Nice Work, If You Can Get It


I think I’ve mentioned before that “freelance writer” is really a fancy term for “cold caller.” At times, it can be a rough gig for a person who feels like an intruder ordering take-out.

(“I’m sorry to bother you, but I’d like to order some royal thai hot garden if possible. No problem; I’ll be glad to hold indefinitely, and don’t worry if the order arrives without the curry sauce–I’m just grateful you picked up the phone!”)

Still, I’ve gotten better at pitching my ideas, developed a thicker skin, and learned to buck up. After all, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be “no,” right? If you do ask, every now and then an editor will make your day with a “yes.”

Even better than a yes, in my sometimes pathologically introverted book, is an assignment. Getting an assignment not only means an editor has faith in your ability to write an engaging and accurate article, it means you didn’t have to ask anyone for it, and you are almost certain to get paid!

Recently, an editor I’d worked with previously asked me to come up with an idea about a seed accelerator called Tech Wildcatters. The result, a fun look at the personality of entrepreneurs, ran in the August issue of Spirit Magazine.

This type of assignment may not come along very often, but when it does, the work is so very nice that you’ll feel like Peggy Lee singing a Gershwin tune with Frank Sinatra.

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