Freelancers and Freedom

Thursday, April 12, 2007
Freelance writers are an integral part of the writing world. We're the ones who fill magazines, report the news and make the world just a little bit smaller, a little bit friendlier.

One of the things I love about being a freelance writer is the freedom it allows. Freedom to write about things that interest me. Freedom to target the markets I consider to be important or those I want to support. But if I want to be published, there are still some rules I have to follow.

Most important is the "know your target market" rule. No matter how great your writing or how wonderfully informative your article...if you don't send it to the right place, you are wasting money, time and effort. One of the best ways to "know your market" is to study back issues. Read the articles to discern their style and tone. This lets you know what the editors are looking for. Next, check out the ads on each page. These tell you the target audience of the magazine... letting you know who your readers are. And be sure to keep in mind the topics since you don't want to repeat something that's been done before.

Naturally you want to check their submission guidelines. Everyone has them, even WOW! (We'll get ours posted on the website real soon.) Guidelines tell you all the little details that keep editors happy. These details include things such as format; what, how and where to submit along with when you should expect a reply. Following these "rules" allow me the freedom to be the stay at home mom, writer and person I want to be.

What are some of the things you like about being a freelance writer?


Oh...Saturday I'll be at the Jubilee Jambalaya Writer's Conference in Houma Louisiana. If you're there, be sure to find me and say hi. :-)


Sue said...

I totally agree on many levels. Freelancers do make the world a friendlier place, yet their job is far from easy. As an aspiring freelancer, I've learned that targeting the correct market is one of the most critical aspects to breaking into print (and staying there). Unfortunately, researching markets can be time-consuming and far less exciting than writing itself. But the freedom bonus that comes at the end of day is priceless. After I send my articles off to land on various editors' desks, I can greet my kids when they return from school, talk with them, help them with homework, and drive them to soccer practice. Ah, the writer's life!

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