It’s my seven-year freelance-iversary!
I went solo in 2007 after just a few years in the biz. I’d gotten my start at my alma mater’s student newspaper, the Gateway, where I volunteered before snagging an editorial position. After graduating with my Bachelor of Arts (honours), I left the Gateway for a position as managing editor of a University of Alberta internal newspaper (Folio). Less than three years later, I was itching for a new opportunity, but the job offers I received didn’t really suit me. I’d been freelancing part-time for almost three years, so I decided to try it out full-time. It was a huge gamble, of course, but I craved variety and the opportunity to work from my home office, where I did my best work.
I’m so happy that I took the risk – it has paid off in spades. During the last seven years, I’ve seen media change dramatically. I had a career column in the Edmonton journal for three years, until the section it ran in was nixed. I’ve broken into magazines that have gone online or folded entirely. I recently said goodbye to a four-year editorial relationship when the publisher cut freelance rates by 2/3.
However, while the industry can be tough, I’ve had some wonderful opportunities. I’ve watched many new publications emerge, found marvelous communications clients, and had the chance to teach and give public readings. In 2013, I was a panelist at a conference (Words in 3D) for the first time. I’ve also added new creative streams to my work: Art/illustration and literary writing. I’ve also done some design work, laying out a community newspaper seven times a year, over the last two years.
And somewhere along the line, I managed to have a baby, survive the first year of parenthood, and readjust to freelance life post-baby. I also made my way through all of the course work for my MFA (creative writing) - I’m now chipping away at my thesis. My spouse and I squeezed in some travel adventures, too, most notably a trip to South Africa in 2011.
I’m incredibly curious about where the next seven years will take me - both professionally and personally. Thanks to all of my clients, editors, friends, and family for supporting me along the way. No woman is an island.