Hope you're staying warm! Two more sleeps until I bail on New Jersey for Florida. I know it'll be warmer here by then, but it's going to be in the high 70s for my entire trip and yes I am ready for some nice, warm sunshine.
I'm sending this newsletter before I go because I did a little something for you in January: I saved every piece of mail with writing in it that came to my house or my P.O. Box this month.
I'm not saying all of these things need freelance writers. I'm saying they could need freelance writers. And if you think "no way they hire people!" I know someone whose main work is writing fundraising letters, and I have written for grocery store magazines.
So, in no particular order:
- A packet of race applications from Pretzel City Sports
- Ulta catalogue
- Warby Parker brochure
- Entertainment Weekly
- American Heart Association fundraising ask
- Pottery Barn catalogue
- ACLU Magazine
- Nature Conservancy 2019 calendar
- New York Review of Books subscription ask
- Parade magazine
- Animal Welfare Association donor newsletter (I am both a donor and a volunteer)
- Delaware Valley University Horizons (contributor copies since I wrote for them)
- Wine Spectator (I got a free subscription for becoming a WHYY member THIS MAGAZINE IS GIANT)
- Audubon Adult Evening School brochure
- Disney Movie Club solicitation
- Verizon Fios flyer
- Audubon-Haddon Twp.-Oaklyn Rotary Club 2019 calendar
- Bank of America banking brochure (I picked this up in a branch when I had to deal with a fraud issue)
- Oprah magazine
- National Trust for Historic Preservation fundraising ask
- ASPCA fundraising ask
- AutoWeek subscription ask
- Spry Living magazine
- Trail Runner magazine
- Trail Runner magazine 2019 calendar (sponsored by Black Diamond)
- Nature Conservancy fundraising ask
- The Human Society of the United States fundraising ask
- Poetry magazine subscription ask
- Crate & Barrel catalogue
- Intensive Journal Program flyer
- WHYY Connections newsletter for members
- Edwards Lifesciences brochure
- Government Technology magazine
- Governing magazine
- Wegmans Menu magazine
- relish magazine
- Home Report, a brochure with articles sent by a Realtor
- Health View, a heath brochure from Jefferson Health
- 18 envelopes of credit card/bank marketing materials
The exercise I usually do when I teach freelancing is to ask students to brainstorm what their college produces that needs a writer. After we fill the whiteboard with things like alumni magazine, press releases, department-specific web pages, faculty bios, marketing materials for prospective students, student housing descriptions, donor solicitations, internal publications for faculty and staff etc. etc., I then say do it all over again but for the law school, and then for the business school – and that's not even getting into the medical school or hospital that's part of the entire system. Right now I have assignments for an Ivy League medical school's research magazine, for another Ivy League school's engineering school, and for the research publication of a well known private university where LL Bean duck boots are a fashion must. If I'd focused my marketing attention on just the main institution, I'd have missed all of these opportunities.
The point is: I hate seeing people fixated on the idea that there's not enough work out there. There's PLENTY of work out there. You just need to know where to find it.
Speaking of, I also kept track of my marketing activities for January. Here's what I pulled from my spreadsheet:
- Letters of Introduction sent: 27
- Pitches sent: nine
- Follow Ups on Letters of Introduction sent: 61 (mostly for LOIs sent in 2018).
This stuff does work. It takes time, but it does work.
And now, on with the rest of the show:
"What to Do When You Don't Want to Run," for The New York Times
"Computer Vision in Healthcare: What It Can Offer Providers" for HealthTech
What I'm Reading
- Only a Promise by Mary Balogh. This is part of the Survivor series – I like them because they're regency romance but a little bit different than what I usually read. I'll be bringing the next book in the series with me to Florida.
- The Black Box by Michael Connelly. This book was published in 2012. I am SO CLOSE with being caught up in the series so that my dad and I can talk bout the new book after it comes out.
- The Happy Runner by David and Megan Roche. David is my coach, and this book is fun! I read it for pleasure and for work.
- Doll Bones by Holly Black. I am doing the #readingwomenchallenge and needed a children's book. This works! Also, I like listening children's and YA books on audio. The performances are typically so good, as is the case here.
- FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. This the Netflix one (I don't have Hulu). Bonkers. BONKERS.
- The Man Who Lost His Head. This was a fun one I found on Amazon prime. The British Museum is back in the news, so it's relevant today.
- The Favourite.This was as witty as everyone said. The costumes were gorgeous.
- Into the Spider-Verse. No exaggeration: one of the best movies I have ever seen. PLEASE do yourself a favor and see it in a theater. It's one of those movies where it'll matter.
- A Wrinkle in Time. And this is one I should have seen in a theater. I was even in the parking lot of an AMC about to go run when my phone battery died 20 minutes after it had a full charge and I had to bail on the movie to go to an Apple store (I was leaving for a trip the next day). Ah well. I liked it.
- Kimmy Schmidt. I can't watch this without thinking of what Tom & Lorenzo said about it: it's mean comedy. It feels dated. But with only six episodes, I watched it. The "Sliding Van Doors" episode was very good.
- Lilo & Stitch. If you've been hanging round this space, you know how much this movie means to me because Stitch reminds me of my first dog Emily, who passed away in 2017. Since I'm headed to Disney, I gave it another watch while doing some marketing work. It is so good. SO GOOD, and it gets better with time.
Until next time!
Jen A. Miller