When the Credit Crunch arrived, I was jettisoned from my job faster than a piano materialising in a hotair balloon. At the time, I was working as an advert writer at a radio station, and the bigwigs at HQ in London realised they could save a hefty amount of cash by getting rid of the copywriters based at each radio station. The job was fun but demanding, and the office politics, combined with low salary and hellish commute made redundancy a sweet relief.
For 10 months, I was on the dole, attempting to write a novel and half-heartedly applying for improbable jobs that I was vastly underqualified for. I didn’t want to go back to work. I was enjoying a life of leisure very much – sleeping in as long as I wanted, lunching with the ladies, and penning a novel based on my experiences working in a radio station.
But as my redundancy cash dwindled, and the wolf howled and shat on my doorstep, I realised I had get back into the workplace, and fast. I remember my hands shaking and guts swooping as I raced through job applications, none of them seeming suitable for an erratic yet wildly creative girl who couldn’t concentrate for longer than 30 seconds. If only I knew how to go freelance.
Then I got a phone call off my brother. He had a friend who was looking for a writer. I called, and took the brief. “Would I mind writing a few articles to promote an online casino site?” I duly obliged, quite amazed that such a simple job could earn me £20. The client was impressed with my work, and asked me to start writing two a day, seven days a week. From there, I went on to grow my client list, and for the past three years, I’ve been a freelance blogger, and let me tell you, the lifestyle is sensational.
I can pick and choose my own hours, the work is plentiful, and here’s the major upshot… I can live anywhere in the world, as long as there’s wifi and somewhere I can make coffee.
It didn’t take me long to embrace the planet like an overzealous aunt at Christmas. I packed up my gubbins and started travelling, living in Portland in Oregon, then Ibiza, then a remote country cottage in Bristol, and as I pen this, I’m living in the astonishing city of Vancouver, in a gorgeous apartment, a mere 100 paces from the Pacific ocean. Next, I intend to spend three months in Arizona, and from there, I don’t know where I’ll go. I’m open to suggestion. Answers on a pretty picture postcard…
I don’t mean to sound smug. I mean to inspire you and reassure you that you can go freelance and globe trot just like me. I can’t tell you exactly how to go freelance, but I’m more than willing to offer tips and suggestioins.
The first is to embark on any of the courses below. I’ve done several over the years, I can assure you, they are not a scam. They are exceptionally cheap, and packed with hundreds of tips on how to get started on this seemingly-elusive and oh-so-desirable career. If you want to know how to be a freelance writer, then this is just the ticket.
I didn’t use one to get started, but I’ve just bought myself ‘Secrets of Travel Writing,’ because I fancy a five-star luxury lifestyle, seeing the world at someone else’s expense.
Go gettit, tiger!
PS. Writing work is incredibly plentiful for freelance bloggers, because Google favours websites that are updated with fresh copy. If a website wants to rank well on Google, it needs hot sexy new copy on a daily basis, and that’s where I make my cash. You can do it too. You’ve just got to know where to look and what to write. Do this, and the world becomes a plate of a dozen oysters, served on crushed ice.
Oh WOW. I’m writing this blog to document a journey in to a brand new area of my life. I’M IN THE MOTHER-FREAKING MOVIES! (Ish!) Working on an amazing project in a sector I never thought I would get in to, and it’s all because of this neon nutter here, Super Massive Raver.
For the past 10 years, I have worked in radio, writing batty little adverts and presenting comedy shows a la Mark and Lard, but when the recession hit, I was rapidly jettisoned as stations cut jobs like you trim those grim fatty bits off bacon. Unless you’re my sister who doesn’t seem to struggle at all with the rind…
I then found myself self-employed with a tidy little blogging business I run from home. Cushty indeed, and with no boss looking over my shoulder, it gave me plenty of time to dick about on Twitter and the internet. Which is where I happened upon Super Massive Raver and his amphetamine-fuelled skits.
I fell in love with the project, ie, became a SOOOOPER MASSIVE FAN, as SMR totally resonated with my mucky sense of humour (someone once described me as Chris Morris’s little sister, which is an awesome compliment) So I submitted a few sample scripts, stuck my nose in with marketing suggestions and made a total nuisance of myself.
As a result of my continued nosying, Robin Schmidt, the other half of the team, asked me to get involved on the social networking side of things. To say I was happy was an understatement – when I got the news, I was living in Ibiza and living a hermit’s life thanks to a surprisingly cold and lonely winter. Being asked to work on the project was certainly one of the most exciting moments of my life, and I immediately got to work doing some more dicking around on Twitter and Facebook to promote my favourite little rave monkey.
So how have I ended up sat here on a sunny Saturday, nose buried deep in a book called “Think outside the box office – the ultimate guide to film marketing and distribution for the digital era”? Well, within the next two years, Super Massive Raver will be starring in his own feature film, and I’ve been asked to be the PMD. Or the Producer of Marketing and Distribution. Say what? As Robin puts it, “ a relatively new kind of role dreamt up by some very smart people in the US.” Oh. That’s why I don’t have a clue what you’re on about. So let me get this straight. You want ME, to do THIS? Blow me down with a glowstick, I didn’t see that coming!
To give you a better idea as to what this mammoth task involves, Jon Reiss, the book’s author says, “50% of your time and resources should be devoted to creating the film. 50% of your time and resources should be devoted to getting the film out to its audience, aka distribution and marketing.” So, no small deal then?
Of course, I couldn’t refuse such an offer, which is why I am going to blog about my experiences from day one. I’m looking forward to meeting other people on the same PMD journey, and although I don’t think I’ll ever be a leading voice on the subject, it’s reassuring to know plenty of others are setting off into the vast digital unknown, promoting their indie projects in a totally new and exciting way.
Yep, I’m green. Yep, I’ve never worked in the movies before. Yep, I’m absolutely daunted as to what implications this is going to have on my life and how it is going to fit in with the rest of my career. But hopefully I will be able to put my years of creative writing and marketing skills I learnt in radio to the test and get this bonkers project the recognition it deserves.
And, I’m thoroughly enjoying the book. It’s a super massive job and I’m up for the challenge. I wonder how much it would cost to build a projector for the moon?
I’m a self-employed Cheshire lass now living in Bristol. I do mobile discos, I like space, astronomy, evolution and anything Stella Artois-flavoured. Trying to write a novel too, damn, it’s harder than maths even.