Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Belated Discovery

Even I get tired of banging away at lowball buyers once in a while, and I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if readers, if there are any, may be even more tired of the subject. Happily, I've stumbled into an online organization I should have found a long time ago. It has legitimate job offers from real editors of real publications and marketing people working for real companies. Very refreshing.

It's called the Writers-Editors Network, aka the Cassell Network of Writers, aka CNW. And what made finding it it even more comforting is that the administrator was a member of another writers' organization that I, too, had joined back in the 1970s. That one was the Associated Business Writers of America -- ABWA.

ABWA was a small, earnest band who communicated by way of a bulletin mimeographed on colored pages. Of course it had marketing information about publications and editorial personnel, but it also carried tips on other issues of concern to its freelance readers: how to rotate typewriter ribbons to maintain an even appearance on the page, and ways to save money on printing the black-and-white film we used. 

Occasionally there was a reminder that writers who found assignments in its pages might want to contribute a few dollars toward a "stamp fund" to defray the cost of mailing it -- eight or ten cents at the time, if I remember rightly. All in all, there was a comfortable, comradely feeling about it, so maybe this organization, run by an alumna, will have some of that.

You don't often get the chance to run two cliches together, but I have to remind myself that although you can't go home again, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Except maybe when they REALLY change. CNW is today's ABWA for me, and its function, although not confined to purely business writing, is pretty much the same. But from the mimeograph to communicating online could be more than just a difference in degree. Have to hope it's not a difference of kind. Still, I think I feel a mellowing coming on.