Oct 15, 2007, 7:34 PM
Post #349 of 374
Re: [mingram] Editorial/writing
I think one thing an MFA can do is build up the habits of writing, and also function as a kind of experiment: if I give myself over completely to my work for two (or 3) years, what will happen?
Then, post-MFA, you a) decide whether it's a committment you want to continue, and b) how to arrange your life to keep those habits intact.
Which is easier said than done, of course, though I've found adjuncting + freelance work to be a pretty good combination.
I agree with most of this. But I think people need to understand that adjuncting and freelancing, while definitely having their high points (you're still essentially in control of your own schedule, you can choose work that really interests you, etc.) isn't going to be a good combination for everyone. It worked pretty well for me for awhile, but here are a few things to think about:
1) If you aren't going to be insured through someone else's policy, you need to think about your own insurance situation. Most adjuncting/freelance jobs do not provide benefits (insurance, paid vacation, retirement plan). Yes, you may be able to find something through a group plan accessible to you through a professional association for writers, but it's still something to keep in mind.
2) Freelance paychecks are irregular. Make sure you have some savings on hand, at all times.
3) Freelance paychecks also don't take taxes into account. You'll have to track this.
4) It can be easier to make a living freelancing/adjuncting in some (less expensive) parts of the country than it is in others.
5) Think about "freelancing" broadly. I wish, now, that I'd tried to get into some more lucrative segments of the field (corporate communications, for instance) rather than stubbornly sticking to (lower-paying) magazines, newspapers, and Web sites.
Hope that helps those considering their options.
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