Freelancer’s Prayer for 2013


In the name of the Printing Press, the Commissioning Editor and The Glorious Sub,

Please, let someone get pregnant this year. Let someone take a lengthy sabbatical. Let someone decide to retrain as a teacher or hairdresser because it’s what they’ve always wanted to do. Let someone take some time away to finish That Book. Please. Just let someone with a staff job leave a window open so that I may slide effortlessly into a solid chunk of shifting work.

Please let my name fall into the hearts and linger in the minds of editors across the land. Make my name whisper on the wind that ruffles their hair. Let my byline photo wink at them as they click a link. Let my turn of phrase make them chuckle. Let the subject of the day call for my experience, my insight, my knowledge. Let my phone ring, my inbox ping with the gentle query: “Are you available to write something for us today?” UP MY WORD COUNT, LORD!

Please let my good ideas come thick and fast. Let them be witty takes on subjects old and new, sidelong glances at the Zeitgeist, bold and fresh retakes on the past. Let them sing out of the pitch email, intrigue and pique the interest of the commissioning editor. Once agreed, let my words fly! From my brain, to my fingers, and onto the page. Let my thoughts be clear, my arguments balanced and sensible, my subs kind. Let my story build slowly, carefully, unencumbered by cliché, platitudes and tired puns. Let me write with sympathy when needed, and make insight and understanding my constant companions. Let me end strongly (fnarr), with my head held high, and the reader shuddering with joy at my fact-based and passionate conclusion.


And speaking of readers – make mine lovely! Let them criticise with nuance. Grant them that elusive power of empathy, so that they might see beyond their own current circumstances. Bestow on them the patience to read the whole thing – not just the title and the standfirst – and grant them the fortitude to bear the pain of sometimes having nothing to add to the conversation and therefore being forced to stop before typing an ignorant and pointlessly attacking comment.

O, great printing press! Let me send my invoices, with all the required information, on time. Make the accounts departments speedy in processing them, and let all mix-ups be taken care of in a timely fashion. Shrink my overdraft each month, until red is a colour I see only when I open my wardrobe. Let my funds clear in three working days or less, and don’t let me suckle at the 0845-teat of HMRC come January 31st.

Send me away to exotic locations to interview amazing people. Let my passport see more action; my suitcase wants to breathe foreign air! Let my interviewees be interesting, interested and chatty. Let me ask the right questions, and make them open up to me with responses that’ll make pullquotes a doddle.

Let me be a good journalist in 2013. Let me be responsible and thoughtful and interesting. Just let me be good.


Yours in TextEdit and/or InDesign,


5 responses

  1. Hi Bim,

    Your writing always makes me laugh and I look forward to every word you put out there. I loved the blog you wrote last week on Sandra Bullock (I am the resident office nerd on Lady B), I read eagerly when you discussed Girls and I can never ever resist the Friday Pretty.

    So just wanted to let you know – I’m a fan! I really do hope that 2013 is fantastic year for you.

    Merry Christmas.

    Suse. x

  2. That’s definitely my prayer for 2013. I admire your humour on Twitter.

    How on EARTH can you make freelance journalism work?

    Also, what laptop or PC do you use?


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