Why I’m (finally) using a standing desk

You could argue that I’m a few years late to the trend of using a standing desk for my freelance home office. The truth is that I’ve been very happy with my antique architect’s drafting table (bought dirt cheap at a yard sale) for more than ten years. I didn’t want to abandon it, I didn’t want to have to buy another monitor, and I couldn’t stomach the idea of having another piece of furniture. After doing a bit of research, I came to the conclusion what I *really* needed was an adjustable standing desk—which seemed to offer the best of both worlds by allowing me to keep the drafting table while adding to its utility. [Read more…]

‘Tis the season for client gifts

Earlier this fall, a reader asked, “Should freelancers bring a gift to a first client meeting?” Now that we’re in the holiday season, client gifts are top of mind…so what’s the savvy freelancer to do?

When I was first starting out in the business, back in the 1900s (I love saying that), my then-toddlers came with me (my daughter sporting a Santa hat) as we made a circuitous route around town to visit each client and drop off a small gift. [Read more…]

Cooks Source epilogue

In my previous Dr. Freelance post, “Would a magazine editor steal my story idea?” I wondered aloud whether it would be in poor taste to say that Cooks Source had gotten its “just desserts” after the recent plagiarism-non-apology-scandal that had the freelance world in a tizzy. (Yeah, yeah, I’m well aware that the correct expression should use the word deserts. Cut the doctor some creative slack, eh?)

Over at my other blog, Jake’s Take, I decided that it’s not in poor taste…and in fact, in this post I conclude that freelancers owe a debt of gratitude to Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs.

In the comments: What do you think about the Cooks Source kerfuffle?

Would a magazine editor steal my story idea?

Dear Dr. Freelance: About six months ago, I sent a story idea for a food feature to the editor of a nationally recognized magazine. We went back and forth a bit, with me sending just a bit more info each time. I even sent recipes. She ultimately rejected my idea, but imagine my surprise when a recent issue came out with a food feature bearing a striking resemblance to the one I had pitched to her. How could she feel it’s OK to steal my story idea? I don’t suppose I have any recourse (do I?), but I’m interested in knowing how common this is.—Fed Up

Dear Fed Up: The recent Cooks Source fiasco makes it all too clear that some in the editorial world check their ethics at the door. That said, your circumstance, in which you believe a magazine editor stole the story idea from your query letter, is different from Cooks Source copying and pasting an actual story without pay or credit. [Read more…]

Freelance Forecast 2010 survey results

Freelance Forecast is Boomvang Creative Group‘s annual survey of creative freelancers—writers, editors, graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, photographers, PR pros and all varieties of solo entrepreneurs—as well as the clients who hire them for freelance jobs. If you did not participate this year, but would like to be notified about the upcoming Freelance Forecast in December, please subscribe to the email list via the sign-up box in the right sidebar.

  • Download Freelance Forecast 2010 (.pdf)
  • Download Freelance Forecast 2009 (.pdf)