Re[2]: Working for free

Subject: Re[2]: Working for free
From: Dick Schellens <richard_schellens -at- MAIL -dot- GDT1 -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 10:26:33 -0500

When I was getting started as an independent tech writer, I had a
small and irrelevant portfolio (an education training manual when I
was looking for software documentation work). I was upfront with
prospective customers and said that I didn't have directly related
work samples. I offered to do a chapter (or less) of a proposed manual
if they would give me a little info to work with. I told them that if
they liked it, they could hire me... if they didn't, there would be no

It took five tries before I landed a job using this method. But each
chapter that I wrote went into a portfolio of "samples" that I would
leave with prospective clients. Since none of the first four
businesses had paid for my work, I felt that it was clearly mine...
and available to display as "samples of my work". I never represented
that I had done manuals for these companies. I simply presented the
chapters as examples of the kind of writing of which I was capable.

Hope this helps.

Dick Schellens
Lebanon NH

dicksc -at- gdt1 -dot- com

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