Secrets From an Award-Winning Freelance Writer

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As a freelance writer, you know the inextricable connection between the words “freelance” and “challenging.” You have to find a job that covers your bills and living expenses. Once you find that perfect gig, you have to juggle multiple deadlines, family commitments, and your day-to-day chores, making sure nothing gets lost in the shuffle. On top of all that, it’s not always easy to write, even if you have the entire day to do so — your mind might start to wander to your long-neglected novel or screenplay, or you might get caught up surfing the Internet.

Trust us: We know it’s not easy. That’s why we hand out a High Flyer Award every month to recognize achievement in writing across all Skyword programs. This award does more than recognize superb writing — it celebrates the recipient’s ability to consistently overcome the challenges he or she faces as a freelancer.

In 2012, Skyword gave Angela Tague the award for High Flyer of the Year. As part of her award, Angela will be flying to our offices in Boston this week and will answer some of your questions. We got things started by asking her to shed some light on her success as a freelance writer.

The first thing she mentioned was the importance of being self-disciplined and setting realistic goals. “Being a freelancer is a business,” she says. “Set work hours, don’t take personal calls while working, and budget for PTO so you don’t overwork yourself. You can socialize after you’ve earned your daily financial goal.”

She admitted the transition was rough when she first started working from home, but she quickly learned how important focus is to success. “When working for yourself, it’s too easy to get distracted by social media, friends who want to stop by and visit at all hours, and chores that need to be done around the house,” she says.

Being a freelancer, however, comes with a unique set of rewards. “One day while I was working at a newspaper office in 2009, it dawned on me that I was making more per hour freelancing online on the weekends than working in the print media,” she says, adding, “I traded my 12-hour workdays and dress clothes for a flexible schedule and the option to wear slippers to work daily.”

Do you have questions for Angela? Follow our Twitter account and ask away using the hashtag #AskSkyword!

Angela Tague has a degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. She enjoys baking gluten-free treats, designing photographic greeting cards, volunteering with a therapeutic horse-riding program, and exploring nature trails with her husband and two dogs in Iowa.

Maria was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in Paris, France. She obtained her BA in Journalism and Visual Arts from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas and her Master's Degree in Communications and Education from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona in Spain. For more than 10 years, she worked as a copywriter, magazine editor, TV screenwriter and college professor in Venezuela. She moved to Boston in January 2007 and obtained a Screenwriting Certificate from Emerson College in 2008. Before joining Skyword as Managing Online Editor in December 2010, she taught Advanced Spanish at Boston College and was a bilingual copywriter, copy editor and translator for clients such as Comcast, National Grid and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is fluent in Spanish, English and French.

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  • travwin

    Looking forward to seeing Angela in Boston.

  • Judy Pokras

    Thanks, Maria, for a very informative article. Congratulations to Angela Tague! 
    Maria, you have very impressive credentials. Do you still write screenplays? What genres?

  • JeanneGrunert

    Congratulations to Angela! I’m looking forward to hearing some tips from her, especially on how to succeed and do well with Skyword. I am new and really hope to contribute here.

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