Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Adventures in freelancing

So it begins; this, my freelance writing adventure.  Benjamin Franklin once said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
Indeed, I thought to myself as a sipped a cup of hot tea, head in hand, staring at my computer monitor this evening.  There I sat wondering what profound, ground-breaking topic or quixotic prose I would compose that would so magnificently inaugurate this blog as to immediately set it apart, thus launching me extant into a glorious career as a topical writer / commentator.
Of course, no one starts off famous or even noteworthy right out of the gate.  I’ve had some successes with writing in the past, sure; been published a few times.  I used to write for local newspapers in upstate New York.  I got a couple of kudos from the publisher in the form of New York State Press Association Award nominations.  No, I didn’t win, but the nominations were a pretty kewl nod.
Still, in this world of self-made pop writers and guerilla journalism, it is becoming harder and harder to really make a name for yourself – much less a living – being a writer, particularly of the freelance variety.
The good news is that it’s not impossible.  It just takes a lot of hard work and patience.  Let me reiterate that – it takes a LOT of hard work and a LOT of patience.  So all the experts tell me and so I have discovered even on my own.  Before launching this blog I read probably about a hundred others.  I read blogs about politics, blogs about religion and spirituality, blogs about science, economics, philosophy…heck, I even read blogs about blogging.  I found some of them informative, some humorous, some were rather dry reading, and others were utterly forgettable.  But what I took away from all that reading was this: great blogs begin with great writers.
See I’ve read blogs that were popular, but not at all well-written or topical.  They rather reminded me of the penchant we have in this country of rewarding stupid people with fame.  For example, Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and the most recent television abortion, Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.  I mean, really people?  C’mon!
Notwithstanding that those examples are television shows and not blogs, the principle is nonetheless illustrated.  Blogs may be popular because they’re written by popular people, but that doesn’t make them great.  Great blogs are topical, well-written, insightful, thought-provoking and often witty or humorous.  I have found some great examples out there; some of the greatest in fact are by authors that are not at all famous.  For my part, fame isn’t so much the goal here as is the ability to make a living doing what I love: writing.  And that, to me, would be just swell!
So here’s to greatness from small beginnings (hint for those not conversant in Latin: that’s what the headline means)!  I am committed to my course, and I am looking forward to the adventure.  With a little luck, I might pick up some readers along the way.

4 comments :

  1. Viam vestram consummavit cecidit vos nihil.

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    1. Thank You fmlaibih! A nice sentiment indeed!

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  2. I look forward to reading more from you! I have always enjoyed your writing. Can you add something here that allows you to have followers?

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    1. Jan,

      I believe if you sign up for a Google+ or Blogger account you can follow this blog. You can even have the site email you every time there is a new post. :-) Apart from that, I will, of course, send updates through Facebook whenever I post a new article.

      Good to hear from you! Thanks for the read!

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