• Wilz Stevens

Personal Blogz - Wilz joins the Freelance Game

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

"Apologies Wilz has been away from the blog, but we are back, and with exciting news"

Aioli Walkerz,

It has been a while hasn't it, be we hope you have all been well,

Exciting news, Wilz has joined the freelance ranks, I now freelance write with the Cairns Local Newspaper, it is a dream come true and works well with my communications degree,

"I started my freelance journey by responding to a job application advertisment on Facebook"

I was cruising through my Facebook feed as most people do and I came across a post from the editor of the paper, he was looking for freelance writers to write on topics like regional community topics, sports and entertainment, so I took a chance, and responded to the email address,

As I hadn't any real prior experience, my email was rather short and to the point, my email went like this, hello, this is my name, I have no prior experience but this is what I study and I hope to achieve, I attached my resume and a link to my blog and hoped for the best, and to my surprise the editor called me first thing the next morning, it wasn't even a 12hr turn around,

And not long after that, we set up a meet and greet in the newspaper's office, it was a casual affair, just to go over what style of writing I feel most comfortable with and what sort of topics I would like to write on, the editor then explained a bit about the paper and its style and then I was issued a agreement with the paper outling all the rules and guidelines and the payment system and from there I had entered the game,

"That is where my freelance journey began, and then I started recieving assignments or adventures as I like to call them"

I call them adventures cause I like to think with each story my editor gives me there is an adventure to be had, it is a lot of fun getting to learn more about the stories and people involved in them, it is so enriching to learn how people felt and dealt in certain situations, and to hear what inspired and encouraged them and to be in a position to be able to share their stories is such a treasure, it is literally a dreamcome true,

So in my assignments, my editor at the paper is super helpful, he often provides me with a media release/summary of the story, a list with some contacts to get in touch with and the angel he would like to see for the article, he also provides me with feedback about my writing of articles, and in general he is just an awesome guy, I couldn't ask for a more kind and helpful editor to learn and work with, in fact all the staff in the office are super helpful and kind,

"So once I get an assignment, the adventure and the journey begins, the balls starts to roll"

So once I receive an assignment, my first plan of attack is to map out how I am going to tackle the story, I put down a structure as per newswriting pyramid structure, most important information first and then fill in a lot of the details to follow, and a good piece of feedback that I recently got from my editor is to include a quote or 2 from the interviewee to add colour to the article, to make the reader feel and to make the article not sound so clinical,

"Then its onto the fun part, meeting and interviewing the star/s of the article, so far I have met some awesome people, if you would like to track my articles you can simply search my name Wilma Stevens on the newspaper website Cairns Local News - Free to read No subscriptions"

When it comes to interviews preparation is key, before the interview make sure you are across the article, understand what is about and formulate your questions to best reflect what you want to get across with the article, but when communicating with the interviewee be kind and curteous, remember they are giving up their time to meet up/speak with you so make them feel at home and comfortable with you, thank them for their time and be upfront and clear, explain from the get go who you are and what you plan to do, so there is no confusion, but most importantly have fun, if the atmosphere is awkward and uncomfortable its not an enjoyable for anyone, so be kind and make sure everyone including yourself feels at ease,

Once this is all done then you have all the information you should need to get writing the article, using the structure from before you can create a story line for the article and insert quotes where they best reflect on the story and then hey presto you have an article ready to send off to your editor to revise, I know for the paper I write with, once I am done with an article, I email them through to the editor and he will revise it, make the necessary changes and it will go into print with also online form of the article to go on the website,

So that is how I got into freelancing and my experience in creating article so far, I am curious do any of you out there freelance, and would like to share your experiences too? please leave us a comment and lets connect, we would love to hear from you,

That is Wilz for now, take care Walkerz, and travel safely, let's keep walking on this journey called life, peace out

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