Follow the movement
1. What has been your most interesting project? I've just finished ghostwriting a book on home design and decorating for Chronicle Books with two incredibly talented interior designers from Los Angeles. I've never had the opportunity to work on such an image-heavy book before--learning to write so that the text and images work together in a very particular way was such a challenge! I really enjoyed learning the new format, and learning more about interior design, too. 2. Why did you decide to go freelance? I had reached a point in my book publishing career where I was ready to move up the ladder, and in fact had been taking on responsibilities typically assigned to more senior staff members, but unfortunately a series of layoffs in the company had downsized my department and made further promotion impossible. I wasn't willing to hold myself back while waiting for the economy to shift; I had found myself turning down freelance opportunities more and more, and I was more than halfway through a graduate degree that I'd been pursuing part time for years. I figured it was as good a time as any to try freelancing while I finished my degree on a full time basis. 3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance? I've seen people build careers from nothing, but it is much more difficult. I got a great start through my work on staff and the connections I made in the industry--some of those connections are still paying off with new projects coming in regularly from old coworkers. If you have a staff job in the field you're going to freelance in, milk it for all it's worth--network, get experience, create a solid portfolio, and save up some money before you make the plunge. Most importantly, when you leave, don't burn bridges. Even though I left out of frustration, I never took it personally, and I made sure to leave on good terms with everyone from my coworkers to the head of the department. I stay in touch regularly. You never know where a job will come from. 4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live? I've lived in Columbia, Maryland now for a little over a year, and am still just exploring the neighboring cities of Baltimore and Washington, DC. I'd say my favorite spots right now are all restaurants! 5. What is your inspiration? I find inspiration in everything--natural beauty, music, pop culture, and most importantly, the people around me. What drives me, though, is the desire to earn a decent living on my own terms, to have flexibility to fully enjoy my life all the time, not just two days a week. So far, so good!