A downside of freelancing

I read this article on the SPJ “Independent Journalist” blog. Eight months after moving into my home office I relate to nearly every point the author makes, and having spent my first four and a half years in Houston doing medical transcription from home and gaining 35 pounds I especially relate to the “fridge proximity” challenge. Now that I’m working from home again I struggle daily to avoid adding another 35!

Over the last week I’ve been going out to do general reporting, trying to develop some kind of beat (I guess a religion beat of sorts) and it has been wonderful to be working but not in front of my home computer.  It reminds me of grad school, when I lived in urban Boston and was out just about every day either at school, at my part-time job or just reporting.  I lost 20 pounds during my first six weeks there, especially since I didn’t drive.

I’m returning to the Wiccan magick bookstore today and even though I’m not reporting for any story in particular I love being out in urban Houston talking to people of different backgrounds – and maybe even walking a little.

You can’t write about people if you’re not talking to them, in the settings of their lives, observing the things they do.  The Religion News Service is a wonderful resource but I want to go above and beyond news reporting.  My personal mission statement is to share stories about people and their lives.  I guess the upside of freelancing is being able to go out and meet those people.