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No Matter Where You Live a Freelance Writing Career is Possible
by Joan Airey
No matter where you live in the world if you
have a computer with Internet service, and a digital camera a freelance writing
career is possible.
Life begins at fifty-you better believe it---a
new career at fifty can lead to numerous adventurers. My dreams were small. I
wanted to write a cooking article for a newspaper that is published 18 times a
year. A year later I met the section editor of the newspaper were my articles
were appearing on a regular basis. Over orange juice she mentioned a story in my
area they had no one to cover. I collected all my nerve to ask if I could cover
the story. She said she would be in touch with me after discussing it with her
co-editor. Lo and behold they gave me the chance to write the article and asked
if I could take my camera and get photographs.
That article led to hundreds of my articles
being published by that newspaper. Human-interest stories were my specialty. I
would query the newspaper with ideas on a regular basis providing them with the
best story and photographs I possibly could.
I found living 30 miles from 1 hour developing a
nuisance or 7 miles from 1 week developing. Finally I decided it was time to get
out of the dinosaur age and buy a digital camera. At first I took my dependable
35mm along to get a set of back up prints in case that digital didn't do the
job. Soon I realized I was wasting time, money buying film and getting
photographs developed. Now I am able to instantly transfer photographs to the
paper via Internet. Digital cameras can break down when you most need them so a
back up camera is a good idea.
Meanwhile the newspaper I was freelancing for
purchased a weekly paper therefore needing more articles. That meant I could
write articles covering stories in my home province for the weekly paper and
when traveling write articles for the national paper.
On spec I emailed some country scenes to the
editor which had purchased photographs from me previously. E-mail arrived asking
for my phone number he had a proposition for me if I was interested. I'm making
bread later in the day when the phone rings. It is the editor telling me instead
of using just photographs they are going to start running mini articles with the
photographs. Could I handle it? I explained I write articles for the ladies
section and would like to spread my wings and cover other challenging
After several months of doing freelance articles
one Saturday I checked my e-mail could I provide the paper with a photograph of
someone baling hay.
Not a hard assignment as my husband or son would
be baling hay that day. Could I find someone for my editor to interview on the
haying situation in our province? My husband agreed to be interviewed.
I've never turned down an assignment from the
original papers editors who gave me a chance at a new career for which I had no
training. As well I often write articles for other magazines and
My dream was to write eighteen articles a year
for some extra income now I sell more than 18 articles a month.
The first time the newspaper rejected an article
I queried about I was devastated.
Which was rather silly, as the reason was
someone else had been assigned that story. The editor was encouraging as she
suggested the story was excellent and that I should submit it to another
newspaper. I did and they purchased the story. Don't give up; give 100% to every
article you write and you will reap the rewards.
© Copyright 2005, Joan Airey
Joan Airey is a freelance writer and photographer. She resides in southern Manitoba, Canada on the family farm.
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