I found our Skype session with freelance writer and producer Abigail Bassett to be extremely insightful. Up until we spoke with her, I wasn’t aware of the hustle that goes into being a freelance journalist. It never occurred to me that as a freelancer, you’d have to hunt people down for money or that for the most part, you are constantly reaching out to people looking for work.
A few things I learned:
1.) Be well rounded. Something that I’ve heard time and time again from the speakers and other journalists is that it pays to be well rounded. If you’re just starting out, it’s quite likely that you’re going to have to be your own photographer, writer, etc. But being well-versed in many areas opens up a world of opportunities.
2.) Broaden the topics you choose to write about. When we first found out that we were going to be Skyping with Abby, all I knew about her was that she travels a lot and writes about cars. I thought that sounded pretty easy and pretty luxurious considering traveling is something that I aspire to do. I quickly realized that I was naive to think that any freelancer has it that easy. Although writing about cars is one of Abby’s main jobs, she talked about being a well-rounded writer. She talked about how easy it is to focus in on one specific niche and before you know it, that’s all you write about. I checked out her professional portfolio and was shocked to see just how many different topics she writes about.
3.) When it comes to math, hire someone.-I think that it’s safe to say that most journalists are afraid of math. If I had the burden of figuring out my own taxes, I’d consider that alone a full-time job. She brought up a good point that instead of trying to become an expert in the fields that you don’t have time to master, it definitely pays to just hire someone and have the piece of mind that it’s going to be done right.
Abby is a true example of a go-getter who has created her own path in the journalism field. I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to hear what she had to say about freelancing!