freelancing

Confronting the Pitching Demons

Sometimes when I think about pitching stories to new clients, I just get the willies. Sometimes, though, it verges on full-blown terror.

This has always been so – and for me, “always” means a long time. I first started freelancing early in my marriage to a newspaper reporter whose employers wouldn’t hire employees’ spouses. Working for the competition wasn’t acceptable either, so most of my first decade as a professional journalist was freelance. In those days everything was done by snail-mail, and how I dreaded opening the mailbox!

Tabula Rasa

When I closed down the website I used previously for business purposes, I intended to create a new presence for my business here at hazelbecker.com. I had agreed to work again after a two-year hiatus, thinking I would take on a small publication development project for Bloomberg BNA and then decide how to spend my professional time – the hours each day when I don’t pretend to be retired.

A future for freelancers?

I was surprised, to say the least, when a longtime friend and fellow journalist recently lamented about the state of the news industry today. He was complaining about staff cuts in newsrooms of all kinds (broadcast, print, digital), layoffs and forced retirements, sparse staffing, and, generally, what he perceives to be a lack of quality standards in the media today.

My so-called writing life

I think I was born an editor, not a writer. In fact, for most of my life writing has not come easily for me. Throughout my life before I retired from BNA, I was able to do it successfully from time to time – occasional good research papers during college come to mind, along with one or two well-done market research reports and product proposals near the end of my employment. But being a freelancer with a heavy writing project load was difficult. And, until recently blogging was particularly difficult.

Talking shop

The best freelance session at Excellence in Journalism 2013, the journalism convention hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists and two other organizations in August, was actually the best freelance-oriented seminar I’ve attended in years. The presentation was interesting because it exposed the human sides of the two panelists – an accomplished freelancer who was scared to take on the project and an editor who put a lot on the line with his publication to get the story done. 

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