Lu-Hai Liang

thoughts from a freelance foreign correspondent

Posts Tagged ‘2014

Freelancing in Beijing: 6 month update

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I am going to North Korea at the end of this week. I’m very excited because it’s a country not many can say they’ve been to; one of the most unusual nations on the planet.

I will be going partly for journalistic reasons. It’s a gamble  – although the travel company taking me says my safety is ensured – as the trip is expensive and I’m pretty sure I won’t earn it all back by selling off the related stories.

But hey, I’m young, without responsibilities and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime sorta thing. I’ve got several commissioned articles in the pipeline, with the potential for travel. I am fulfilling one of the aims I had for this year which was to combine freelancing and travel.

I am more or less financially stable now, with an increased salary from the TV company where I work. This month and the next I have more freelance work too. The freelance work does seem to come in batches; I’ll have periods where it’s bit of a desert, and then come sudden oases of plentiful commissions. I will resolve to try and make £300, at least, a month from freelancing. But what’s nice about having the other job is that I can do it for my own benefit rather than purely for financial survival.

As for my non-professional life, Beijing is starting to feel like my new home. I enjoy the social scene and the ease of going for lunch or dinner. It’s affordable and so very tasty. Let me emphasise again: the ability to eat out and hang out is unrivaled by what I could afford back in England.

It’s much warmer now. Winter is long and harsh here and the warming days changes drastically the atmosphere of the city. I will be soon be moving out of my tiny, tiny rented room into something bigger. Upwards!

The next three months – May, June, July – I will lay down more plans for travel. And I guess I’ll continue writing and selling. I am itching to do something big and to really venture beyond my comfort level, to tackle a large project or subject. I haven’t decided exactly what yet (I have a few ideas) but before this year is out I definitely want to try.

In my experience, taking a calculated risk in the creative field usually pays off – whether it’s professionally funded or led by personal motivation, the profit of the experience is invaluable. In my view, creativity is defined by passionate risks.

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