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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 stories.

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 papers.

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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