Yesterday was an awesome day. Apart from rebuilding my basement floor (more on that tomorrow), I attended my first writer’s workshop at the University of New Brunswick. It. Was. Fabulous.
The Workshop that I chose to attend was titled “My Life in Pyjamas: How to start a career as a freelance writer”, taught by Wendy Kitts. She was an enthusiastic and honest instructor; sharing lessons from her own career and providing plenty of ideas for new freelancers.
When I arrived and got settled, two things struck me: (one) I was the youngest in the room by far, and (two) this would suggest that I had little to no life/work/any experience to write about. All I have is this dear little blog and a handful of guest blog posts. So naturally my instinctive shyness took over… and I soon found myself afraid to raise my voice to ask the constant stream of questions floating through my head (probably for the best because it would have been terribly disruptive).
Lucky for me, all of the questions that I wrote in the margins of my notebook were answered at one point or another through the day – and trust me, that’s saying something! Despite the informal tone of the course, there was an absolute wealth of information presented. Who would have guessed that there would be SO many markets for freelance writing? I’m almost shaking with excitement as I write this because I now know there is so much opportunity out there.
To be honest, I had few expectations going into this course. I hoped that I might take away a few ideas about where to start looking for freelance work – but I was mostly just fascinated by the concept of writing for profit. My takeaway lesson: If you want to start writing for a publication, research it as though you’re going into a job interview. Write the proposal as carefully as you would craft your resume. You only get one shot at making a great first impression.
Would I take another course at the Maritime Writer’s Workshop? Absolutely! The learning experience was invaluable. My eyes are now open to the world of freelance writing opportunities, although it will take a couple days to digest all that I learned in the whirlwind of a course. Next year I would like to take courses more focused on improving the quality of my writing, or on more technological media like ebooks or blogging.
So, once agin, thank you Wendy Kitts for your instruction. And good luck to my fellow classmates!
- Lessons from the Class of 2012 (ellefeeney.com)
- My Summer Reading List (ellefeeney.com)
- Temporary and part-time contracts: an alternative to a full time job after university? (ellefeeney.com)