Students often ask if this course or that course is respected in the industry.
So what? The real question is: WHAT PUBLISHED CLIPPINGS CAN YOU SHOW AN EDITOR?
Some students desperately desire a diploma to hang on the wall, as if that diploma and that alone proves they are:
- An idea creator
- A top researcher
- A good interviewer
- A prolific and fast writer
- An accurate speller
- Accurate with facts
- A deadline keeper
Are you worried about obtaining your diploma?
Well, think about this. What do editors really want?
Editors are a hard-nosed, hard-hearted lot. The only aspects they remember about us freelancers are:
- writing ability
Editors constantly receive articles from writers who are so-called experts in something, but they have:
- no writing style
- no imagination
- can’t spell
- can’t punctuate
- can’t get facts right
- can’t meet deadlines
- don’t deliver what they promised
These are the elements that matter to editors:
- Suitable writing talent, love of accuracy and total reliability
- Care and concern for good presentation
- A “professional attitude”
- An understanding of, and respect for, the needs of the particular publication
- Determination to keep promises
The loveliest diploma and greatest expertise in a particular topic, does not excuse a boring writing style, factual errors, sloppy spelling, careless presentation or not adhering to deadlines.
Sadly, editors frequently receive submissions from writers who have never read the publication. The writers locate the name and address of the publication, send off their articles and never have the curiosity and courtesy to buy a copy and read it to understand its particular needs.
If an editor likes your first article, he/she would like to know that you’re a writing factory, someone who can turn out plenty of articles.
Think about this also. What do you want from your editor?
First you want him/her to buy your material. Second you want him to pay well, and importantly, pay on time.
What else do you want? Would you like him to write you little notes, send you birthday cards, invite you to his home for dinner and become your friend? Sorry, if that’s your wish, I must warn you: get real.
Most freelancers never meet their editors face-to-face, and once the relationship is established, no longer talk on the phone. All communication is via email. You email the editor with a short, snappy suggestion:
Inventor Bill Smith agrees to me interviewing him at island home over two days next month. Suggest 2,500 words.
The editor emails back a crisp, business-like, no-nonsense reply:
Send 2,000 words. Payment $4000 including expenses. Advise urgently on pix. Prefer Smith at workbench and with family. Others as you decide. For issue in 3 months. Your deadline
5pm last day of next month.
And the next time you hear from him will be when you receive $4000 deposited into your account. That’s the way it works.
The world of freelance journalism is not a cuddly, cozy, touchy-feely environment where people want to share coffee with you, learn your life-story and chat for hours.
Like you, they’re all too busy making a living.
Yes a photocopy of your diploma from a course may make an editor sit up and take notice.
Then he will look behind your diploma for photocopies of your published articles. So get busy submitting.