I started freelancing nearly a decade ago, before the recession had taken hold. I’d worked at a community newspaper for several years, covering education, neighborhood news and the arts, and I wanted to explore new ground. At the time, it may have sounded risky to trade the downtown office for my sunroom, but the housing market hadn’t yet collapsed.
A handful of years ago, I lost out on wages when several publications folded amid the recession. In fact, I’m still receiving bankruptcy filings from one rag that went out of business. I wrote a longish piece for another magazine that turned out to be a revolving door for editors.
Note: A version of this column originally ran on SPJ’s blog for freelancers, The Independent Journalist. It was written for the blog — and submitted for the July/August issue of Quill — after Jonah Lehrer’s issues with self-plagiarism came to light in June but before further revelations of made-up quotes attributed to Bob Dylan led to Lehrer’s resignation from The New Yorker in late July.