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struggling to pick up work - any ideas?

(8 Posts)
Stargazing Tue 01-Jul-08 20:23:36

I'm a journalist, write mostly lifestyle-y stuff (parenting, weddings, food, travel, homes & interiors) ... kept up work to some extent when dd was born in 2006 but started to phase down when I discovered I wa pg with ds just 7 months later ... ds is now 7 months old and I'm trying to pick up some work again, but in the time I've been out of the loop, 2 of the mags I wrote for have closed, 1 no longer uses freelancers, others have different/ new editorial staff who clearly have their own stable of regular freelancers .. the body of work I've built up doesn't seem to be opening any doors for me and I'm having a slight panic!!
the thing is, I'm a fulltime mum by day and that's not going to change .. all of my writing gets done at night. It's not crucial that I write for mags but I can't seem to think of what else I could turn my pen to - but can't seem to shake this nagging feeling that there's something I'm missing. Any ideas appreciated!!

Elasticwoman Tue 01-Jul-08 21:29:22

What about a novel? Worked for Rachel Cusk.

NK7b5e9de3X114f0ef796c Tue 01-Jul-08 21:42:39

HI stargazing
same here but im an accountant but my dd2 is now nearly 1 and i am struggling as my original contacts have gone so will watch with interest

oranges Tue 01-Jul-08 21:45:10

you need to get childcare a few hours a week in the day and really hit the phones to re-introduce yourself, pitch ideas directly. think times are very toght for freelancers at the moment, and it 's hard to get by by only working in the evenings.

sophy Thu 03-Jul-08 14:37:38

Try your local paper?

JenniPenni Thu 17-Jul-08 02:18:11

Hi there, I come from two angles. I childmind Mon to Thurs and have a mum who is a freelancer (medical editor), and I freelance as a graphic designer on a Friday.

One of my parents freelances from home and she sent her daughter to me one day a week and focused on finding work.. this really helped and she then needed another day of care! She has just had another baby so its back to full-time at home for her now.

As a freelancer on a Friday I am rarely without work tbh. And if I do have it off then it's a day off (to get the laundry done!haha)

Niecie Thu 17-Jul-08 03:04:03

Don't know if it would work for journalists (although it would for accountants) but DH goes to a lot of networking groups and seems to pick up quite a lot of work that way.

I suppose it depends on where you live and what sort of people are likely to attend networking groups close to you. It might be worth a visit though. They are usually either very early mornings or after work.

Might be worth a go.

scotsgirl Sun 27-Jul-08 19:31:57

Hi stargazing, I used to be a commissioning editor for a magazine, and had a lot of freelancers contacting me. You probably know the score already, but for what it's worth, the few new freelancers I did hire usually caught my eye by offering me something directly relevant to an established and regular section of the magazine (which wasn't a column IYSWIM). If they really seemed to 'get' what the section was about, I'd try them out, then re-hire if 1) they kept coming back to me with further relevant stories, and 2) if they were really reliable re deadlines.

Am afraid I no longer do that job and am one of you (struggling freelancer), so can't offer you any gigs. I sometimes pine for the days when I was the most popular person on the press trips - oh how the freelancers loved me once they'd found out my job title grin

One of my favourite freelancers used to pick up a lot of stories from her own local press, then give them the right twist. They weren't long or indepth articles, but were quick and easy for her to do, so the crappy magazine pay was still worth it.

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