Tuesday, August 03, 2010


This morning, I read a truly heartbreaking article on The Awl titled Seven Years as a Freelance Writer. Richard Morgan, an impressively motivated former freelancer, spent seven years in New York pitching stories to editors and magazines and tried to make a living by doing something he loved. His story would have motivated me had I still been an idealistic and eager recent Journalism grad, but instead it brought back a ton of memories for me from my life as a freelancer, mostly bad ones.

But first, my experience as a freelancer is one of the motivating factors behind my decision to go back into advertising. After September 11th, when the ad industry first felt both uncertain and unnecessary--who was buying anything then? The world was coming to an end--I decided to give the freelance world a serious chance. Besides, this was right before the blogosphere practically consumed the newsstand to only then regurgitate it back onto the Internet--People were reading magazines still.

The first outlet I pitched to was Time Out New York. I had a connection through a connection and boldly emailed Elizabeth Vincentelli, the Arts and Entertainment Editor at the time, with some pitches and some sample reviews that I had written for a few indie zines. She wrote back telling me that my reviews read more like press releases. Her response was critical, nonconstructive, and ultimately, discouraging.
Six years later, a story I wrote was included in DeCapo's Best Music Writing compilation alongside one of Vincentelli's. In fact, one night at a DeCapo reading event at the Housing Works, she read an excerpt from her piece right after I had. I didn't introduce myself that night.

[To be continued]


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11:55 AM  

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