An ESL teacher for 15 years, Sam Bailey started her writing career as a novelist. While it initially looked like a promising career track, repeated rejections and setbacks inspired her to try her hand at writing for magazines instead. These articles started getting accepted, and so after the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue freelancing. She discovered that her skills were in demand, and has been working full-time in the field since May 2011.
To her, the greatest draw of freelancing is the ability to pursue her dream of writing and editing as a career instead of a hobby. With children, being able to set her own hours and work from home is a definite bonus as well, but to her, the best part of freelancing is getting to do what she loves full-time. She also enjoys being able to create things that make people happy and appreciates being able to help those who may struggle with expressing themselves in writing.
A member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), Sam is planning to self-publish her novels and is a contributor to Now Magazine, The Village Post, Abilities Magazine, Oxford University Press and other publications. She’s also really enjoying a current project creating ESL course materials for business writing communications, because it’s the first time she’s been able to combine all her skills and education, both in writing and in teaching ESL. She prides herself on being a versatile writer, covering everything from business to creative to academic, with experience teaching English and business English, as well as a master’s degree.
When it comes to writing, she finds it helpful to be able to step away from a project for a bit, in order to come back and look at it with a fresh eye. It’s also helpful having a second set of eyes to look something over, so never be afraid to ask someone to edit. She also finds it’s important to know when to stop — sometimes you just have to know when to hit send.
For those just beginning in the profession, she recommends establishing a payment plan with clients and trying to get some of the fee before releasing the materials. It’s also essential to believe you can do it and to have faith that it is possible to make a living as a freelancer.
Sam provides samples and updates of her current projects on her website, Perfect Pen Communications. Her first novel, Finding Lucas, is due out in mid-April and will be available on Amazon’s Kindle platform.