An island in the Mediterranean. A beach in Africa. The east coast of New Zealand. What do all these locations have in common? A recent call for assistance from freelance writers elicited replies from every one of these locations. In each of these and in many other remote places, I know of writers who are freelancing with a fair degree of success. Indeed it is possible for freelance writers to work from anywhere.
Consider my own recent experience. As the editor of the Worldwide Freelance Writer web site, I publish a newsletter that goes out to thousands of freelance writers around the world. I can recall one particular issue in the middle of 2002. I started planning the newsletter in the heat and humidity of Hong Kong. When the first draft came together I was in Indianapolis, in the United States. And by the time I completed the final copy and pushed the send button I was at a lakeside cottage in Ontario, Canada, with snow lightly falling outside.
Maybe you are interested in a freelance writing career but you worry about whether you live in a suitable location. Well, think again. Freelance writing is a job you can do from anywhere. It is true that if your home is near New York's editorial offices you may be able to use your proposal to some advantage. But many, many freelance writers are working successfully from more distant locations, and in many cases enjoying a better lifestyle in the places where they live.
Take Ron Irwin, for example. An American, Ron freelances from a small house on the beach in Cape Town, South Africa. The majority of his work is still for North American markets. Consider Vella Corinne, a native of Malta in the center of the Mediterranean Sea. From this island steeped in history – the Order of St John was based here and the temples are thought to be older than the pyramids – she writes travel and lifestyle features.
Writers in locations such as these, far from being at a serious disadvantage, can actually enjoy a number of benefits. For a start, these writers are in an excellent position to write about their own locations, the people and the culture. Also, the living costs are often less expensive than for reporters in major cities. And if that is not enough, how about fresh, clean air?
Writers working from remote locations typically live in a cleaner, more peaceful environment, and may live closer to outdoor and recreational activities. Vella reveals how she enjoys the warmer days: "Once I pack up my computer, I just head to the beach. my own time in a way that I could not if I lived in a busy city. "
Twenty years ago writers in remote locations were often frustrated by the slowness of communicating with editors on the other side of the world. It would always take months to receive a reply from an editor. Waiting for a response to a query …