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....

Halbritter Sonic Only Annotation

Halbritter’s article, Musical rhetoric in integrated-media composition, brought to mind these different scenes from three movies.  Within these, the soundtrack is inseparable from the scene.  These are examples of how “music provides ‘a bridge between individuals, genres, time periods, and groups’ (p. xvi).” (Halbritter 320). The following are not “multi-modal, but integrated media because the work is multi-faceted, but calls attention to its multi-faceted...

Listening with Lipari and Bessette

In this post I offer a combined annotation of two articles.  The first is Audio, Archives, and the Affordance of Listening in a Pedagogy of “Difference” by Jean Bessette, and the latter is Rhetoric’s Other:  Levinas, Listening, and the Ethical Response by Lisbeth Lipari. In a podcast-like discussion, I attempt to bring both of these works together to process the following questions: How are digital media transforming the potential audiences for academic discourse? How is listening a “multimodal” activity? What if our understanding of critical thinking through writing were expanded to include critical thinking through musical/sonic composition? To put it another way, should we still be privileging a print-centered definition of literacy when the web is a multimodal authoring and reading environment? To what extent are classical models or definitions (Socratic, Aristotelian, Pre-Socratic, etc.) of rhetoric still relevant? Also highlight and define (sonically!) key and unfamiliar terms in the text you choose. Not all of these questions will be fully answered, but hopefully the format of the podcast below will give rise to more thought on these subjects. Please be advised: NONE of the Audio clips that I tried to include came through on SoundCloud.  I must ask, therefore, that you explore the works that I referenced in on your own.  They appear below in the order of their intended appearance, so please take a moment to listen to the beginning part of Sacrifice and any section of the interviews during the long gaps in the Podcast. Useful Sounds, Links, and Sources Nikki Giovanni–Soul Food, Sex, and Space March 17, 2016. On Being. Photo by the Furious Flower Poetry Center. Katy Payne–In the Presence...

Hey Harry Hey Matilda: A Visual Annotation

“NFL Players Wear ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Messages To Protest Eric Garner’s Death” Buzzfeed “This is Not America” Kanji Koohii Forum Women Strike Back Against Victoria’s Secret ‘Perfect “Body” ’ Campaign. Takepart.com “Love Your Body Campaign” People.southwestern.edu “Automatically place multiple images in a grid” http://blog.gilbertconsulting.com “Watch Beyonce’s Surprise New Video ‘Formation’” Rolling...

Instagram Narrative Proposal

The intention of the project that we will refer to as the “Instagram Narrative” is to create a narrative in which the linguistic is either just as important as or less important than the visual.  For my purposes, when I use the term “the visual”, what I intend to encompass is image, motion with or without sound, gesture, and dance.  I do not simply refer to the image or the photograph. The inspiration for the Instagram Narrative project is Hey Harry Hey Matilda, the first Instagram novel to grace our screens.  The short epistolary was written at one time and is being slowly released over a period of nine months.  What is unique about this Instagram account is not that the visual tells a story along with words–children’s stories do that–nor is it unique because of its intentional arrangement–comics and movies do this.  What is unique is the medium and the constraints that come along with it.  One constraint is that the text portion of the entry has to stay relatively small.  Readers will only continue to read the text inside of the “Caption” box for so long before becoming bored.  In fact, we might consider an ultra-hurried reader to be another one of our Instagram-specific constraints.  It is our job as the creators to slow our readers down.  A tool that we use to do this is the visual.  On Instagram, the visuals appear in tile form and act as the title page for the written component.  This means that if the visual is not appealing, the text is not seen.  Thus, the visual is the gateway to the...
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