26 January 2009

Media Diet and a dose of reality

I've been in a bubble since 4 January. That was the last date that I actually read the news. Well, I have sort of skimmed the headlines on the BBC website most (but not all) days. But first I moved house and then I've been so busy finishing my book I've not had time for my daily round of at least 3 newspapers. I've not seen The Guardian at all, or The Sun, or much else. That'll change tomorrow as I fully intend for Normal Service to be Resumed!

The Media Diet got a bit neglected towards the end of last year - there was too much going on and, tbh, I started to run out of interesting media things to blog without repeating myself. It'll be back as an occasional feature from now on, along with PR Annoyances.

Anyway, the book MS was finally finished today - after being up till gone midnight last night then rising at 6 this morning to do the last bits - and has been dispatched to the publisher.

From tomorrow, it's back to the regular grindstone - I have 4 articles to write, 68 PDF pages to proofread for a client and a book MS to edit for another.

And now the dose of reality.

I've mentioned a few times lately how colleagues have been made redundant from staff jobs or seen regular freelance work dry up. I was foolish enough to blog about being offered work. Actually, I'm still being offered work. But I digress. Today I discovered I'm probably going to lose my biggest regular client - the one that gives me daily copy-editing work every weekday morning and a monthly cheque that covers my rent every month. Nothing's confirmed yet but it look ominous and I can't help wondering at the timing - I put my rates up for the first time in 4 years at the start of the year and now I expect to be dropped amid mutterings of taking work back in-house. But I can't not put rates up in the current climate, especially when I've carefully explained that clients have not had a rates increase in previous years and that I'm now simply catching up with inflation. So, it looks as though I'm going to be part of the statistics in my shrinking industry.

I might need that bar job after all. But not just yet.

6 comments:

Anne Brooke said...

Well done on getting that novel sent off - great stuff! Hope the job situation keeps okay for you though ...

Hugs & stuff

Axxx

wordsmith_for_hire said...

I wish it *was* a novel! Sadly not. Just a health manual. Maybe I'll start the grand novel next year...

The Bureauista said...

Yeah, well done on getting the book completed. My main client just told me that they have no more budget past February, so I had a hellish few days worrying about where the rent was coming from. However, I put out the bat signal and have had four positive results so far, so I'm encouraged.

Anne Brooke said...

Doesn't have to be grand - start it anyway!

:))

Axxx

Barry Newsdesk said...

You're an inspiration to any aspiring writer!

I was recently made redundant. I'm now working in Blockbusters, just to make ends meet.

Perhaps you could drop by my blog and let me know how to build a successful career in freelance journalism.

wordsmith_for_hire said...

Thanks for the kind words, Barry. I've had a look at your blog and, to be very honest, I think you have a very long road ahead of you. I found your blog confusing as it says you plan to be a citizen journalist but there's no citizen journalism on there. And I'm not sure why you are asking a charity for their view on someone else's blog, followed by a request to look at yours, especially as yours doesn't seem to be relevant to the charity.

I think you first need to decide what function your blog will have - is it citizen journalism? Discussion on mainstream journalism (as per your post on PR)? Or something else? Who are you writing for as a journalist just now? I think you also should use your blog to improve your writing style. Cut the clich├ęs, for example - no one can be literally over the moon, unless they are an astronaut.

Hope that gives you a small start!