I have a question.
I have seen a lot written about getting started as a writer and a lot of the advice leans toward going to local businesses or writing for local papers.
But …what advice can you give to some like me that lives out in, “OMG where did the road go?”
I live in a high mountain area. The nearest town is 10 miles in either direction and the local papers are once a week gigs that would barely line the birdcage.
Any advice on where to start out here in the boonies?
Jackie J. in comments to 3 Keys To Freelance Writing Success
Believe it or not I once lived in a high mountain town like that – the southern California community of Anza. This was before the ‘net but the principles are the same.
First, don’t ignore the weekly paper. Back then Anza did have a weekly and I actually got a very part time job there doing both reception work and some writing. I was able to parlay that job to a better part time job as a reporter for the Idyllwild Town Crier - another, bigger weekly about 20 miles away in Idyllwild. The Editor there, L.B. Hunsaker (I’m not sure of the spelling) was rough, gruff and taught me a great deal about writing.
Although I didn’t solicit writing in any of the local businesses – think 5 to 25 miles – I’m sure if I had I would have picked up a few small jobs. Even businesses out in the country have websites that need content these days. Plus many need other sorts of writing too, from advertising to white papers.
What’s changed, of course, is the internet. You can land writing jobs literally anywhere on the planet right from where you are. You can also submit to any newspaper anywhere.
You might start simply by picking up the phone and calling businesses and asking what they need in the way of writing. If you have unlimited long distance it won’t even cost you extra for the calls. Before you do, get your website together with a few samples of the kind of writing you want to do, even if those samples haven’t been used. When they ask for your portfolio you’re ready.
Sure, some will be leery of working virtually – you’ll just have to reassure them or move on to the next one on your list.
Many newspapers use features that aren’t based on local news. Or maybe you can figure a local angle for a distant paper.
You also are living an experience that you can draw on for many consumer magazines. Check Writer’s Market for ideas.
The world is truly wide open to freelance writers these days. Distance simply needn’t get in your way.
What’s been your experience of writing outside your immediate area?
Write well and often,