Having done freelance writing for the past fourteen years...I realized how much time has passed, and how many errors I've made, and how most of what I learned, I learned via trial and error.
Things like: Don't bug the editor.
Why? Because if you bug them, you don't get work.
Things like: Revise and edit before you hit send.
Why? Because if you don't, you won't get published.
Things like: Don't double send.
Why? You'll lose both markets.
I've also learned over time, to make concept pitches --like a series on sacred places, a series on the mysteries of the rosary, on the Doctors of the Church. These sort of scope based projects can get you steady work. No one taught me, but I wanted more steady work, and discovered, this helps.
In the Catholic Writers Conference Online today, I heard a good talk about marketing, and thought, it's been a while since I added to my blog, cleaned it up, or reworked. So you're getting a new look. I hope you like it.
After I typed up my notes for the Conference, I thought, you know, you need to pitch a big scope again, to give yourself focus, so you're not just addressing current events. There are plenty of people discussing and parsing current events. Now I'm thinking...what event? So I'm thinking, I'm going to take on the psalms. It would give me 150 to examine.
The question is...what order to address it in? 1-150, or as I find them. I didn't do the rosary in order. I waited for the mysteries to find me. As I sat pondering the pitch for such a series, my husband called. He suggested the less known books of the bible, because as Catholics unless we're doing the liturgy of the hours or engaged in a concentrated bible study, we only get whatever snatches we find via the daily Scripture, or the Sunday mass. I'm no expert, but I also knew, that's why it would be a good place to study.
Which meant thumbing through the bible, and I decided to examine the seven books which define a Catholic bible as Catholic, as versus any other bible, meaning Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, 1st and 2nd Macabees and Baruch. Now I'm a Catholic. I've been a Catholic all my life. I went to Catholic school for most of my education. I've been a Catholic educator. I'm also someone who actively seeks to grow my faith.
I'd never heard of the book of Baruch. He's a prophet. The Old Testament reveals the New. If we don't know the Old, we might miss some of what is in the New. I knew...this is where to go. This is where I should plunge in deeper. I scanned the Wikipedia site and found this:
This lesser prophet's writings is part of Holy Saturday as well. I thought about current events and knew...perhaps if we'd paid more attention to prophets.
We need to know more. Here was an opportunity to learn more.
So my other bit of advice as a freelancer, is discover what you don't know, and go investigate, find out, so that you cease being ignorant about something. Be curious and be fearless. Pray. Ask questions, find the answers, write and begin again. It's work. It's always work. But it's work we need to do.