A fellow freelancer forwarded an e-mail to me. They recently hosted a teleseminar and mentioned that the economy is affecting the profession. One of the callers disagreed, writing:
“I attended a recent teleseminar and was really disappointed that politics was brought into it. I have to deal with political challenges everywhere… I do not want to hear it in a writing seminar, especially when words like “recession” are used inaccurately to promote the viewpoint of one of the presenters.”
Now, I’m not one to open a political can of worms, but I do believe that the current state of the economy does affect the freelance landscape. To ignore what’s going on in the political scene, to pretend the economy isn’t tightening, to be unaware of the plight of the average American would be career suicide.
Now, I’m not advocating shouting your political views from the mountaintops, but you are very wise when you take note of the latest economic news, combine it with real world experience, and draw your conclusions… as well as adjust your game plan… from there.
To think that a writing career is all roses, happy thoughts, and positive intentions is a bit dangerous when you don’t take into account the real world your readership is currently living in.
Truth be told, and you can find a ton of freelancers who agree with me on this, many publishers are tightening their guidelines and accepting fewer titles. Marketing managers are squeezing every cent out of every mailing. In the copywriting world, many mailers are eliminating royalties. Big time copywriting gurus are supplementing their income by selling copywriting “how to” products to aspiring copywriters who are clueless to the reason behind this sudden generosity to “share the craft.” Readerships decline, belts tighten, and it’s getting a bit tougher to earn a living as a freelancer.
The silver lining?
Those who don’t understand how to effectively communicate will drop the profession. Publishing houses that don’t carefully evaluate manuscripts will perish. Authors who go the vanity publishing route will flush their cash.
But the savvy freelancer who develops even rudimentary marketing skills, the freelancer who remains aware, yet positive, the freelancer who takes time to cultivate a career… these writers will do just fine, in my humble opinion.
So yeah. Be aware of the current economic situation, but don’t drown in the negativity of it. If you’re not aware, you will languish in this profession. It’s that simple.