This freelance writing business is pretty challenging and precarious it would seem… Don’t think I’ll be giving up the day job just yet!
I wanted to write something about the homogeneity and inherent conservatism of the teaching profession (particularly at primary level) as it’s something I’ve noticed and thought about a lot and during the lockdown, I decided to pitch my idea for an article to a number of different Irish publications. I heard nothing from any of them for ages and just when I’d given up completely, an editor of a small magazine got back to me and indicated he’d be interested . I had already researched the idea and written half of it as I felt it was an important issue and one that wasn’t getting enough attention in the media so even though there didn’t seem to be any likelihood of getting paid for it, I figured I’d go ahead and write the damn thing anyway.
I know, I know, I should have insisted on being paid and kept pitching the idea until I found someone who would agree to my rates but quite honestly, it’s a full-time job in itself just pitching ideas to editors and following up with them and I figured that as a freelance writer with no real by-lines, I didn’t have much credibility anyway and that at least I’d have another published sample of my work to approach editors in future with….
It’s kind of that whole chicken and egg scenario…you want to get paid but don’t really have the experience and the whole newspaper industry seems to be going to hell in a handbasket anyway…so many of them are suffering financially and going out of business as people consume all their news online and rarely buy newspapers and/or magazines anymore….
Anyway, long story short, I’ve got that all important by-line now and may come up with some more article ideas in the future but I gotta tell ya, I admire anyone who works full-time as a journalist or freelance writer as it’s a tough gig……