Last week I attended Skyword’s #Forward18 content marketing conference in Boston. The day was filled with trend predictions, actionable advice and case studies to fill marketers and creatives alike with endless inspiration and refreshing ideas.
It was incredible.
My friend Erin did such a great job recapping the key ideas presented at the conference for the Content Standard, so check that out!
I’ve decided to focus on my personal takeaways as a full-time freelance writer.
Being a freelancer can be lonely. We often work in a quiet home office, or busy coffee shops with earbuds in place, noses deeply buried in our keyboards. The world around us fades away as we dig into project after project.
Last week, I came up for air.
I shared my career experiences, commiserated with colleagues on pain points, listened to the writing journeys of others and made a conscious effort to be mindful in every conversation. I practiced my listening skills and used the event as a chance to understand more about my career and how others approach the freelance life.
Here are a few insights that bubbled up.
- People are reading your writing, even if they don’t comment. Keep writing.
- Your editors know when you write with passion. Do that more.
- It’s OK to reach out to senior-level colleagues with questions. They are there to help.
- Success is derived from equal parts hustle and self-care. You need both.
- Your colleagues have similar concerns and issues. Talk to them.
- All freelance writers work weird hours. Write whenever and wherever makes sense for you.
- Ask for help. The teams you work with want you to succeed.
- We are more than avatars and email addresses. Get to know your colleagues.
- Pitch your ideas. Writing about topics you love makes the work more enjoyable.
- Help other writers when you can. We’ve all been the new person at one time.
- Read, read, read. It gives you perspective, expands your vocabulary and generates writing ideas.
- Meet deadlines. Period.
- Be aware of the larger picture. Why are you writing that article specifically?
- Let your inner, uninhibited 8-year-old child mind out to play. Edit later.
- Success does not always equal money. Happiness has value.
- Say yes to new opportunities and figure out the process along the way.
- Someone is looking up to you online. Stay positive.
- Share raw, real moments. They are what readers relate to on a personal level.
- Relationships are everything in the freelance world. Nurture them.
- You have to put in the hours if you want the results.
- Don’t compare your success with anyone else. We move forward at our own pace.
- Put yourself out there. It’s how you get seen and hired for projects.
I always leave these types of events with my mind abuzz with validating moments, new detours for my career path and a handful of reinforced friendships that make the soloist career lifestyle much less isolating.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the conference, head over to Twitter and scope out the #Forward18 hashtag. Your dose of inspiration is just a few clicks away. Enjoy!
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