When you’re just starting out, it’s tough to get your name out there. And who’s going to use, promote, or recommend you if nobody knows you’re open for business?
I’m trying to build up my portfolio in editing and writing, and while I have a strong personal, professional, and educational background in both, it’s hard for me to find work as my portfolio is limited. That’s not because I’m no good at what I do — far from it. It’s because I’ve only recently started to actively pursue freelance work.
I have always been involved in my college newspaper, with a hand in the writing and editing. While doing that, I interned for an e-book publishing company, further developing my skills. I graduated with a BA in English and Creative Writing, and although that may be enough for others, I wanted to further my opportunities and continue to sharpen my skills. Shortly after, I made the decision to further my education and started a Master’s program. In February 2014, I graduated with my MFA in Creative Writing. But I didn’t put my professional life on hold for school.
In January 2014, I started working at Automotive.com as an Associate Editor, and a year later, was promoted to oversee the entire website. The skills I’ve learned and honed at this job helped me during my Master’s program, enabling me to get more out of the experience. Through my work with Automotive.com, I’ve been lucky enough to interview top car manufacturing execs, PR individuals, and bump shoulders with fellow writers in the same position as myself. I wanted to know how they got to where they are today, and if I could emulate their steps in my own life.
To be honest, I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t focused much on my personal writing and editing goals. But that changed six months ago. I’ve had a few editing clients through networking with other members of my Master’s program. However, I want to broaden my reach and network outside of school.
I’ve been mulling over the idea of joining the Editorial Freelancer’s Association, but still need to research it a bit more. However, I feel it may give me a more professional leg to stand on. The membership is a little steep and something I’ll have to save up for, but I feel this is the route I want to take. I’m familiar enough with their pricing chart, as that is what I have always used when pricing my services.
But editing isn’t my only focus. Yes, it’s my main service that I offer; however, I am a writer at heart. I was published in February 2014 in an online literary magazine and am looking to do more pieces for different publications. I want to push myself as a writer, both in terms of genre, style, and length. I want to be able to say that I’ve been published multiple times, and really solidify myself as a working writer. My next goal is to write longer-form pieces, but feel that may be a ways off.