If you’ve ever been curious about how it looks like working remotely for a Latina-filled newsroom — look no further. I’ve got you covered. As a freelance Latine writer, I have had the fantastic opportunity of working for BELatina News’ remotely since late 2020. During this time, I’ve covered diverse subjects such as empowering Latine artists, self-identity, Latine powerhouses, all the way to what’s going on at the White House —and that’s not even scratching the surface of the types of stories BELatina News covers.
Our days usually start with coffee, and you guessed right — checking our emails. I check for pitches, any news surrounding my assignments, and anything urgent that needs to be taken care of.
I then check out websites covering my beat: what’s trending? What’s catching people’s attention today? What stories could interest my readers, and why would they care? I also scroll through social media for anything interesting, and if I find anything, I will send it to my editor.
Many of these similar questions go through the minds of the numerous publicists who also pitch my colleagues and me daily. While they facilitate some of our most empowering stories by connecting us with their clients, it’s equally essential for us to do our own research in finding those subjects that don’t necessarily have the privilege of public representation.
What’s crucial about being part of a remote newsroom full of Latines is understanding your deadlines and sticking to a planned monthly and weekly schedule. You’re part of a team that counts on you to get the work done, and so forth.
Every start of the month, I plan out deadlines for each story — in doing this, I create deadlines for subjects I need to reach out to (should the piece require quotes, interviews, etc.) and create a realistic timeline for each. This way, I have my quotes, follow-up questions, anything that has to do with a second party ready to go when I start to write the piece. Don’t wait for the last minute to slip into any type of DMs, y’all! Remember: “your urgency is not my emergency” — this applies to you, but also others. It’s important to respect people’s time.
After responding to my morning emails and doing research (during this time, I will also conduct any interviews if needed), I work on stories based on their weekly deadline.
Having the previously set monthly schedule helps me visualize what needs to get done and be filed to my editor. It’s important to note that I balance my day with other work activities like creating video content, non-work-related activities such as doing exercise and planning a hobby/creative activity (I like to bake). The goal is to create a balanced day for me. Being a writer and working from home can quickly drive us to work endlessly, so making these boundaries is vital to help us avoid burning out.
When I am done writing a story, it’s usually time for a meal break. After the meal break, I scroll on social media and emails to make sure that nothing “breaking news” worthy is happening. Then I continue the story or start on my next one, depending on my mental bandwidth and deadlines.
Afterward, I check my emails for anything I want to pursue for the next day or any notes from my editor and start to wrap my day up. By this time, it’s 3 p.m., and I decide on my exercise of the day, where I use this opportunity to get out of “work mode.”
A benefit of being a freelancer is that I can use breaks throughout my day for personal use, such as working out earlier if I have something to do in the evening.
Another thing that’s always important is being conscious of your mental health — that’s why it’s so critical to have that trust with your editor, who should always encourage you and listen to what you need. Do you need an extension on your assignment?
Overall, being a Latina in this community full of Latines for Latines is incredible. It allows you to connect with Latine creators from all over the globe doing all sorts of amazing things that inspire you to keep grinding. It’s a never-ending inspirational cycle that helps me daily as a remote freelance journalist.