Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The solitary life of a freelancer

I was doing an interview a couple months ago, talking to a painter, and she was telling me how easy it is to become a hermit in her profession. I assured her I could relate. As a freelance write, editor and social media coordinator I spend most of the day in front of my computer interacting with people I've never met. Sure, I feel like I know several of them because of the relationships we have struck up and I'd love to meet up with them for coffee or a beer if I was ever in their part of the world.

But... life as a freelancer is pretty solitary. For instance I've lived in St. Louis three years now. I've made friends through a couple of the different activities I attend, and keeping a part time retail job for a while. But recently I started to realize I don't know anyone here in the Lou in the media world. And that's a bummer, since the average person doesn't understand social media or blogging and so having a conversation about those topics is impossible.

I finally took matters into my own hands and have signed up to attend the STL Social Media Club's May event. I'll be honest, networking events are not exactly my strong point. (actually they tend to petrify me.) But I firmly believe people need to have in-person contacts especially in their field of professional work. So, I'm going to give it a go. Fingers crossed it goes well.


  1. So glad I read your post (came through the Blogathon). I too am a writer and feel *exactly* the same way.

    A few months back I made a commitment to go to one networking event (or take a class or request a meeting) every week. While I was very intimidated at first, it got easier. Now, I actually enjoy networking when before it took everything in me not to run out the door.

    You'll do great!

  2. Hey, I signed up too. (In fact, that's how I found you.) As for networking, I get nervous too but figure it's like most other things in life - the more one practices, the easier it becomes. I work from home too and completely understand where you're coming from! Looking forward to meeting you there. :-)

  3. Sara and Lisa - Thanks for the words of encouragement. I agree practice makes perfect and it is not a life and death situation so I'll be fine.