Canadian Writer Profile – Vicki Thomas

Vicki Thomas got her start working as a technical writer for a range of high-tech firms and government. About 15 years later, when her contract ended, she was looking for a way to continue writing, but she also wanted the opportunity to experience a different range of topics and the flexibility to take part in bike racing in Europe during the winter. Looking for a way to bring in income, while maintaining her dual love of writing and racing, she saw freelancing as a good fit, and has been at it since October 2009.

She’s since taken on work with professional blogs, SEO articles and websites, covering a wide variety of subjects, with a focus on technology, health and wellness, and real estate. She appreciates the flexibility that the job allows, in both schedule and writing subjects. Along with the convenience factor, she also enjoys being able to write about topics that interest her while putting her journalism degree to good use.

She describes her favourite job as one where she gets to work on all kinds of different writing, including blogging and crafting articles on a wide range of topics. “I think a lot of people are surprised when I tell them all the different types of things I write about, but I think my journalism background and my degree help a lot in trying to find the relevant data, the valid data, and put together an article or series of articles that make sense and can be useful for someone.” She also enjoys another job where she gets to write how-to articles for an online blog, because she likes the idea of helping someone solve a problem or answering a question they might have.

The lack of consistency can be a challenge, however, when compared to putting in regular office hours and knowing there will be a direct deposit on payday. She also finds that the existing pay scales can be frustrating as well, because with so many people willing to work for such low rates, it can make it hard for professionals to earn the salary they deserve. For those just starting out in the industry, she advises staying positive, even if it seems like there are a lot of other freelance writers out there: “Don’t get discouraged. Look for interesting work. And don’t settle. Don’t discount your rates just because you really want to get the job. Because then it’s hard if that client becomes an ongoing client; it’s really hard to renegotiate.”

You can find Vicki online at her writing website, Victoria’s Island, and her cycling website, Ottawa Cross. She’s also on LinkedIn.

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