Michele Tydd

Journalism has been my whole career in newsrooms across New South Wales covering everything from courts to zany animal stories.

I embraced the freelance life four years ago and I now write mainly health stories for Melbourne's The Saturday Paper. These have included world-first breakthroughs as well as insights into harrowing illnesses impacting on often silent sufferers.

While social media has its place I still believe in balanced articles that focus on facts rather than biased emotion. I enjoy gathering a range of voices in my articles and crafting a structure that carries the reader to the end. Some people have great ideas but few skills in communicating those ideas. I also enjoy de-constructing their copy and improving the structure and flow.

my core skills

Finding engaging topics and angles to explore

tight writing

interviewing

ghostwriting

editing.

Q & A

Whats the best thing to happen to you in your career to date?

Many great things have happened over several decades. I like where I'm at now with the freedom to choose the work I do and to devote the time it requires within the deadline framework.

What does a typical work week look like for you?:

I find all of my own articles so my process runs in a cycle. It can be talking with contacts, scouring appropriate websites for story ideas, interviewing, writing, editing - and on it goes again.

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

It depends on what part of the cycle I'm in. If I'm interviewing it's hectic with hours of transcribing after each interview. Writing is a more peaceful environment as is editing but each cycle involves a fair bit of concentration.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

Most journalists from solid backgrounds can tell a balanced story but I think perhaps I have a sharp eye for an engaging angle.

What are the tools of your trade?

My computer, mobile phone, recorder, pens and pad.

Do you collaborate with others? If yes, how does that works?

I like working alone but I also like to work through ideas with others. Sometimes it's an editor or a colleague or even a friend. Sometimes it's just the process of talking through an idea that brings clarity and direction.

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

Make sure your client provides a clear brief and is amenable to ironing out any initial wrinkles in that brief so you are not wasting your time and their money.

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