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From time to time I interview freelancers to give you some insight on different types of freelance careers and freelance lives.
Recently I met online a woman who’s just starting out in a freelance career typically dominated by men – sportswriting. I thought that was pretty fascinating, so I asked her if I could interview her for World of Freelancers. Keep reading and you’ll hear what new freelance writer Caitlin Loggins has to say about being a freelance sportswriter.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m from a small town in Southern Illinois. There’s only about twenty houses in town. One fun fact about myself is that I collect cat figurines. I have a whole wall filled with shelves of them in my bedroom. When I’m not writing, I love going out to listen to live music.
2. How did you learn to write? Are you self taught or did you take writing classes?
I’m pretty much self-taught. When I wrote my first article last year I had no prior experience doing any type of freelance writing. The only writing class I’ve taken is a creative writing course through Stratford Career Institute, a correspondence school.
3. There aren’t a lot of freelance women sportswriters in the world! How did you decide on this unique niche?
I’ve always loved watching hockey games since I was 8 years old and got into baseball later on. Plus I loved writing since I was a little girl. So I decided to combine the two into a career.
4. What level of sports writing do you do? Professional, college, or local? And what sports do you focus on?
I do primarily professional sports. I focus on hockey, but also have done a few baseball pieces.
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5. Have you encountered any difficulties or challenges as a woman in this typically male-dominated niche?
I was let go from my first sports writing job because the boss said that I couldn’t follow directions, even when I did everything that he asked. But I think it was mainly because I was the only female writer on the staff. I’ve also sent out applications for different writing jobs and never heard back.
6. Many of your articles are personal pieces such as in-depth player profiles. How do you come up with the ideas for these articles and how do you learn the information you need to write them?
I enjoy getting to know my favorite players on a more personal level. So I listen to a lot of interviews and read a lot of different articles about them to get ideas for my writing.
7. Do you find that people are encouraging of you beginning a freelance sportswriting career, or have you found your motivation all within yourself?
My mom and my friends are pretty supportive of my career choice. One of my friends even gave me a job writing for their website over the summer.
8. Where do you see your career going in the future? Are you interested in getting a full-time job at a publication? Or are you interested in continuing to freelance and even branching out into other writing niches or other lines of freelance work?
I’d love to work full-time for someone, but I’d be happy continuing to freelance. I have also briefly branched out into other niches, as I have one piece about tips for attending yard sales and one about writing on the go.
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9. What advice do you have for people about choosing a writing niche?
Find something you’re passionate about and start writing. Also know that you don’t have to stick to just one subject.
10. What advice do you have for other people who are interested in starting to freelance?
Write your first piece and create your portfolio. Then just keep writing. Don’t give up. If you don’t get much input on your first few pieces, keep going. Your opportunity will come.
Thank you, Caitlin, for giving us this insight into what it’s like being a freelance sportswriter!
Are you interested in starting a freelance writing career? Enroll in my 7-day minicourse and find out how to get started freelancing here.
Sabina Lohr is a lifelong freelancer turned entrepreneur who created World of Freelancers to help others discover how to work for themselves online and live the freelance lifestyle. She’s always really enjoyed the freedom that freelancing brings, including several years on and off of working online while traveling and living abroad.