Sunday, December 09, 2007

Freelance Copywriter from Chennai, India

I have been a freelance copywriter for 13 years now. The experience has been pretty good, considering everything. To be precise, there have been periods of uncertainty and unpredictability when it comes to earnings, but then the freedom and flexibility have been major factors in my continuing to be a freelance for this long. Well, there have been full-time offers, all with poor pay and no flexibility in any respect.

In recent years, I have seen quite a few positive changes.

1. My modest web site has attracted some very good buyers - good, solid corporate companies.

2. Indian buyers pay very well, very often better than US buyers.

3. I make between US$25 to US$50 per hour on assignments such as web site content development, video scripts and Power Point Presentations.

4. Working for Indian buyers, meaning those based in India, is easier and safer. Coordination is easily done. Payment is prompt and safe, for I always insist on a 50% advance.

5. Word-of-mouth in terms of the quality and delivery aspects of my work continues to fetch me more business.

Of course, the major benefit of being a freelance copywriter flows out from the way in which one utilizes the free time and the flexibility that come with this mode of employment. I have devoted my free time mostly to reading and developing my fiction-writing capability.

I would be happy to share my experiences with anyone willing and ready to launch themselves into the freelance realm.

Bicycle Tour across Europe for World Peace

In 1980-81, I undertook a Bicycle Tour of Europe, with a friend. This tour demanded hectic, wide-ranging preparations for about a year and culminated in a 9-month-long journey across 13 countries. Dedicated to World Peace and Understanding, the tour took us close to thousands of people in the cities and small towns and villages of Europe, and enabled us to mutually share many things about India and their respective countries. We pulled it off on an incredible budget of $350 on each, lived 270 days each full of excitement, desperation, anxiety, discovery and fulfilment, and had a fantastic media coverage right through, with over 45 newspapers interviewing us.

Although the original idea was to bicycle through at least three continents, which is why the tour was described as a World Tour by some newspapers, we could only journey through Europe eventually. This is primarily because the meagre funds that we had were just about enough for survival and bare existence, and we had hoped to get some odd jobs on the way to be able to travel longer, but that did not happen. We were constantly on the move, and visa restrictions made it nearly impossible for us to even look for work opportunities. That we could cover a large part of Europe is mainly due to the generous hospitality of Lion's Club members' families, many of whom took care of us like we were their own sons.

I hope that I will be able to renew my contact with people I had the good fortune to meet and know during my tour in Europe.

I shall share some of my interesting experiences as I blog further.