Tag Archives: freelancing

Branding for Editors in T.O.

FYI, for more FYI from @EditorsToronto, click here.

What makes for good branding in the world of freelance editing, and how does it come about? How can editors communicate their brand to attract clients who will be a good fit for their skills, goals, and experience?

Join us on Tuesday, October 24, for a panel discussion and workshop geared to helping freelance editors hone the messages they use to communicate with prospective clients. Freelance writer and editor Marnie Lamb of Ewe Editorial Services will speak about how she developed her brand organically; entrepreneurial consultant Donovan Dill will speak about branding as the bedrock of any business; and freelance magazine editor/incubator Carolyn Camilleri will lead a mini-workshop to help editors define and refine their brand to attract the right clients.

When: Tuesday, October 24, 7 PM
Where: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), 215 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Alterna Savings room, fourth floor
IMPORTANT: The CSI building closes at 6 PM. If there is no Editors Toronto greeter at the front door when you arrive, please enter through the Dark Horse Espresso Bar (attached to the CSI, on Spadina, open until 8 PM), and take the elevator up to the fourth floor. If the Dark Horse café is closed when you arrive, please text Lee, programs chair, at 647-607-0416, and we will send someone to open the door.


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Freelancers: Be Kind to Yourself

Image result for shoot me now

Many thanks to my friend Jakelyin L. who shared this article from across the pond on Facebook. In a piece from The Guardian titled “Freelancing made my depression worse – here’s how I learnt to cope,” Thea de Gallier (@theadegallier) has my full sympathy as a freelancer of 117 years…er…17 years. (Sorry, it just feels like more than a century at this point.)

Fortunately, I don’t suffer from depression, but I cringed with genuine pain at how spot-on she was with the hardships of going it alone as a freelancer. Trust me, there’s nothing “free” about being a freelancer. It’s romantic in the same way wanting to become a novelist is just so darn dreamy. Or how swimming with a one-ton squid in the Pacific is so neat!

While people have always gawked at me (in wonder? in pity?) when I tell them I work from home as a freelancer – yep! no benefits, no insurance, no safety net! – if you’re going to make a go of this as a full-time gig, then I’d make sure you ask yourself one critical question: Are you self-disciplined enough to work, day or night, without someone physically threatening you in your presence?

And, apropos to the article, you’ve got to learn to be kind to yourself when your inclination will most likely be to push yourself harder and harder, if not because of looming deadlines then because by necessity you almost have to become a workaholic if you’re to have any financial success as a freelancer. Truly, it’s a jungle of hammerhead sharks out there.

Or as Ms. de Gallier writes more eloquently than yours truly:

Sticking to a routine and getting up early can be a mammoth task when depression is also a factor, as even the action of peeling back the duvet feels like over-exposure to a cruel and uncertain world. Freelancing can be cruel and uncertain, but I’ve decided I won’t let it beat me, and I realise now that the internet can be my ally in that goal, instead of my enemy.

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The Joys (Horrors) of Freelancing

Image result for frustrated worker

@Jonwestenberg (jon@creatomic.co) has posted a great piece on freelancing that so very much tickled my fancy. Very subtly titled “Fuck you. Pay me.” Mr. Westenberg discusses one of the mot annoying parts about going it all alone as a freelancer or as a small business owner: clients expecting you to do work for them pro bono. I would take that one step further. As someone who’s been freelancing professionally for well over a decade, my biggest concern is not so much that the client won’t pay me, but when they will pay me. Landlords, banks, companies and the like don’t take very kindly to “So sorry, but my clients are total douchebags and didn’t pay me when promised. I’ll just, you know, pay you next month – or perhaps the month after that – when these arseholes finally cough up my doughy dough.”

After Mr. Westenberg details the guilt attached to this constant hounding from clients (“Can’t you do this for me just one time?” “It would really mean a lot if you could do this for me…pretty please with cherries on top?” “We don’t have the money to pay you for this. I’m so, soooooo sorry.”), he describes how to assuage any guilt you, the freelancer and the one actually doing the work, might feel in these situations and in fact breaks it down temporally by the number of hours the average person lives (in his home of Australia, which apparently is 82 years).

Freelancers of the world unite!

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The Importance of Mental Health for Freelancers and Artists

Image result for lonely worker

Although the title of this piece is “Entrepreneurship and Your Mental Health,” it could just as easily be applied to artists and professional freelancers. Joshua Davidson has written an excellent piece on the importance of mental health for those of us who spend many hours working alone and/or making all the tough decisions unilaterally.

If you’re thinking of going off on your own or starting your own enterprise, the words “complacency” and “procrastination” have to be eliminated from your vocabulary. If self-motivation and a drive to succeed despite the inevitable hardships you will face are not part of your nomenclature, perhaps this is not the right road for you.

More specifically, as Davidson points out, you will undoubtedly face some sense of depression or loneliness along the way. As he puts it:

You see, the reason that I am writing this particular blog post is because some of the most talented, successful and driven entrepreneurs I have ever met are, most often, the most depressed.

They lack the feeling of fulfillment. They feel isolated. They’re stuck in a mental corner, so to speak.

From an outsider’s perspective, that might seem a bit crazy. How can someone who has created their own destiny, been accomplished and driven success, feel this way?

But it’s not all doom and gloom, nor is it all sunshine and rainbows. The grass, as they say, is always filled with more chlorophyll on the other side. Self-fulfillment and stability are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but more often than not they tend to be in the real world.

Ultimately, however, Davidson makes a good point in highlighting the importance of mental health, especially if you’re going it alone. As he puts it, there’s no shame in talking to someone, even a therapist, about the challenges you face professionally. After all, without a strong, sound mind, how effective/productive can you really be?

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