Freelance Tricks and Tips with Gail Mercer-MacKay

Ever Thought About Freelancing?

Freelance Tips and Tricks with Gail Mercer-MacKay was full of information. Gail brought it all, everything a prospective or working Freelance Writer needed to know.

Before Gail began, we heard about the WCYR events that are coming soon. The Annual General Meeting has been rescheduled to coincide with the “Writing Dialogue” webinar on July 12th. At this year’s AGM, the new Board will be announced, along with the grant winners. The WCYR is moving forward in a positive way with social distancing, by having workshops and seminars online. You can join the WCYR members-only group and have access to exclusive Q&A Facebook Live sessions with our speakers.

The WCYR does not usually have events during the summer, but this year, since most of us will be at home, there will be two online webinars: “Writing Dialogue” with Kim McDougall, and “Slaying the Synopses” with MJ Moores. For those who were part of MJ’s query letter workshop, you know there were lots of questions around the synopsis. MJ will be breaking it down for us.

Then it was time for Freelance Writer Tips and Tricks! Gail took us though the ups and downs of being a freelance writer. She made sure we knew this is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It takes hard work and dedication. Many freelancers still have a day job, because they need the financial security, but eventually, it could become a writer’s main source of income. The need for freelancers increased in 2007 during the economic meltdown. Companies didn’t want to hire people fulltime anymore, but marketing departments still needed writers. What they found in Gail, and other freelancers, were skilled storytellers. Good marketing follows the “hero’s journey;” this is why creative writers are good at freelancing. They can turn a product or its creator into a “hero.”

Gail showed us the freelance writer’s reality: job boards, lots of competition, the need to educate people, and limited time with marketers. A freelance writer must make their hero/star/focus look smart. The smartest. A couple of other tips: tech companies are a great place to look for work. Technology is always changing, so tech companies always need to write about it. You also don’t need to understand tech to create a journey. Be aware, though, that Microsoft Word is used 90% of the time. You will not be able to get away with just Google Docs.

Remember, it’s okay to be afraid! This is a frightening endeavour when you venture out and create your own business. Yes, it’s solitary, but you don’t have to be alone. There are many freelance communities. You can find them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media. Support each other, even if it’s just with an encouraging word or two. Gail was positive and informative, helping so many of us on our freelance writing journey.

Upcoming Events:

Writing Dialogue, with Kim McDougall, plus AGM – July 12, 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Slaying the Synopses, with MJ Moores – August 13, 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Open House: Writing Books with Page-Turning Tension, with Molly O’Keefe – September 13, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Subject Lines Save Bottom Lines: Building a Better Newsletter to Grow your Author Business, with Holly Mortimer – October 18, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Written by

When Loni isn't reading other people's words or running around after her two young children, she spends time writing stories of her own. She finds inspiration in the little things, but also in momentous events. Loni currently resides in York Region. Twitter: @LoniStorm Instagram: loni_storm Facebook: @LoniCameronWriter

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