How to survive the quiet times: A guide for writers, part 5

FunwithfontsEver noticed how those time between writing commissions sometimes seem so much longer than the sum of their days? Freelance journalist Deborah Willimott offers her tips for surviving the lean times of being a freelance writer.

Survival tip 5: Experiment with a new computer font

Experimenting with font is a great way for a flancer to inject disappointing content and uninspiring raw material with excitement. The same old thing, jazzed up with new packaging.

But – and this is key – one must never, ever submit any work to an external body written in a ‘fun’ font in the hope that the excitement will rub off on the feature editor, who will then suddenly think that another piece on ‘recessionistas who cut coupons’ would be an INSPIRED idea and commission you forthwith.

This is because there is nothing more guaranteed to make someone hate you than inflicting your adventures-into-exuberant-font upon them.

Suspicion is also aroused by people who sign the bottom of their email in a joined-up font (as if they really have ’signed’ their email!). Coloured font is also vaguely disturbing as is anyone who opts for ‘Broadway’ (the1920’s thick-and-thin style lettering which makes any press release look like a playbill/invitation to a murder mystery party/optician’s sight test.)

And so even though it’s as dry and uninspiring as a Tory conference, when writing for public consumption always stick with Times New Roman or Ariel in the UK, or Courier in the US. At least that way no one who reads it will instantly want to punch you in the throat.

Survival tip 1: Become a ‘Curtain Twitcher’
Survival tip 2: Accept the commission from hell

Survival tip 3: Google your illnesses
Survival tip 4: Seek food
Survival tip 6:  Consider organising your accounts
Survival tip 7: Cook something complicated
Survival tip 8: Dress inappropriately