>Holidays offer freelance opportunitiesPosted: December 15, 2009
>It’s the holidays. What does that mean for freelancers?
It’s going to be difficult to reach anyone for assignments or interviews for the next two weeks. People are traveling, taking time off, or not willing to commit to anything right now. But if you are self-employed, no one’s paying you to take a two-week vacation. If you have a job, maybe somebody is paying you to take time off, and you can use this time to further your writing career. How?
Story ideas may be falling around you like snowflakes. Yes, it’s probably too late to submit them for this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t gather them up to send in early next year. Allergic to the Christmas tree? Tired of holiday travel headaches? Just met the most amazing Santa Claus? Invented a good-tasting fruitcake? Are you involved in another tradition besides Christmas? Take notes, take pictures. The holidays come every year, and editors always struggle to come up with something new.
Consider submitting non-holiday stories of the sort that can run any time. In the biz, these are called evergreens (like Christmas trees, get it?). Although newspaper staffs work plenty of holidays, they do get extra time off, and those working at publications with longer lead times may get a week or two off. Meanwhile, the next deadline is coming, and the editor will need copy in a hurry. If you can supply the stories, you will be the hero. A few years ago, I submitted an op ed piece to the Oregonian about airport security. It ran on Dec. 26. They had a hole that my piece filled right there at the top of the page.
So study the markets, plan your stories and prepare queries so that when everyone comes back to work, you’re already three steps ahead.