FAQ: Freelance Edition

I field a lot of information requests. For my convenience, I’m throwing some of the links I send out the most frequently into one post, so I don’t spend inordinate amounts of time pointing them out in the future.

I have spent…a lot of time as the Freelance Answer box, lately. Tip before the following Q&A: if you can ask someone a question,  consider if you should Google it first. And you might want to consider making sure you ask the right person your question.  Jaym Gates, a brilliant publicist, talks about that at her blog.

 

 

I need an editorial contract. Is there one you use?

My current go-to favorite is from the Association canadienne des réviseurs, who offers their editing contract template in multiple formats, and in both English and French. Using the template is by no means legal advice or somehow a guaranteed protection against not getting paid. You can find the template here.

 

What’s a good Editing/Writing Rate?

There are countless rate sheets out there. The one I usually throw out to people when they’re trying to set their own rates is from the Editorial Freelancers Association, and you can find that here. My own rates are consistent with the rate sheet.

 

Personal Assistant Contracts?

I’ve been using a Retainer Agreement from the Administrative Consultants Association for a few years. Their web store is here.

 

Personal Assistant Rates

Mileage may vary. Seriously. Not even kidding. A full time assistant can make $2500 a month without most of her fellow PAs batting an eye, and that’s considered a low rate in some PA circles. PA rates are incredibly variable and vary greatly depending on hours, duties, qualifications, needs, you name it.

 

I Want To Become A Personal Assistant

  1. If you drink, put something nice in the filing cabinet for yourself. You’ll need it.
  2. Your significant other is going to complain you’re always on call. There’s a 50% chance this is going to break you up.
  3. When working bad assistant jobs (and I have in the past) I could rely on Save the Assistants  website for a good laugh. Or cry.
  4. One of my bibles for freelancing, and PA work in specific, is the book Save the Assistants from the writer behind StA, Lilit Marcus. You may want to post-it note the parts on…well, everything. I had post-it notes all over my copy, including some chapters I marked for fun and actually needed later on.

 

How Can I Find An Editor?

Did a post on that over at InkPunks.

 

How Do You Get Freelance Work?

I’ve actually done that post already. You can find it here.

 

How Did You Get Into Games? How Can I/My Relative/Neighbor/Friend/Acquaintance Get Into Games?

I got into editing games by accident, which I talked about in this interview. That initial tumble has led to a current hitch with a games journalism column.

If you want some very brass tacks advice on how to get into game writing, I can suggest the book Industry Talk by Jennifer Brozek, which comes out on May 15th, from Apocalypse Ink Productions. If you’re desperate to wet your whistle before then, you can look up Jennifer at her blog or on twitter, which is a daily dose of life as a freelancer owned by her cats. Watch out for the machete.

I don’t know jack about getting into video or social games, but no matter the game format, I suggest reading books, write, play games, write games, deconstruct games, and read blogs. There are worse ways to spend your time.

 

Should I Do An Unpaid Internship?

I am by and large, now that my own internships are behind me, inclined to scream something like run, the killer is already in the house! when people ask me about unpaid internships.

I got great skills and portfolio clips off my internships. They were also incredibly stressful, I had a stroke on one of my weekend’s off, and I flunked out of college because I couldn’t function at the capacity needed to complete my schoolwork.

You’re the only person who knows for sure if it’s a good idea. So examine your finances, your social life, the duties of the internship, every little wiggly detail. Will you wreck your grades working this internship? Will you nuke personal relationships? Will you get anything out of it? Do you have the money saved up to cope with working an unpaid internship?

Are you willing to put pros and cons next to each other and be honest about possible outcomes?

Approach it just like you would a paid job, because these days, your internship is a job. It’s also unpaid labor with no bennies or protections. So don’t make a snap decision.

 

What Blogs Should I Read/What Books Should I Read?

No. No, not going to half-ass this. You can wait for a separate fucking post.

Now get off my lawn.

 

 

 

 

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