METM09 presentation     Thread: Promising practices

Moving along and up in the freelance world: reflections of a long-distance runner

Greg Morley — Spain

The definition of success for a freelance editor and/or translator can vary considerably. Some might be seeking a quiet stress-free life while others might emphasize job satisfaction and pay, even if it means long hours and working weekends to meet tight deadlines. Given our different priorities, I don't believe that there is a single magic formula for success that is applicable to every single freelancer. I do believe, however, that by comparing and contrasting strategies of other freelancers, we can build up an approach that works for our own particular set of circumstances. This approach should strike a balance between ensuring a steady base income while maximizing the chance of landing lucrative and fulfilling jobs. Networking in its broadest sense is an important part of generating opportunity, but the way people go about it is very personal. Large instant pay backs from networking should not necessarily be expected, but with time, the benefits of persisting could become substantial. The qualities of discipline and perseverance, necessary in a long-distance runner, therefore also seem applicable to freelancers.


Greg Morley left a research career, which included positions in the UK, Switzerland, and Spain, and a brief stay in Japan, to work as a medical writer, translator and editor. A freelancer based in Madrid for over 10 years, Greg is involved in a variety of projects with publishers, pharmaceutical laboratories, and authors. He has several years' experience revising translations on two bilingual medical journals. Website: To contact Greg click .