Fundamentals of Freelancing Introduction (With Constance Hale)


Hello, I’m Connie Hale,
your latest colleague and guide in the world
of freelance writing. I hope through this
course to give you a lot of practical advice, and
also some creative inspiration, as you embark on this
new career path– or at least as you define
what the writing life will mean to you. I should give you a sense
of my own background and prospective first. Today I work out of an office
at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, surrounded by dozens of
other writers at any one time. I’ve worked more
or less full time as a writer and editor for
a little over 25 years. Some of that time has
involved working on staff at publications. I started at this Gilroy
Dispatch, a small newspaper south of San Jose. I moved on to the San
Francisco Examiner when it was a large
metropolitan daily. Then I worked at Wired magazine
when it was a start-up. And I later work at Health,
a big Time Inc. publication with a circulation
of 1.3 million. But most of the
last two decades, I’ve been a freelancer. I like to joke that my
freelance experience made me more broad than deep. I’ve sold stories to newspapers,
magazines, books and websites. I’ve worked as a
freelance reporter, as a freelance editor,
and a freelance teacher. And I’ve covered politics,
culture, almost anything and everything about Hawaii,
and language and literary style. I’m going to try to tell
the unvarnished truth about the writing
life in this class, and I’ve asked our guest
speakers to do the same. All of your questions
are welcome, and I’ll answer them
as truthfully as I can. Nothing is off limits, whether
conversations about personality like, am I suited to
the freelance life? About money– how
do I make this pay? Or about things like
rejection, which sadly, you’re going to have to get
used to as a freelancer. So let’s jump in. I’ve designed a
couple of assignments that ask you to think
about who you are, what you’d like to
accomplish as a writer, and how you might design a
freelance life that suits you. I hope that these
assignments will help us all get to know each other better.

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