The recession ended his job with a newspaper in late 2008, so Glenn Wilkins used the money from his buyout package to set himself up as a freelance writer. Having already done some work with the financial site baystreet.ca, he found steady work with them and its adjunct site allpennystocks.com. “As luck would have it, they were kind of on the lookout for me, because I’d done piecework for them while I was at the Barrie Advance… It was a time when very few nice things were happening for many, many people.” Now specializing in financial and business writing, Glenn also loves to write about sports, and has published a couple of books that are available on Amazon.
To him, the best part about freelancing is being able to write without interruptions, and “you can’t knock the commute.” He also really enjoyed previously working for Global Strategy, an in-office job where he was surrounded by friends and had “everything I could have wished for: there was a level of acceptance to it, I was among friends, I was two blocks away from home, literally, the pay was excellent…” Working for the Barrie Advance had its advantages too, and allowed him the opportunity to put together a strong portfolio. When it comes to freelancing, he says it’s hard not knowing when the work is going to end and how long the pay will hold out. And he wouldn’t say he gets to set his own schedule, because “you’re still answerable to those who handle a 9-to-5 or 9-to-6 scale.”
He stands by the motto “tight, right, brief and real:” a writer should get to the point and keep things succinct. His wife has told him that he has a knack for devising an opening sentence: “I wish I could impart some magic words to somebody younger about that, but it’s just something I have. I don’t know if it’s something I could teach. But that opening sentence should make the point early on and encapsulate everything that you’re going to expound on in your next 10, 12, 14 paragraphs.”
For those just starting out in the profession, he advises patience, “but make sure you get paid. Make sure you know what the conditions of work are…” He also notes that a writer should always be prepared to see a source of work dry up: “Cram in all the assignments that you can in a short period of time because we don’t know when things are going to be back to pre-2008.”
Glenn has two books available for sale through Amazon: Legendary NHL Coaches: Stars of Hockey’s Golden Age in paperback and Amazing Broadway: Canadians on the Great White Way, available for the Kindle e-Reader.