Freelance Decoder

imagesPresented for your edification, a short decoder to smooth those freelancer-editor exchanges.




EDITOR SAYS: “Thanks for the pitch, but it isn’t quite right for us.”

FREELANCER HEARS: “They responded! I’m almost in! Next time will be the one!”

EDITOR MEANS: “This is sh*t. Please die immediately.”


EDITOR SAYS: “I’ll let you decide how to approach the story; you obviously know what you’re doing.”

FREELANCER HEARS: “I should decide how to approach the story. I know what I’m doing.”

EDITOR MEANS: “I have an exact, detailed vision of how this story should be written right down to which sources should be interviewed and what they should say. I plan to share this with you three weeks after you file, and I reject, the story.”


EDITOR SAYS: Send in an invoice and we’ll get accounting going on this.

FREELANCER HEARS: Money! Sweet, sweet, money. Costco Charmin super-pack, I am coming for you.

EDITOR MEANS: I have my spam filter set to delete all messages with the word “invoice” in the subject line and we have not had an accounting department since 1989. Please die immediately.


EDITOR SAYS: “I need 300 words on wines of the Rioja in three days.”

FREELANCER HEARS: “Ha, ha! Good one. Obviously, what’s really required here is 900 words in nine days. I mean, this is the Rioja, people, not the Central Valley.”

EDITOR MEANS: “I need 300 words on wines of the Rioja in three days.”


EDITOR SAYS: “Thanks, this is fine.”

FREELANCER HEARS: “Fine? I spend a week sweating over the land-use consequences of biofuels and it’s `fine’? I am sh*t and should just die immediately.”

EDITOR MEANS: “Thanks, this is fine.”