Rock Concerts, Zelda, And Turning Down Freelance Work

c. scott brown freelance writer

This past week has been pretty busy, both in my freelance writing work and in my personal life. I’ve started working a lot on cold pitches, which I’ve seen mixed results from so far. I pitched an article to Longreads, one of my favorite sites, and haven’t heard back on it yet. I really hope I get my pitch accepted, as being on Longreads would be a dream-come-true in a lot of ways. However, it is a pretty difficult publication to be accepted into, so I’m being realistic about my prospects.

One thing I did this week a few times was actually turn down work. Turning down freelance work, especially as you’re coming up in the industry, is pretty difficult. At this point, it would be easy for me to take on whatever work comes my way (even if it’s free) for either beefing up my resume or gaining some experience.

But that is the exact opposite way to approach freelance writing, as far as I understand it. Turning down freelance work is the right thing to do, and it’s a skill you’ll need to hone throughout the rest of your career.

For example, I got an offer from a guy I found on Reddit to write scripts for YouTube videos. The idea was to write funny pop culture-related content that would then be turned into a video. It seemed like a good fit for me, but here are the reasons I turned the work down:

  • The client expected me to turn in finished work and THEN get paid for it. Working without at the very least a 50% deposit is not advisable.
  • The video clips he sent me as a reference to what he wanted to do were lazy and unfunny. If I’m going to put my name on something, it should be something I can stand behind.
  • The topic he wanted me to write about was something that I am not a big fan of, and writing about it would involve me at the very least experiencing the media first-hand. If I’m not excited about consuming the content topic, how am I supposed to make the reader/viewer excited about it?

I sent the client a nice email saying that the job wasn’t for me. Now, someone else might take the work and make a ton of money and get their name attached to the next big YouTube channel. But judging from the info I know on this gig, that is highly unlikely. I think I did the right thing.

In other news, I went to a concert with my dad last week. We saw the legendary progressive rock band King Crimson. I’ve seen the Crims probably 6 or 7 times in my life now, so this shouldn’t have been that big of a deal, but oh my god: the concert was so incredible. Their setlist was filled with songs they’ve played live only a handful of times over 40 years ago, and they played for nearly 3 hours. It was an amazing experience and I’m so glad I got to be there with my pops!

My girlfriend also surprised me a few weeks ago with a Nintendo Switch and a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We’ve been obsessively playing it pretty much every day since (read: I play it while she gives me tips on what to do next). I don’t know if I can say this out loud yet, but it might be the greatest video game I’ve ever played. Granted, I’m not a huge gamer so that statement doesn’t mean that much in the grand scheme of things, but it gives you an idea of how much this game really is something else. If you like Zelda or gaming at all, you deserve to play this thing!

That’s all for now! Tonight I’ll be seeing an underground play that promises to be…umm…interesting. More on that next week!

C. Scott Brown

I'm a freelance writer specializing in technology, politics, and social commentary. Visit me at

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