a collaboration by EPA freelancers
If you missed it, click here to see Part 1.
What are your favorite tools or resources as a freelance writer?
Lori Arnold: Otter AI transcription service has cut my transcription time by at least half. It’s pretty accurate for a multi-voice recognition system. You can also search keywords in the transcript. They offer a free basic package for individuals just starting out.
Akosua Frempong: My favorite tip came from Joyce Ellis during one of the EPA Freelancer Zoom calls and was confirmed during another meeting by Jeff Friend. Joyce mentioned the Christian Writers’ Market Guide. I decided to subscribe to it and, through it, I got my first professional break in Christian freelance writing, writing for Peer! The guide provides essential information on the publications, including pay and, as Jeff mentioned, tips on how to get the editors’ attention. For me, as a freelance journalist and more specifically a Christian one, it’s been a beneficial tool.
Stephen Clark: After trying and rejecting several journaling tools, I stumbled onto The Journal by DavidRM Software. This software offers much more than just journaling and is loaded with useful features that are intuitive and easy to use. You can create unlimited dated journals that allow you to create one entry per day. You can also create undated loose-leaf notebooks where each entry is just like adding a page to a binder. The notebook feature is great for organizing projects. For example, you can create a notebook titled “Articles” with each entry an article in progress. Navigating the journals and notebooks is very easy by way of tabs and file trees. You can rename the tabs at any time. Each notebook and journal can be set up with their own default font, color scheme, and passwords. Entries use formatting features similar to what you will find in Word as well as spell check, thesaurus, and auto-replace. You can cut and paste or insert text and graphics from other sources. You can search a single notebook or every journal and notebook for a word or phrase, and you can export the text (individual entries or batches) as RTF files.
Ann-Margret Hovsepian: These are my top three suggestions:
1. The Print Friendly browser extension button is the best and fastest way to print out (or save as a PDF) a web page in a readable format. You can click on any images or text you don’t want in your print-out.
2. The “Save” feature of Facebook is something I use a lot. If I see a link, quote, or idea that I want to hang on to for a future project, or just for my personal use, I save it. You can create “Collections” to organize the posts into categories.
3. I highly recommend signing up for Jane Friedman’s Electric Speed newsletter, which features helpful tools and resources and is sent out twice a month.
What is the best advice you would give other freelancer writers?
Jeff Friend: Never, never, never miss a deadline.
Ann Byle: I’ve learned these things along the Freelance Way:
1. Walk through the doors God opens. Whether the project works out or not, the exercise of moving forward without fear (or with a little bit of fear) is worth the effort.
2. Trust the process. We want the right lede, the right ending, the best story RIGHT NOW, but sometimes it takes a bit for those things to come. But they will come if you do your research, give yourself time to think, and relax. This also applies to starting a freelance writing career; you have to do your due diligence—put in the time and effort—to get started.
3. Don’t hold things too tightly. Which is to say, your stories will be edited and the projects will go to someone else. Disappointing at times, but it’s part of the gig.