The (anti) Procrastination Diaries

Finding the ways to fill the time

Five First Steps For Freelance Journalists

Start A Blog

It’s a great ice-breaker when asking people for interviews or photos, and as an online portfolio for editors to easily view. Meeting people increases the likelihood that others will hear of you through word of mouth who might have need of having copy written or photos taken.

Doing interviews of local groups, or events is fun, a great way to meet people, and good writing practice.

Collect Stories

Stories are all around us. Take time to talk, to question and to learn, even without a specific article in mind, taking inspiration from the examples of others.

Have Your Details Ready

From a business card, to a printed slip of paper, especially for when you take a photo of someone, it’s polite to offer some way for them to get a copy if desired, and hopefully some more curious eyes on your blog.

Don’t Shy From The Label: I am a writer

It can be hard in the first stages to reply when the job question comes up: I’m a writer/ blogger/photographer. Blogger especially. The title has a stigma to the extent that it might seem less embarrassing to admit being unemployed.

Jeff Goins, “Great Writers” blog challenge first week’s challenge was: Tell people, everyone, out loud, that you are an author. No one is going to take you seriously, if even you can’t. It can be amazing how supportive some people, especially other writers and photographers, can be: giving advice, recommendations or contacts.

Preparation And Practice

Think of a theme for the article as a frame-work to brainstorm questions within. Keep a journal to write out all your biases into, to stay conscious and clear of them while interviewing. Has the idea been done somewhere else already? Can it be viewed from a fresh angle or is even that a cliche? Identify what you want to learn from an interview.

At the same time, as Erica Smith noted in her blog post, The Line is Dancer, artists once learned to draw by copying art. Before photo shoots, compile a group of photos to possibly emulate, to help focus when time is limited.  With greater practice and experience, a personal style and muscle memory develops, to the point of becoming intuitive.

 

Being a freelance writer is tough, and more work than many of us imagine. The rewards for many are that of a personal rather than financial nature, the sense of achievement as our writing and photography improves. The best thing about being part of a blogging community is that we can still share our work, and progress, to the interest and enjoyment of others and hopefully one day become successful freelance journalists.

Have some tips on freelancing? Stories from the field? Just want to say hi? Leave a note in the comments!

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5 comments on “Five First Steps For Freelance Journalists

  1. RebeccaV
    June 12, 2012

    Great post! I definitely didn’t feel comfortable calling myself a writer until I had something published even though I knew that was malarky. Great advice!

    • Vividhunter
      June 12, 2012

      Thanks for the comment Rebecca. ^^ We have to take advantage of (the usually negative) self-fulfilling prophecy, I think. It’s not just telling other people, but ourselves.

  2. Rustic Recluse
    June 13, 2012

    I always wondered what it’s like to be a freelance writer/copywriter/creative/photographer/anything. It’s a risk to take and I’m not sure I can do that right now but I’ll still consider. I’ll love to learn more form your blog! 🙂

    • Vividhunter
      June 13, 2012

      Thanks for your comment! To be honest, I might not have made the leap either except that my husband asked me to take a year off to help him. It felt wrong not to be working for a while, but I feel like it’s worth it now.

      • Rustic Recluse
        June 13, 2012

        It makes all the difference when you get support from your other half. I guess it is well worth it! 🙂 Good luck with whatever you’re working with – and helping your husband too! 🙂

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