Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Solitary Freelance Writer

Have I mentioned? On the morning of April 18, I'll be giving the keynote for the Triangle Area Freelancers conference on "Seven Secrets of Freelancing I Wish I'd Known from the Start." If you're in central North Carolina, I hope you'll come. I also wish there had been a TAF years ago when I was getting started in magazines and newspapers.

I remember when the feeling of solitude started to feel heavy at some point in the second half of my first year. I decided that maybe going out to lunch would help, but couldn't find anybody loose to join me that day. So I went by myself to a semi-hip restaurant where they had booths placed in odd settings within the restaurant. Mine, as it happened, was in a jail cell. So I sat there by myself looking through actual bars.

Nobody needs networking more than writers, for information, contacts, and mental health.

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Greta said...

No, you haven't mentioned it, but I'll be there.

You made me laugh, thinking of your face peering out from behind bars.

The last two sentences says it all for me: "Nobody needs networking more than writers, for information, contacts, and mental health."

Thanks...for the laugh and for validating what I've been feeling lately.

Peggy Payne said...

I hope you haven't been feeling behind bars, Greta.

Anonymous said...

With all your years of experience, do you find the feeling of solitude has changed in any way from when you first started out?

Peggy Payne said...

I changed my situation after the first year. I started renting an office outside my house and having lunch with people. Most of the time I've had another writer in the same space with me.

For the last five or so years, I've had a separate office in a building owned by my friend and colleague Carrie Knowles. If we keep our doors open, which we usually do, we can toss comments back and forth from desk to desk.

I started out working in a newsroom and I like that feeling of activity.

I was never a good candidate for working at home.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the burden of creative genius and how everyone thinks the rest of her creative life is "doomed" since she had a best seller. Worth a listen


Peggy Payne said...

Thanks for the reminder about the Gilbert TED speech. I think it's wonderful.