Nov 08, 2021

5 Tips for Being a Freelancer in a Big City

Categories: Freelance Artists,  Art Jobs

Being a freelancer in any city is hard enough but trying to stand out in a big city can seem like it’s a bit more difficult.


By Jacquelyn Moreno


Freelance writing is my art form. Although your freelance work may be in the form of visual art, my experiences in freelancing may be helpful as we surely share similar experiences! Here’s what I’ve learned, from my perspective as a freelance writer in San Francisco:

1. Find topics that you’re most passionate about

Just like anything in life, it’s much easier to do anything if there’s a burning fire in your heart to do it. There was a time in my life when I had no direction or idea what I wanted to be. It was only until I watched an episode of Vice for the first time in my life that I knew I wanted to be a journalist. My passion is learning about people’s culture, lifestyles and communities.

The fire of my ambition for learning new cultures and communities helped power me through moving to San Francisco to pursue my degree in journalism and become the writer I always dreamed of.

2. Stay in touch with your community and keep track of social events for potential stories 

Most of the ideas I’ve come up with for stories have come from conversations I’ve had with friends at my favorite cafes, restaurants and bars. The benefit of living in a city like San Francisco is that there are so many characters that live here and so many places to visit. If there’s something I hear of that catches my attention I write it down in my notebook that I keep in my purse with one of my favorite pens or even the notes app in my phone.

If for some reason you don’t catch wind of anything going on – refer to websites like DoTheBay for concerts, art exhibits and other interesting events.

3.  Create a work space in your home to keep out the high energy of the city

The fast pace of living in a lively city can take a toll mentally and physically so this is important on many levels. Writing about other people and events with completely different origins and backgrounds than your own can be draining. Setting up scented candles, some house plants and a neat desk can do the trick.

It’s important as a freelancer to decompress after intaking mass amounts of information and being able to condense that into a story in a soothing environment.

4. Network with other freelancers who can lend feedback

I had the pleasure of meeting a plethora of unique writers when I was studying journalism at SF State.  As time has come and gone, I try to stay in touch with a few of them till this day. Being able to sit amongst writers who were unique and had different styles of writing was such an eye opener. Anytime I would get the chance for them to edit some of my writing, it always a useful and constructive experience.

If you’re not a student or don’t have other freelancers in your scope then turn to social media outlets. Most active freelancers on Twitter or Instagram in your city would be more than happy to connect or could point you in the right direction to specific groups.

If that doesn’t work- keep it classy by studying other freelancers. For me, that’s turning to a newspaper like The Chronicle!

5. Have fun, don’t give up, and freelance!

All in all, it’s best to remind yourself now and again why you started writing in the first place. Living in a big city can be expensive and if you’re working 9-5 at your day job that could be exhausting on its own. Artist, writers and musicians all know too well that sometimes it doesn’t pay to be creative but don’t let that ruin your fun in doing what you love.

If you’re a writer like me, try pitching to small publications that will pay for an article. The worst they can say is no, but if they say yes then who knows where that will take you.

Freelancing is all the rage and will contribute to making you a better artist and overall fuel the fire of creating from within!

If you have any questions about freelancing, or are a Maker interested in a write-up, feel free to reach out to us!

And be sure to subscribe for notifications of new blog posts!

Open popup

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This