Freelance Professional Writer
2007 and 2010
Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) majoring in literary studies, professional writing and journalism.
Bachelor of Arts majoring in journalism and literature
Currently working for:
Self-employed as a Freelance Writer.
How long have you been working for this organisation?
2011 was the year I began in this role, and if you're interested here's a bit of background on how I "got" there.
Position title and short job description:
Job description is varied but is all basically "word-smith" related and may include:
Working with businesses to refine their content, write blogs, newsletters, catalogues, websites, articles, proofread, SEO copywriting, marketing writing (media releases and advertorials), social media strategy and management, freelance journalism, etc.
Working highlight so far:
Writing an upcoming seasonal catalogue for Diana Ferrari and another brand. As I love fashion and style and definitely shoes, it was a pleasure to write for an Aussie label I admire.
What are the things you enjoy most about your job:
There are perks to this job, like the freedom of hours and being able to get to the bank before it closes, etc.
Things I enjoy most:
- Writing. Getting to do that all the time, and gaining more and more experience.
- Meeting new clients.
- Writing for new clients.
An area in which you have needed assistance:
When I first started out - marketing myself as a "SEO copywriter" - it was hard to be confident that I could find work in that field because, although in demand globally, I wasn't sure what the local prospects would be. Turned out I was wrong, that SEO copywriting is a burgeoning field, and in Geelong too - as I found out from research.
Areas I have needed assistance in:
- Writing my business plan, and the paperwork/invoicing side to my business.
- Also, when it came to setting my hourly rate I could really have used some professional and relevant advice from a practioner in my field. Industry recommended rates seemed so much loftier than what I was charging so that was a problem - underselling myself.
What do you intend to do in the future?
I intend to keep working in the field of professional writing, and make that as broad and successful as it can be. I intend to keep freelancing, work in magazines as a journalist, publish my novels and short stories, write and direct films, and teach what I love at a university one day.
#1 tip for current students studying your course:
- Organisation is the key. Write down all your due dates for assignments, use as many different highlighters as you need to delineate between subjects, blu-tack this on your wall and take great pleasure in drawing a thick texta line through completed assignments. Force yourself to be extremely organised, as well as on good terms with your lecturers and tutors. Have a strong online presence on DSO as well. Never ever think it's "too late" to hand in, finish or even complete an overdue assignment. Swallow your pride and be honest with your tutor. And keep going even when all you want to do is go to sleep and you have to get up early for class in the morning. In the years to come, when you look back at your results printout, you'll be glad you did.
Forgive this cheekiness but I'd like to offer not just that one tip - "but wait, there's more!"; - but some more; a summary of points which I believed helped me in my studies and life after university. Any fellow literary lovers, read on!
- Master the Master's. I took the next step after my bachelor's degree and did a master's degree. This, singlehandedly, has significantly contributed to my success and gives me a competitive edge over writers without postgrad qualifications. Furthermore, I learnt A LOT about writing, about writers, about literature, about meeting deadlines during this time. I worked out that the master's degree required 60,000 words of academic writing in total. For any budding novelist, that's good preparation!
- Bulk up portfolio by writing for free! I wrote for free a lot when I was a student. There's a time and place for writing for free and that time is ripe when you're a student and have nothing to lose, everything to gain. In saying that, I still believe in writing for free but for non-profit organisations, not a small business which can't afford to pay you!
- Also, consider blogging as a way of both getting your work exposed and practising your writing skills. Stories of Geelong was a project a fellow Deakin student and I created for that exact purpose.
- Be "in love" with what you do. My number one tip is something intangible but worth its weight in any currency. Love. You have to love what you do. If you don't respect it, want to learn about it, want to succeed in it then it's not for you. Technically, a good writer doesn't need passion to succeed but how can that be sustainable for your career? Love what you do, be yourself, find yourself as a writer.
- Coffee and computers are mortal enemies! There's certainly a place for drinking coffee and certainly a place for using your laptop but ironically these wonderful things do not always have a harmonious relationship. Don’t drink coffee next to your lap top or do what I do and (subject to availability) spread out on a long table, with one end designated for each of your loves. Trust me on this one!