Let me get this straight right off. There are plenty of things that are great about my job in particular and about having a regular, 9-5 gig in general. But freelance reporting? Man, I've missed you.
When I first started freelancing many moons ago, it was tough. All that work to be told "no thanks" many times over seemed masochistic but I persisted.
And then I got it. I figured out how to turn writing about things I liked doing into assignments - at the time, I was spending a lot of spare time in a dragon boat so I started pitching articles about it. I rewrote and sold the same story 3 or 4 times. And I was hooked. Yeah, there was still rejection involved and the work of constantly networking, researching, pitching. But I had figured out how to rock it.
I balanced freelance with a part-time job for several years. Before having my son, I assumed I would file stories as my angelic baby would peacefully nap, play or contemplate life. Yeah, right.
Reality hit a couple months into my maternity leave. I would still need daycare if I actually wanted to get work done, at home or otherwise. And without full-time work? It would be impossible to afford. Oh, and the PPD that turned me from a sometimes-neurotic artiste into a sobbing mess? Yeah, staying at home was not going to be my cup of tea if I wanted to save a sliver of sanity and actually be a half-decent parent.
So I found full-time work as a writer. I'm now at a different job, but still plugging away at a career as a writer in communications and marketing. But you know what? I still miss freelance reporting because:
1) It gives me the freedom to write about something I enjoy and/or feel passionate about.
2) I work with editors I like.
3) I get to meet and learn more about cool people.
A Little Inspiration
During a yoga class a few months ago, the teacher who was leading it struck a nerve with me - and I mean in a good way. Something he said made me think, "He has a story to tell. And I will not stop until it's told." I did a few more of his classes and kept thinking the same thing. I contacted my editor at Xtra West, who I had kept in touch with, and she agreed.
You can see the result, my interview with the fabulous yogi and singer Will Blunderfield at on the Xtra West website, with photos by my deliriously-talented husband, George Smeltzer. Enjoy!