On the whole, I love my life as a freelance writer – the benefits to being freelance are many; working from home would have to count as the top benefit though and I always feel lucky to be able to do it, especially when I read commuter tweets in high summer!
However, and it is a bit of a problem, I hate pitching ideas out. Pitching an idea is when you contact a publication editor with an idea for a feature or a column and hope that a million other beauty freelancers haven’t had the same idea. I am just totally convinced the answer will be no – and what leads on from that is a whole spiral of insecurity.
I’ve been pretty well fully employed as a freelance writer the whole of my career with very few gaps. But I am convinced that each job is my last and that feeling never goes away which is obviously a huge downside to freelancing, but is something I am sure other freelance writers will relate to.
Even though I’m in a transient phase with my blog trying to decide whether just to bite the bullet and do it full time, what I find is that with PRs, *just* a blog isn’t enough – their clients want to see words on printed pages, not just in cyber-space and that’s the thing that is currently holding me back from committing to blogging full time. And that is despite the fact that my blog actually has more readers than some magazines. And, of course that means I have to pitch out instead of just scurrying back to the safety of my blog where I can write whatever I want, when I want and I never say no to one of my ideas!
There are still pockets of the beauty world that still don’t ‘get’ blogs. Magazines have reached out to bloggers, but I think (with some exceptions – hello More Magazine) to harvest their readership than a genuine desire to work with the competition (and we are). Personally, I’d like to see more bloggers bringing their skills to magazines and newspapers alike and working in a way that is beneficial to blogger, publication and readers.
I have tried really hard to explain the benefit of a beauty blogging column to one editor, who, because he/she doesn’t really read blogs, simply doesn’t understand the popularity, reach and influence of beauty blogs. And from a commercial point of view, advertisers are all about on-line right now; a blogger column might bridge the gap between print and internet that hasn’t ever happened before and I know that print is struggling for ad revenue. It is so frustrating and ultimately leaves me feeling I’ve begged for something that is entirely for my benefit, when actually it is not. I saw a mag the other day with a whole beauty page entitled ‘beauty blog’ written by someone who doesn’t have a blog. And, there is the valid argument that if it is in print, then it isn’t, er, a blog! But, it can’t be so hard to blend the two into something that respects the roots of blogging and print.
I love writing for print – if I’m honest, I love writing on line even more; it sort of feels like home. Print beauty blogger columns will come – when the penny drops fully and personally, I can’t wait to see the day that the two mediums converge.
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