I wanted to cover the Victorian floods but could not get a media outlet to commit to buying my images / stories, so I just drove to Horsham / Warracknabeal as an independent freelancer. Took gumboots, camera, laptop, sleeping bag and loads of determination. Met some amazing people,worked 16 hour days, got some good material. The result is that a US firefighting website has now commissioned me to write an article and supply images!
So go for it. Believe in yourself.
What a fantastic story. On those days when inspiration strikes but you can’t find an editor or other client who’ll commission your story I hope you remember Alison’s story.
Let’s quickly look at the lessons we can learn from Alison’s short vignette.
- Have the idea
- Work your contacts and see if they’ll take the story
- If you believe in the story, trust your instincts and do the work
- Look at alternatives for selling the story
- Do a great job
It’s one of the great challenges of the freelance journalist. You’ve think you’ve got a great story but you can’t find an editor who’s prepared to take a chance that your sense for a story is right. Or that they won’t get something from someone else.
Doing what Alison did is a huge leap of faith. Alison believed that she had a great story. So she went out, did the hard work and gambled that she’s be able to sell the story.
Have you got the guts to do what Alison did and invest time and money on the self belief that you have a story worth telling? Let us know in the comments.