Today Ruth Writes is officially one year old. It’s been a helluva year.
The plan was to support myself by working as a fund raising consultant and pursue journalism projects in my spare time. This being the Digital Age, I figured that armed with an iPhone, a MacBook and a Canon Digital Rebel, I could work for anyone, and from anywhere, in the Wi-Fi’d world.
Things have not gone according to plan. And I’m starting to think my location—Grand Rapids, Michigan—may have something to do with that.
Experts suggest a few things: Ask editors you know to introduce you to editors they know. Work your way up the publication ladder, says New York Times contributor Wayne E. Pollard. Use clips from a regional magazine to get a byline in a statewide publication.
But a quick scan of my LinkedIn network reveals that the editors I know are connected to… other editors I know, who work for publications paying $100 or less for features. Yeah, or I could network my way into a sweatshop.
There also seem to be a few rungs missing from Michigan’s media ladder. I searched “Michigan” and “magazine” in Writer’s Market and found exactly zero magazines that met Pollard’s criteria.
Still, if I’ve learned anything this year it’s perseverance and agility so, in a burst of optimism, I messaged a few area writers and invited some non-local “2nd-aries” to join my LinkedIn network. An immediate reply from a travel writer in Japan did wonders for my spirits.
New travel writing friends aside, I want to be realistic about my current market’s limitations as I take Ruth Writes into Year 2, and I’m hoping you’ll help a sista out by sharing your experiences…
How has your location impacted your freelance success?
Photo by WSK_2005