Another month has begun, and it’s time for another edition of my hyperlink-love-fest! This time, we cover how to overcome freelance feast or famine, a new definition of “enterprise” stories in the online newspaper world, and some helpful links for aspiring writers of creative nonfiction.
First, Bob over at The Writing Journey has written a sensible and interesting post about “The SIMPLE Way to Avoid The Freelance Feast or Famine Cycle”. SIMPLE is Bob’s acronym for Save-Invest-Market-Plan-Live-Experience, and he offers sage advice to newbie freelancers that I wish that I had had when I started over 25 years ago. I was young then (14!), and the financial advice, had it stuck would have definitely helped me get my career off on the right foot!
I particularly like a passage from his advice under “Plan”:
“Dreams require goals, goals require strategies, strategies require tactics, and tactics require individual actions. Many freelance writers can’t get past the tasks of today to establish the goals of tomorrow, so when the lean times hit they’re totally unprepared. Plan your writing business to maximize growth opportunities and to be ready for the lean times.”
If you didn’t read any other part of Bob’s entry, following this tidbit would be enough to set you apart from 90 to 95 percent of all freelancers!
Next, the editor in me loves a recent post by Howard Owens on writers taking ownership of their stories. He takes the concept of “enterprise stories” (stories that reporters originate and advocate for within a publication they work for) and expands it. The theme of his blog is covering trends within the world of online newspapers, and this post is a very good introduction for any writer who publishes online on what he or she needs to do to make sure his or her story finds the audience it is capable of reaching.
Three points he lists in this post are particularly useful and insightful. The last one really highlights the conversational/learning aspect of Web 2.0 writing.
· “When the story is published, you socially bookmark the story as appropriate; you send the link to bloggers you know who might be interested; you e-mail the link to sources or readers you know would be interested.
· After the story is published, you follow and participate as appropriate in the online conversation, either via comments on the story or on other sites (blogs and forums).
· You take everything you’ve learned and repurpose the story for print.”
Finally, for those readers interested in learning more about the creative nonfiction genre, the MFA Blog had a great post and discussion a few days ago about the best MFA writing programs for creative nonfiction writers. I liked both the consideration in the post of which programs have the best “creative community” and which programs have low-residency (low-res) requirements. If you’re seriously considering getting an MFA in creative nonfiction writing, this blog post is a great place to begin your research.
Also, if you’re new to the world of creative nonfiction, or just want to learn more, check out Brevity, an online journal of creative nonfiction writing. It’s published by the Creative Nonfiction Foundation, a 501 c 3 nonprofit formed in 1994 to further this emerging genre. CNF’s site is also packed with interesting news about workshops, publications and influential books in the field.