brings the approved work stories to life. The pre-approved bios, transcripts and reflections
allowed for a confident and fair representation of the participants’ voices in the macro
narratives – the chapters. Although it took more time, I honored the collaborative process
with the participants who were so generous with their time and energy. This in turn allowed
them to attach their names to the project and they provided the real-life personalization that
is often absent in the story of freelancers’ lives.
The Conversation: To Be Continued
These conversations with seasoned media freelancers have barely scratched the surface
and beg to be continued. As a greater number of workers are shifting to freelance, I would
like to reframe the discussion with a more appreciative focus on what is working? What
practices would help to make their work more sustainable?
Media freelancers were the early forerunners in embodying the practice that creativity
demands the fuel of new ideas, a healthy regimen, and sufficient rest. They intuitively
understand that this is an industry that takes a high energetic toll and the majority of
freelancers involved with this project know how to find balance. We can learn a lot from
freelancers about practices they utilize to sustain vitality, creativity, and health. The idea of
creativity as a process that requires energy is also relevant given an aging population.
Although I touched on the importance of media freelancers reshaping the age and creativity
boundaries, I would like to continue the discussion when it comes to intergenerational work
teams. This is critical not only in the creative industries but in all businesses where diversity
and continuous learning is considered important.
Carol Beck, a Buddhist, brings her spiritual practice to the work experience and I thought
that this would be another topic to examine further. What are the overarching philosophies
or beliefs that allow the freelancer to deal with the uncertainty? This discussion would open
the doors to a relatively unexplored area.
In conclusion, this research brings an appreciative gaze to the liminal lives of media
freelancers and constructs them as career improvisers. These participants showcase a
career dexterity that extends the parameters of freelance, moving beyond contracted
assignments, to a more entrepreneurial experience by introducing their own project
creation into the mix and combining a variety of workstyles – often at the same time.