I just was asked by the good folks at Emory University to come speak to some students about freelance writing. I of course said yeah, because I really like talking to new writers, and letting them know that they can do it. The people over there at Emory have always been really nice to me, and I am happy and honored to be part of this.
This will be the third time I am talking over at Emory, but I also make some semi-regular appearances at my own Alma Mater, Kennesaw State University for the same kinds of things. I never plan what I am going to say too much, just kind of go and wing it, based on what people seem to want to know.
Generally, it seems like people want to know how to get started – and I always say the same thing: just get started. Young writers tend to romanticize this lifestyle (although it is pretty cool, I gotta admit) so it seems like it is harder than it is. I actually offer work at many of these things too – but don’t always have people following up on it, which is pretty weird to me. I know when I was a student, I would’ve killed for a chance to write almost anywhere, and my main point to aspiring writers is to keep working, even if you are not getting paid yet. If you stick to it and have talent and drive, you can make a very decent living doing all kinds of writing. I hope to illustrate that to them in a simple way.
So I hope to be entertaining and honest at least and can clearly express my love for this career path. If you are going to be attending this thing (I’ll post some details here when I have them) and want to know something specific from me, feel free to give me a yell, or comment below and I’ll certainly try to answer it for you – otherwise, I am looking forward to meeting some new folks, and get them fired-up about hurling verbs.
More info on this as I get it…
It is called “Careers for Writers Networking Night” and will be held in the Winship Ballroom at Emory, from 7:00-8:30 P.M. it is in “the Duc” – Dobbs University Center.
I got one email on it so far, and will tell you – yes, we will be covering the basics of building a portfolio. Briefly – I think I have like 5 of my 15 minutes. Warhol would be proud. 🙂
OK – it’s over now, and I didn’t spit on anyone I think, so I have that going for me. I did spill some juice at one point like a spaz – but no one was too close, so no harm…just embarrassing to spill something for no good reason.
I forgot how they run it, but it was really cool. There were tons of us writers there, covering a wide range of potential career paths. We introduced ourselves and then it was simply a big mixer – folks drifted around, talking about whatever they wanted to know with folks who could offer answers.
I talked a bunch (surprise, surprise) – but the students were great – not a silly question all night. I hope I answered some things for them – it was pretty active, and I tried to stay focused for them. I have no idea how many were there – but they were all on the right path, as far as I could see. Lots of intelligent, well-intentioned folks. Not one of them was at home, watching TV – they were all doing something to increase their experiences and understanding. From that aspect, it was a success for sure. I know I’ll see the work of some of them out there. 🙂
My thanks again to Paul Bredderman over there at Emory – he has always been a very great host, who holds quality events for his students. I hope they know how lucky they are – not every student has those kind of opportunities. But mostly thanks to the writers-to-be I talked to all night – I really appreciate you allowing me to come over, and chat with you. Always feel free to email me – I had a lot less cards when I got done, so feel free to ask me anything you want, any time. And welcome to it – writing for a living is pretty wonderful.