...is one of the most frustrating things about this job, but sometimes also the most fruitful. I'm usually not the number one priority of a client or person I'm interviewing or source, which means sometimes I have to wait quite awhile to get even a quick response to my messages. I treat following up with great trepidation, waiting as long as I reasonably can for an email from them I know will never come. I actually schedule follow-up dates in my to-do list and "snooze" my email threads until then so that they're not cluttering up my inbox. It can test my patience, but that patience can really be rewarded. I waited a week after a client told me I'd receive my payment for services rendered to remind her, and also mentioned that I'd love a chance to work with her again. I received pay promptly and even got a referral to a new client offering more work that the one who referred me to them. So yeah, taking your time can definitely be worthwhile.
A mini-disaster struck exactly a week after Halloween. I found out late last night that my Evernote account, containing the digital notebook in which I do most of my writing, had been infected and I lost about half a day's work. It was scary, but thankful most of my work yesterday was either corresponding via email or writing things that were backed up elsewhere. Still, it stings to spend hours just recovering what you'd already completed the day prior. I'm glad that I work far enough ahead that this setback was nowhere near catastrophic. It's times like this that I start to slightly miss being paid per hour, though...
Comics journalism isn't one of my best-paying niches, but it's definitely one of the most fun. Some new doors opened in that field, which will give me a lot more opportunities to write articles about the industry/medium and do interviews with some of my favorite creators. Expect a regular output for me on The Beat in the weeks and months to come.
I didn't get any leads on new clients this week, but I got something just as good: interest from a current, well-paying client in expanding my workload. The number of clients isn't what matters, really; it's the dollar amount that's entering your checking (or in my case, PayPal) account. Something to remember.
I have made some significant changes to my portfolio. The most significant addition is the Expertise page. If you're a potentially client, it should give you an idea of what fields I'm knowledgeable of. Each area of expertise I outline includes articles I've written that demonstrate my knowledge. If you need someone to write about any of those topics please get in touch.
Being my own boss is freeing, but constraining. Basically, I am always on the clock. It's liberating because I can write when the urge strikes, delivering a lot of "best day" content. It's confining because I always feel like I need to do more. I can barely watch an episode of Community without opening a word doc to jot down a new idea for one of my clients or a future endeavor. I still have to figure out how to best separate work and play time, but I am extremely thankful that the work is something I enjoy doing and am consistently proud of.
My multimedia writing job at Minnesota Life College is going extremely well. I am so happy for the opportunity to continue working with such a great organization after my internship. Thanks especially to Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Jessica Zikri for her support, guidance, and wisdom. I'm really pleased with all the chances I've had to work independently, which has had a very positive effect on my productivity. That said, I am definitely excited to return to a team environment.
Minnesota Life College, the wonderful school for young adults with learning differences, wanted to continue working with me after the finish date of my internship. I did, too, but I couldn't afford to continue unpaid, and they didn't have a job opening. Their solution was to create one; beginning in November I was hired by MLC as an independent contractor.
I got some opportunities to show off my writing chops as a Marketing intern, but it was mostly writing basic copy and social media content. As a multimedia writer, I get to be a little more creative. I write blog posts, research topics relevant to autism awareness, cover special events, and a lot more. One particular treat is creating original content. I've wrote pieces that give a unique perspective on Autism Spectrum Disorder which I'm excited to share soon.
You can see some of my work as a multimedia writer on the Minnesota Life College blog.
A couple spec ads I came up with a while back. My Adobe skills were nothing to brag about, but I'm still pretty happy with the copy. Newton and Verizon are both great brands, so writing something nice about them wasn't difficult.
One fun thing I got to do during my internship at Minnesota Life College was create an online school store where students and parents could order MLC apparel. Among other duties, I was told to come up with T-shirts with a quirky message related to the school. I came back with three designs.
Minnesota Life College is a vocational school for young adults with learning differences like Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. With that in mind I developed quotes that poke fun at some of the symptoms of their disabilities. The shirt to the right, for example, is a playful way to explain to others that the wearer might have trouble making eye contact.