Eva van Emden (she/her), freelance editor

Certified copy editor and proofreader


July 22, 2012

Neil Gaiman on freelancing

A while ago Neil Gaiman gave a commencement address in which he shared some secrets of freelancing (starts at 13:00 on the video). He says there are three secrets to keeping work:
  1. Do good work.
  2. Deliver on time.
  3. Be pleasant to work with.
You get work however you get work. But people keep working in a freelance world—and more and more of today’s world is freelance—because their work is good, and because they’re easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time.

And you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it’s good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

—Neil Gaiman (transcription mine)