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Lancing In The Dark! That Is Where A Freelance Writer Always Was And Is

20/01/2021 at 12:12 PM

By DN Singh

“Journalism is printing what someone else don’t want printed. Everything else is public relationship” said George Orwell, who besides being one of the greatest scribes and English writers, had traveled through the oddities of freelancing.  

That, perhaps, is the plight of a freelance writer in general, who finds himself/ herself in the middle of a confluence of thoughts mostly governed by politics of today. Where political handlers are to set the goals for editorial handling.

 It’s a good example of how government can change reality and spoon-feed it to the media for consumption by the public.

Lancing In Dark

History has it that, the ones who are forced to undertake the freelance writing as a profession to run their affairs in life, are the ones who can be seen lancing in the dark, of sort .

The most challenging part of the profession is to find a host newspaper ( now news portals and sites) or periodical who agree to accommodate your pitches. That requires a good deal of communication that, more often than not, end in lines like…ok send the write up and will let you know’..If you happen to know someone it comes in handy a bit but ultimately the quality matters.

Talents Go A-begging  

That is a gigantic test of a scribe’s patience and ability regardless of the topic one chooses to write. Which must be in accordance with the principles or parameters set by the host.

When one in-house scribe writes something, no matter the quality, it finds its ways to the pages. But when you are a freelance contributor, you are often like an unsolicited guest or an alien when your talent is on test.

And be prepared for the proverbial sheets/ lines of the rejection from the publication with an affix ..’sorry, we cannot use it’. There ends your marathon intellectual exercise of hours or a day. A moment that suddenly brings a precipitous fall from your self-esteem down to nadir.

Then the most coaxing phase is the pursuance for the remunerations at the month end. Which is a phase when  he or she has to give in to the intransience of uncertainty.

 That is, in fact, a bout of shadow-boxing in between the departments in which the publication’s account department remains a key wing.

Like A Sandwich Wrapper!

The scene is like a crystal ball gazing, and the freelancer is made to pin his bank balance sheet from first week of the month with a curious mix of hope and despair. When the responses from the publications either come as a great respite, if paid, or, a feel of the terror of being not paid inordinately.

This is the most fabulous disorder of being a freelancer anywhere in the country. The ravages of this kind get more nerve shattering if the scribe hails from an organization of repute where remunerations were not only high but routinely time-bound.

But, in this month end indifferences there is also a distinct radiance of pleasure and i,e your byline, the most energizing oxidant amid all the toxic of hope and disappointment.

A freelance writer is virtually like a thin food wrapper that accidentally gets stuck to the surface of a road and keeps fluttering in the winds of uncertainty.                  

About the Author:

DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.


This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com

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