During my time as a SAHM, I’m pursuing a few side hustles and working to learn new skills. It’s partly an exercise in those specific skills, partly an exercise in maintaining my sanity. My freelance writing work is what I most enjoy and desire to continue for the long haul, so I want to update you all on how that journey is going.
At times I feel as though I’m getting nowhere. Discouragement derails me constantly. Even though I’m fortunate that our family’s livelihood doesn’t depend on my earning ability in freelancing, it sure would be nice to earn something.
I’m happy to report that I finally feel like the ball is ROLLING! Over the summer, I met with a local writers’ group a few times, and while they focused primarily on fiction, they connected me with two local freelance journalists in the area. We’ve met a grand total of twice, but those meetings opened up opportunities for me.
When I first met them, I was intimidated, but they welcomed me easily. Not having worked for a newspaper or magazine before, I wasn’t sure I could fit in. They both write on a part-time basis and have worked with our town’s newspaper editor for a couple of years. I write Christian devotions for teens, as well as this blog. These women asked what I wanted to write, and I honestly wasn’t sure. All I knew was I wanted to make a little money from this hobby.
I was thrilled when one of these new writing peers offered to talk to our local newspaper editor and let him know my situation. Having no formal journalistic training, I wasn’t sure how to proceed to get freelance jobs at the paper and didn’t want to come off as presumptuous. So I took her suggestions and emailed that editor with a brief summary of my writing experience and qualifications, plus a few samples of my work. Asking him to consider fitting me in whenever needed for a newspaper story or their magazines, I then waited.
Crickets. Not a word back for a month. Of course I felt crazy bummed about that. Kinda figured he wasn’t interested. Then the editor responded, asked for more samples, and I sent them and again waited a month for any response. But the good news is, I then received an assignment for an upcoming business magazine article, plus a local courtroom story to cover that same night!
I gotta tell you, for this mom who doesn’t get out much, that day was a thrill. Thankfully, Mr. COD was home that evening, so I was free to go and cover my first newspaper story. I was nervous because it was in a courtroom, so I almost forgot to take pictures, but it all went fine. It was a fairly easy first piece for me to write, and ran exactly as I’d written (it made me feel good that my work didn’t require a bunch of editing).
Then, this past weekend, I also had the opportunity to cover the local Angel Tree gift distribution at the Salvation Army. Such a fun assignment! I loved getting to see the hundreds of bags of gifts and bicycles lined up waiting for loving families to give to their children. Interviewing the volunteers involved definitely was a great time and heartwarming way to celebrate the holidays.
So that’s my big news! It’s not big pay, but it’s something (covers most of the Christmas gifts for the kiddos), and I have two other stories in the works for the paper’s affiliated magazines. Plus, as a bonus, this is a neat way to get to know my new community. I can learn more about my region of Kentucky and its people while doing work I love.
Other recent happenings in the COD life:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!