Thursday, July 23, 2009

Two months since my last post, eh? Well, I guess in terms of blogging, I've gone on early maternity leave. I have been working my butt off on other things, trying to scrape together as much money as possible before #2 comes and I have to stop. I abandoned my previous policy of only working for Demand Studios when I didn't have babysitting help, and have been raking a fair bit of cash. I figured I might as well since getting a plum assignment from a magazine I've been chasing would stress me out beyond belief right now. With DS I can write or not write whenever I feel like it.

To be honest, I've also haven't posted because I've been rather frustrated with my progress in determining what makes for a successful expat freelancer. My "expat mom's writer's group" has not met since that first time. I have sent out emails trying to set up dates for meeting....and when I got no responses, I sent an email asking whether anyone was still interested and to (at least) confirm that they had received my emails! Only one person responded - she was still interested but was busy writing a novel and wouldn't be available to meet until fall. So...looks like I'll have to find new expat freelancers to meet with. Hopefully ones that aren't beginners and are serious about making a career of it. Where I'll find them I don't know....

Another frustration I've been dealing with is the lack of access to my target magazines. Any writing guidebook will tell you that you should know a magazine inside and out before querying - but for an expat, that's a tall order if you don't have regular access to magazines that you would like to write for. I got a "good" rejection for a magazine that I'd like to write for, wherein the editor gave me her personal email address (not just the general one for the magazine) and told me to send her more ideas. I have more ideas, but I don't know whether they've been covered recently in the magazine. It would be horribly embarrassing and unprofessional to pitch something that has recently appeared in the mag. How do other expat freelancers get around this dilemna? I would love to hear any suggestions.

Still, it's not all bad. I'm still receiving checks for articles written in the past year. And in addition to DS, I've been writing the occasional travel article for the blog at Venere.com , which has been good for making a little extra money and learning more about Paris. And most fun of all, since I've decided to not send out anymore queries until well after the baby is born (which should be next week, God willing), I've been working on a few fiction pieces. I just sent one in to the Write to Win! Contest with Writer's Journal. I guess some freelancers would say just focus on either fiction or nonfiction, but it felt great to do something different. Plus, I say that a freelancer has to be flexible about how she earns her dough! One day I think I'll do a blog post on the various ways a freelancer can earn money...but probably not until after the baby is born!

Wish us luck over here!