I almost feel like Rip Van Winkle, the old man who slept for 20 years — except I’m far from old (well, OK, not that far) and I have most definitely NOT been sleeping.
When the media storm hit the fan over my first novel, THE JEWEL OF MEDINA, in 2008, I had a terrific freelancing career. My main client, BNA (the Bureau of National Affairs) in Washington, D.C., was paying me good money to report on news of national and international interest coming out of Montana and Idaho. I had just published articles with Women’s eNews and the Montanan, the University of Montana’s alumni magazine.
But the controversy over my book filled my days and nights with interviews from reporters all over the world. My agent sold translation rights in 19 languages, and I had appearances and book tours scheduled in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Spain, and Serbia in addition to New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Missoula, and Helena, Mont. Plus, I had death threats, which meant a whole lot of stress until I figured out that I’d rather spend my time thinking about how to live than fretting over how, and when, I might die.
Freelancing fell by the wayside. I quit my BNA gig rather than continue to say “no” to assignments. My freelance writing career would always be there, I thought.
But, guess what? Between then and now, the freelancing world has changed. The economy crashed; newspapers downsized; magazines started folding like paper airplanes. When the time came for me to start making money from something besides book royalties, I had no idea where to turn.
That’s all changed now. Thanks to some terrific resources, some amazingly supportive people in the writing community, social media savvy I’d developed over several years of marketing my own books online, and lots of hard work on my part, I’m off to a pretty fantastic revitalization of my freelance writing and editing career. As my National Association of Independent Writers and Editors profile shows, I’ve got some great clients on my roster, including Itron, a multinational corporation, and Ten5, a Vancouver, B.C. marketing firm that’s growing by leaps and bounds. And I have interest from many more clients, as well.
Now, to pay it forward. I’ll use this blog to share my trials, tribulations, and successes in this freelance writing adventure, with an eye toward helping others. I’ll also talk about good writing, share the best writing and freelancing websites, tell how I’m finding clients, and more. While I’m at it, I’ll probably share more than one pointer on what NOT to do.*
* Such as, don’t hand out old, outdated business cards unless you want prospective clients NOT to contact you. Lacking current cards, I gave out cards with my Author Sherry Jones website and Facebook address to a prospective client — but no phone number or email address. When I’d ordered the cards, I was getting death threats and, really, did not want to be contacted. Fortunately for me, the prospect found my phone number on my resumé, and called to say he needed an email address. Boy was my face red!
Now, please excuse me while I head over to Moo to design and order some of their mini-cards. I’ve got an important meeting next week with about 13 prospective clients, and I’ll need them!
Next: How I found my first-ever SEO web content client — and convinced him to hire me.