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The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing by Zachary Petit

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By Way of Introduction

“Journalism is literature in a hurry.” — Matthew Arnold

I had a problem. A grave problem. An existential disaster requiring careful analysis and meditation. But I was in high school at the time, so I just muttered a few obscenities into the coffee I was drinking to look cool and went back to my Bukowski book.

I didn’t know it back then, but I was confronting a common curse bestowed upon many an aspiring scribe: I knew I wanted to write. I knew I had to write. But I had no way to prove that I could actually do it.

All I had at the time was badly written music reviews for the high school newspaper I edited and a spectacularly large cache of poetry that is now hidden under my childhood bed at my parents’ house, where it (thankfully, ...

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