Write From Home
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610
E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com
How I Landed, Juggled and Completed a
Baker's Dozen of Projects and How You Can Too!
by David Geer
During April--May (2003) I completed 13
I pitched an antiques magazine on a tip from a gallery about the recovery of
North Carolina's Bill of Rights. The publication assigned the news item. The
story suited their readership; I had also sent a previous query, which though
rejected was well written. The news release gave me contacts. I developed solid
interview questions in order to cover the topic thoroughly. It wasn't hard to turn
around in a few hours, spread out over some days. They paid $1/word.
I landed an assignment about a new technology by approaching a magazine's news
editor with my availability. They needed someone experienced and he assigned me
the topic. This editor provided a detailed template. This article paid $1,000.
I received an article published in an engineering publication (randomly, by
e-mail). There was mention that the author had gone on leave. On the chance that
they might need someone, I looked them up. They needed someone in Ohio to pitch
ongoing stories. I pitched an idea that was perfect for a grouping of pieces
about to be published. If I could complete it in a few days, the assignment was
mine. After looking up a local source that was a big part of the story, it
wasn't hard to find the other participants.
The editor of a legal publication called upon getting wind of my research for
another project. He wondered if I had ideas for a spin-off. I pitched a spin-off
that looked at the topic from multiple angles and he liked it immediately. The
assignment paid $1,500. Prior research eased the process.
I am a contributing writer for a wireless publication. I pitched a three-part
series on space shuttle wireless, coincidentally just after the Columbia
tragedy. They were looking for pieces about wireless that works and liked the
idea. I used the same research for all three pieces.
A real estate appraiser contacted me. He needed marketing letters and other work
(three projects to start). He provided samples, which saved research time. More
work is coming, at $75/hour.
I have been working for a consultant. I take IT interviews and write them up.
The consultant approached me about two new topics and with a "can do" attitude I
assured him I could handle it. He originally found me through someone he hired
especially to find people just like me. The only deadline was ASAP; I was
fortunate to turn them in at a good clip.
I submit poetry. Finally, a publisher in NY accepted a poem. I had been
following their guidelines faithfully for a while. Because they were responsive,
I believed they would eventually publish my work. They advised a rewrite; once I
understood what was needed, I completed it in an hour or so, to everyone's
Here are some additional lessons from this experience. Take in news releases
about topics you even MIGHT like to write about. Pitch stories that
FASCINATE you. KNOW the markets for your ideas ahead of time. Write
great queries about great ideas EVERY time. Persevere. Follow up on leads
that seem to come from out of NOWHERE and from EVERYWHERE. Make
SACRIFICES to take on assignments that are worthwhile. Try to get more work
out of people who are already assigning you projects. Market yourself. Be
available. Say, "Yes, I can!" and then make sure you do. Build relationships.
Pitch and submit to the same people over and over until they use you.
David Geer is a full-time, freelance
writer and the owner of Geer Communications, a freelance writing services
company - Web presence at
http://www.geercom.com. David specializes in corporate writing, MarCom, Web
writing, technical and business writing and journalism, and general topics.
Clients include Art & Antiques, IEEE's Computer, the Engineering News-Record,
VOIR DIRE and other magazines and publications as well as the National Center
for Supercomputing Applications, William J. Richter & Associates and Arnold IT
(consultants) and other businesses and corporations.
New to freelance writing?
this informative article.
Glossary of Writing Terms
(Electronic & Print)
Job Boards &
Research & Reference
Writer Web Sites