Not all of us who make a living freelance writing do so exclusively, including myself. Yet those traditional jobs can also be a golden opportunity to utilize the skills you’ve learned while freelancing.
Case in point: One of my traditional employers has had a long-running newsletter that was put together by the same person over many years. Well, after she decided to no longer work on it, I offered my services to edit it, citing my writing experience from crafting articles to covering events and travel destinations. I didn’t get the opportunity at first, but it wasn’t long until the job of putting the organization’s newsletter bounced around from one person to another via people who had no real interest in writing, and didn’t want to make the time to deal with the task of tracking down submissions, writing and researching appropriate articles (plus appropriate pictures/artwork), then going through the process of putting it all together with an inviting look and feel.
Finally, I was given the job of completing the above tasks for the quarterly publication late last year. I am given a certain number of hours each quarter at my regular hourly wage to get the newsletter published. Because of my skills and insights gained from freelancing, I was able to add new features that had never been thought of before for the publication, like employee profiles, a column by the director, and a new look by using publishing software so the newsletters could be archived and even released on the company’s Facebook group page each quarter. This has made the organization’s newsletter more available than ever before given that only a limited number of copies are allowed to be printed, mainly for the break room!
In the process, I’ve gained more opportunities to connect with coworkers and supervisors from other shifts besides my own, who have given me very positive comments about the work I’ve done as an editor. One co-worker told me that the newsletter looks like it’s been done by “a professional.”
Don’t check your freelance writing skills at the door of a place where you punch the time clock because you never know where the need for someone with writing skills will appear there. Furthermore, ask your supervisor if you can complete the writing tasks on company time. Better yet, offer to do additional writing or editing work for your employer, on the side, for additional pay.
Roy A. Barnes is a past contributor to WritersWeekly and his writing-themed articles have also been featured at The Willamette Writer, Funds for Writers, The Writer, The Writer’s Monthly Review, and others. He lives in southeastern Wyoming where he also works at two organizations, one of which pays him to edit its company newsletter.