’ve taken it… I can’t wait to see where the other steps take me.

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