IPEd Con 2013,  Projects

The Rockstar Freelance Lifestyle

Baby, I'm A Rockstar! (Photo credit: Marisa Wikramanayake)
Baby, I’m A Rockstar! (Photo credit: Marisa Wikramanayake)

Speakers/Presenters: Sarah J H Fletcher, Abigail Nathan, Patrick Horneman, Karen Strain, Dinesh Aggarwal and Marisa Wikramanayake

The idea originally came about via a Twitter discussion between Sarah, Abigail and I. We had met at Sydney in 2011 where Abigail had the both equally pleasurable and painful experience of helping to plan a conference and I was about to embark on it myself.

But then there was much waving of hands. We wanted to make it fun as well as helpful. And I ran into Patrick Horneman at the MediaPass Student Industry days for journalism graduates and students where I was expounding on freelancing as a journalist and he was expounding on the importance of superannuation.

It seemed a perfect chance to bring things together. We split the workshop into two halves – the idea being that while Patrick, Karen and Dinesh discussed the financial planning, super and tax related business in deep detail, Abigail, Sarah and I would take you through the actual set up, technology, quoting, marketing, and general money management that freelancing editors specifically need. Whatever you didn’t get out of us in the first half about finance, you could get drilled into you in the second.


Well, we want you to know that you can live it. That you can have it. And also because well…

… are YOU ready for it?

That’s the biggest question – are YOU ready to freelance? Are YOU ready to ROCK?

Because it’s not just fun, it’s hard work and from day one of freelancing you HAVE to be ready to ROCK. And to ROCK HARD.

We’re talking LATE NIGHTS but not the partying kind. EXCESSIVE DRINKING… of cups of tea/coffee. And in this case you should give a damn about your REPUTATION because it is what makes you. If you’re lucky you will have FANS – your clients. You also get to be a fashion plate of sorts as Abigail puts it:

It means that your STAGE FRIGHT starts when you wake up EVERY DAY. That “More Money, More Problems” is not likely to be your refrain but worrying about the money probably will be.

So first off, we asked, WHY you wanted to do it and whether you did feel ready to. No one wants to push you off the cliff and out of the nest unless your wings are unfurled and flapping in anticipation.

Then came the question of HOW. How many different ways are there to go it alone as it were? To strike out as a solo act, a duo, the latest boy band/girl group venture?

And then we hit you with the fact that you are your own manager, so we told you how to manage your own money and how to land the gig in the first place. For those who wanted to fire or hire people for their entourage and their crew, Patrick, Karen and Dinesh took you through what you needed to know.

We discussed the value of marketing, the (technological) equipment you needed, and the other stars you needed to walk the red carpet and take photoshoots with.

And in the end, we had a room full of BUDDING YOUNG STARLETS and NEXT BIG THINGS and really, it wasn’t a workshop at all, it was the best ROCKING AFTER PARTY possible.


Patrick, Karen, Dinesh, Sarah, Abigail and I will be running around the conference for the next two days as well. So if you want to pin us down to pick our brains about freelancing (or give us your demo), please do. We are also on Twitter: @mwikramanayake, @sjhfletcher and @bothersomewords

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