Freelance (noun): Also, freelancer. a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer. Today, we will be discussing freelance writers, specifically.
So, to simplify, being a freelance writer is kinda like being a soldier of fortune. The main difference being that freelance writers bounce from low-paying job to low-paying job, while mercenaries do the same thing, but also get to shoot folks in the face sometimes. It’s a fine line.
Anyway, it makes sense that freelance writers would have social media accounts. It just makes sense this day and age to have both an easy way for potential clients to contact you. And it doesn’t hurt to have a way to communicate with the general public and other luminaries from the industry. Especially that last bit, we need more of those.
But, as is the case with everything relating to the internet, there is a dark side to using Twitter. Shocking, I know. This is especially the case if one wants to use their account for something other than robotically tweeting out links to their work, such as commenting on whatever may be going on in their industry and voicing their personal opinions. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it leads to some complications.
Comic book writers and artists are, for the most part, freelancers, sometimes working on several projects at a time for various different companies. And, surprise, surprise, a lot of them have Twitter accounts, which vary in how corporate or off-the-wall they are.
Chip Zdarsky isn’t going to get in super deep trouble anytime soon, but let’s pretend that he comes out tomorrow with a tweet that criticises Marvel for some reason. Something along the lines of “Marvel/Netflix Iron Fist blows. Why doesn’t Moon Knight have a show yet?”. And let’s say that Marvel responds by cancelling any titles he still has going and ending their working relationship with him because he violated the contract that restricts open criticism of his clients. In this hypothetical situation, it could be said that the use of a Twitter account actively harmed the freelancer because it prevented him from honestly voicing his opinion, at the risk of costing him his job.
It’s a hypothetical situation, and one would expect professionals to know the risks. But it’s worth pondering.
Professional Baseball Team vs. Smash Mouth: The Twitter Feud of the Century
Chip Zdarsky’s Twitter page.