I'm off tomorrow for ASJA's Annual Writer's Conference in NYC. (I'll be moderating the "Secrets of Successful Freelancers" panel on Friday, April 27, so if you're there, look for me!) Most years that I attend ASJA, I arrange to meet with editors and agents while I'm there. This year, I'm taking a different (more relaxed) approach. I'm going to promote Writer for Hire, to reconnect with old friends, and to attend panels on freelancing and book publishing that will hopefully help me continue to grow my career.
As a freelancer, I spent almost all of my work time alone. Yeah, there's Twitter and Facebook and phone calls and texts, but you know what? I still feel isolated. I still lose enthusiasm for what I'm doing. Yet I become reenergized at a writers' conference like ASJA, where I'm surrounded by fellow freelancers of different stripes. I'll talk, listen, laugh, bond, commiserate, maybe do a few tarot readings (we'll see!), and come home with not only some work leads and possibilities, but an increased sense of appreciation for what I've chosen to spend the last fifteen year of my life doing, career-wise.
Which brings us to the Hot Freelance Tip of the Day: Get out of your house.
Don't spend all of your working time alone. You need contact with fellow humans, and it's a bonus if they are serious about their writing, too. (It's an even bigger bonus if, like you, they write for money.) So attend a writers' conference. Have lunch with a fellow writer. Create a writers' critique group.
If time, money, or circumstances won't let you do any of that, at least leave your home. Head out to your local Caribou Coffee or Starbucks or pack up and work at the library. Listen to the people around you. Eavesdrop for ideas. People-watch. Stay connected to the world and your writing--and your psyche--will benefit.
Coming next week: a roundup of great ideas from ASJA! :)