Tag Archives: freelance writer

The Solar Powered Freelance Writer

the green freelance writer

by Joe Wallace

Freelance writers who want to reduce their carbon footprint, save on their electricity bills and go completely portable should take a long look at a range of products from companies including Xantrex and Wagan, both offering solar-powered accessories that can run your laptop and cell phone charger.

Xantrex offers a portable AC/DC solar-powered charger featuring a 400-watt inverter, USB ports, and two AC outlets. This unit is completely self-renewing, which means if left in the sun long enough, you can completely recharge the 10 amp battery. Chances are you’ll wind up recharging it via wall socket if the customer reviews on this are any indication. One reviewer says 45 hours of sun charging is required doing it the green-friendly way.

Wagan’s Solar ePanel 12 power supply is advertised as being good to trickle charge laptops and cell phones, but customer reviews warn not to use this without the benefit of a solar charge control add-on to prevent burning out your devices (depending on the construction of those devices, feh.)

Both of these products are exciting developments–especially for freelancers who want to connect while camping, hiking, or covering outdoor festivals. But it’s extremely important to read the customer reviews on these green-friendly gadgets before you buy. The marketing hype may be true, but learn what other users have discovered the hard way before you invest.

Me personally? I’m tempted by the Voltaic Solar-Powered Messenger Bag, but it has one major drawback–it will keep my iPhone charged but can’t charge my laptop. That’s a major design flaw and one that keeps me waiting until a more suitable, powerful model comes out that can handle my computer’s power needs. Then I’ll be one seriously green freelance writer and editor.

Introducing Sarah Skerrett

skerrett1.jpgSome of our FZ readers know we’ve been at this for a while now…since 2002 we’ve been busily scribbling away on this site, writing about the writing life, but today is a first for us. I’m very happy to introduce our first new and permanent member of the Freelance Zone team, Sarah Skerrett.

I say “permanent” as in, not a guest blogger or featured article writer. She’s now one of us and will be sharing the benefit of her years in publishing and her experiences now as a full-time freelance writer. Her background includes pop culture/entertainment blogging, resume consulting, and currently Sarah’s developing her own celebrity gossip site with a Midwestern emphasis. She divides her time between writing, editing, and consulting projects. I’ll let Sarah properly introduce herself:

“As a freelancer without the years on my side, developing an identity based on my work thus far can feel quite daunting. I’m pleased to join Freelance Zone as a rookie freelancer, having worked publishing for six years, and will be posting about my own experiences embarking on a full-time freelance career. Immediate areas of discussion include navigating the freelance lifestyle while monitoring the good, bad, and ugly aspects of the life. Feel free to contact me with comments, questions, or projects via email, sarahskerrett [at] hotmail [dot] [com].”

I’m happy to welcome Sarah to the Freelance-Zone.com team. Please take a moment to welcome her and say hello! I look forward to her posts in the weeks to come!