Career Review: Freelance Writing

What does a dream career look like for tech-savvy millennials? I assert that it includes the ability to travel, to be your own boss, to wear your pajamas to work, to work according to your own schedule, and to, in general, avoid the restrictive feeling of the dreaded office job.  Not surprisingly, the first career to which millennial English majors are often tempted to turn is freelance writing.  The job appears glorious, much like the idea of homeschooling looks to public middle-schoolers and to people who have never been home schooled. What English majors, like disgruntled public-schooled students, do not see in the career is the discipline involved in finding work and in producing writing even when the pay is slight and the jobs are few.  The freelancer is constantly on the hunt, looking for articles to write through online sources (such as Freelance Writing Jobs, Freelance Writing, or Be a Frelance Blogger), endless submissions to the same newspaper that has turned them down about ten times already, and finally finding gigs that may not relate to how they thought they would be writing.  Very few authors suddenly rise to fame as the result of one or even a few articles.  More often, in fact, the pay is so unpredictable that it is nearly impossible to make a living without a secondary source of income.  Timothy Lemire seeks to demystify freelance writing in chapter seven of his book titled appropriately I’m an English Major – Now What?: How English Majors Can Find Happiness, Success, and a Real Job.   The following presentation seeks to further explain and demystify this career...

An Interview and Observation of a Freelance Artist

It was 6:20 pm on a Sunday when I walked into a trendy coffee shop on the west side of Atlanta.  The crowd was buzzing with fashionably-clad hipsters and preps alike, most of whom were engaged more with their laptops than with the person directly opposing them.  The music was thumping loudly as I made my way over to a high table in the bar corner of the room where Christen Weimer sat waiting for me with a tea.  She greeted me warmly. Christen and I have been distant friends or close acquaintances for over a decade.  We unofficially met at the Atlanta Ballet when I was in my mid teens, you know, the time when age gaps are felt more acutely than they are in adulthood, and have continued to share mutual friends ever since.  Christen is a freelance writer, but also a professor of dance at Spellman College and Clayton State University.  She also teaches yoga and dance classes around the greater Atlanta area, is working on a novel, and is about to host and create works for a collaborative art gallery just off the Atlanta Beltline.  Though she mainly writes dance reviews without receiving pay, not necessarily what people intend to do when they set out to be freelance writers, what I find interesting and so extremely applicable to my own life is how Christen balances her creativity between movement and language.  Christen is situated right between the two worlds.  It is a place that seems to be full of life, collaboration, and change. Even the way that we met was infused with this ever-changing energy....
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