Thursday, June 19, 2008

Freelancing Tips from Charlotte A. Cavatica

Just in case you’re wondering who Charlotte A. Cavatica is: She is the loyal arachnid friend of Wilbur (the pig) in Charlotte’s Web.

The first time Wilbur met Charlotte, he witnessed how Charlotte captured a fly, wrapped it with her silk, and injected it with an anesthetic fluid. He learned that spiders sucked the blood out of insects to feed. Wilbur couldn’t imagine having a bloodthirsty friend!

But Charlotte was quick to explain why she had to do such things to survive:

Nobody feeds me. I have to get my own living. I live by my wits. I have to be sharp and clever, lest I go hungry. I have to think things out, catch what I can, take what comes.

If you’re a freelance writer trying to survive the daily grind, take these freelancing tips from Charlotte:

Live by your wits.
Freelance writers need to practice ingenuity to keep those projects coming. Be resourceful and keep yourself well informed. If you know what’s going on in your industry or area of expertise, you’ll be able to generate more article ideas.

Be sharp and clever.
Use your skills and resources wisely and efficiently. If you’re passionate about a certain topic, explore it and write more articles about it. It pays to write things you enjoy.

Use the 80/20 rule. Familiar genres and format within your area of expertise should make up approximately 80% of your writing work. Use the 20% for new and different formats/genres.

Think things out.
Plan ahead. Plot marketing and promotional strategies. Make daily and long-term to-do lists. You shouldn’t run out of projects to work on. Remember, there are bills to pay!

Catch what you can, take what comes.
You don’t have to be a starving writer. If there’s a good offer, take it. When I was starting out as a freelance writer, I accepted ghostwriting, PR and profile writing projects because they paid more. As long as the writing gig doesn’t go against your values or principles, go for it.

** This article first appeared in Write Life Guide, a blog on freelance writing.


Irreverent Freelancer said...

As a long-time lover of Charlotte's Web, I loved this analogy!

Connie said...

irreverent freelance: Thanks for your comment. I love the book, too! It has lessons even a grownup can learn from.

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