Freelance Writer Networking: Being Present In Person


Please welcome’s new writer. Carol Sponagle is a Mom and freelance writer with a busy schedule on both fronts, and we are glad she can make time to include FZ. Carol is published across a variety of genres including trade magazines, newspapers and indie newsweeklies. Welcome to the ‘Zone, Carol!

If you are contemplating a career in writing – or you’ve already secured some credits, you’re already aware that your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and guest blogs increase your visibility and provide potential clients with information about your background and talents.

Being present online has its rewards, but a writer should not exist in a laptop-driven vacuum. Your presence in the physical world is an essential tool for getting jobs. Meeting up with other writers and professionals in person can be as easy as toting your laptop to the local coffee shop or library.

Here’s a good example of what being present in the physical sense can do for your career: I was working at home on a rainy day and decided to take my work to the trendy coffee & bagel shop in town. The place is usually packed with students, writers, and business folk. After getting my coffee and logging onto the complimentary WiFi, I noticed a friend and fellow freelancer I hadn’t seen in ages.

As it turns out, my friend is a writer for the local paper. She suggested that I might like writing for the newspaper and offered to submit my work to her editor. She sent a quick email, and within two days, I was on board as a correspondent for a big newspaper with a multi-city audience. The fateful decision to work out of the house turned into a lucrative and credit-heavy gig.

Since that day, I make a point to take my laptop around town and chat up my java-slugging neighbor. Don’t be afraid to catch up with friends and acquaintances on purpose either – a scheduled meeting can bring up a inside information, news of available jobs, and new contacts.

Getting out there in person not only shakes off the doldrums of the same old walls, but it opens a whole new avenue of rewards. The people watchin’ ain’t bad either.

One thought on “Freelance Writer Networking: Being Present In Person”

  1. Great points, Carol. I always think it’s curious when freelancers complain about feeling isolated. Well, get out there and do something about it! I make it a point to have lunch or coffee with a client or freelance pal (don’t forget your friends who do graphic design, web design, illustration, printing, photography, etc.) at least once a week.

    We’re in Canada from Feb 09-Feb 10, and I’ve found that’s one of the things I miss the most. I still get out to coffee shops, but it’s not quite the same…I wouldn’t legally be able to do work for someone here even if they asked me to. On the other hand, now I make excuses to call friends back home for a little “virtual” coffee talk.

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