The Born Freelancer on Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: Busting The Myth

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.


Some of the most frequently accepted words of advice in the many self-help books I have read — designed to bolster self-confidence and creativity — is to “step outside your comfort zone.” In other words, to challenge yourself in new ways in order to encourage growth and combat stagnation.

What freelancer does not wish for those things?

This pandemic would seem the perfect time to “step outside of our comfort zone.” With so many gigs disappearing and so much free time available, what better use can we make of it?

In theory, this is all well and good.

But in practice, “stepping out of your comfort zone” taken to its extreme can be a problem.

I would posit it is far more advantageous to reimagine your “comfort zone” as a positive construct well worth remaining in and to reframe “stepping out” of it as simply expanding and enriching it.

So what is this “comfort zone” anyway?

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Posted on May 27, 2021 at 8:41 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

‘Casual Friday’ and Give Us Your Thoughts

CFG members, please join the CFG Board of Directors for another online ‘Casual Friday’ mixer on May 28 at 4:00 EDT.

Part of the chat will be about the Board’s upcoming Strategic Planning Session. We’d love to hear your thoughts as we form strategy for the CFG over the next year.


– Welcome from Organizer Don Genova
– Update on New Membership Management System
– Next Webinars Planned
– Errors and Omissions and Professional Liability Insurance
– Strategic Planning
– How You Plan to Spend Your Summer!

These casual sessions are always your chance to tell us what you’d like to see on the menu in the coming weeks and months. Whether you can attend next Friday or not, you can offer your thoughts in advance by filling out a short survey — members can find a link to that survey in the invitation email that went out this week.

You can RSVP for the mixer here, or check your email for the invitation.

Your link to the Zoom session will be e-mailed to you around half an hour before the start time on Friday. Check your junk or spam mail folders if it’s not in your inbox!

Posted on May 21, 2021 at 4:38 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

CFG election results

After the poll closed last night, Sunday May 9th, the following result has been certified by the Election Committee.

Lisa Caroglanian Dorazio has been elected as the Director – Membership Management and Recruitment.

Thanks to all who voted, the candidates, and to all members for your patience in the process undertaken to elect this position a second time.

The very first Canadian Freelance Guild Board of Directors is now complete.

President: George Butters
Vice-President: Montaha Hidefi
Secretary: Helen Edwards
Treasurer: Trevor Beckerson
Director at Large, Membership: Lisa Caroglanian Dorazio
Director at Large: Tina Pittaway

Regards, Your Election Team:

Karen Tankard, Elle Andra-Warner, and Don Genova (Organizer, Canadian Freelance Guild)

Posted on May 10, 2021 at 1:19 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The CFG poll is now open

CFG members in good standing may now cast their ballots in the CFG election for Director-at-Large (Membership).

The poll will close at 11:59pm Eastern Time, Sunday, May 9th.

To read more about the candidates and view their introductory videos, click here.

Posted on May 7, 2021 at 3:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

Celebrating Asian Canadians helps counter virus-related hate crimes

By Eva Zhu
For CWA Canada

In 2002, the federal government signed a declaration that designated May as Asian Heritage Month, with the goal of giving citizens an opportunity to recognize and celebrate Asian Canadians and their contributions to helping make this a better country.

This past year, however, has been particularly hard on Canada’s Asian population. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only put Asian people in the public eye in a negative light, but the number of anti-Asian hate crimes has increased exponentially.

Since the pandemic started, people have used the origin of the virus to justify and excuse racist anti-Asian sentiments and actions, including accusing them of bringing COVID-19 over from China. When the first cases started popping up in March 2020, an Asian person couldn’t cough or wear a mask without getting strange looks.

McMaster University graduate Diana Chu says she could sense people avoiding her when they noticed her wearing a mask early on during the pandemic.

“When I was out with a mask on, like on the bus or the grocery store, people would make an effort to distance from me in a way that was definitely more than necessary,” Chu says.
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Posted on May 5, 2021 at 7:42 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

CFG elections update

Congratulations! The Election Team is pleased to announce Trevor Beckerson has been acclaimed as Treasurer on the CFG Board of Directors. Please see his bio below.

There will be an election for Director – Membership. There are two candidates, Lisa Caroglanian Dorazio from BC and Grant Frost from Nova Scotia. These candidates both ran in the March election that was declared invalid. Their bio/statement and video from that election are on this CFG Election Page. The candidates have an opportunity to update their information by the end of next week. Voting will be conducted online May 7th to 9th.

Trevor and the candidates will have a chance to speak with any interested members during the CFG monthly mixer, next Friday, April 30th at 4pm Eastern Time. You can register here to attend, and a more detailed invitation will be sent out early next week.

Regards, Your Election Team:

Karen Tankard, Elle Andra-Warner, Don Genova

Posted on April 24, 2021 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

2021 Dave Greber Freelance Writers Awards open for submissions

Freelancers, if you’ve written about social justice issues this year, it’s time to submit your work for the Dave Greber Freelance Writers Book and Magazine Awards.

The awards are now open for submissions and the competition closes on Friday, June 25 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

The awards honour the memory of Dave Greber, a Calgary-based freelancer who wrote extensively about social justice issues during the final decade of his career. The awards were created in 2004, and are given each year to writers of social justice-related non-fiction.

The book award is worth $5,000 and the magazine award is set at $2,000. Work that has not yet been completed for publication is also eligible for submission. To submit your work, you must be a resident of Canada and spend 70% of your working time as a self-employed freelance writer.

For more details about the award requirements, see the Dave Greber Awards website.

You can read Story Board’s interviews with some past Dave Greber Award winners right here.

Posted on April 20, 2021 at 8:30 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

CBC Doc Mentorship Program spring deadline

CBC Radio’s Doc Mentorship Program has a spring deadline approaching.

Experienced audio freelancers are invited to submit a pitch to the program by May 7, 2021.

The program, which is also open to all CBC employees, is accepting applications for three different mentorships: the Doc Mentorship program,  The Current’s Advanced Doc Maker program and the Emerging Indigenous Doc Maker program.

The program pairs up documentary makers with experienced CBC producers who provide guidance and mentorship through the process of making a radio documentary. Mentors are happy to provide feedback on pitches before the formal application process, so applicants are advised to contact the mentor they wish to work with before they apply.

You can find more details about the Doc Mentorship Program and how to apply, on the Doc Makers website. If you have any questions about the program, you can email

And for information about CBC rates and contracts, check out this page on the CMG Freelance website.

Posted on April 12, 2021 at 4:56 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Nominations Open for Two Vacant Positions on the CFG Board of Directors

The CFG Election Team is now accepting nominations for two vacant positions on the CFG Board of Directors: Treasurer, and Director at Large: Membership.

According to the CFG Bylaws, the Treasurer “shall be responsible for the safe control and custody of all funds and securities of the CFG and shall keep or shall cause to be kept full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the CFG. They shall perform such other duties as shall from time to time be determined by the Board of Directors.”

The Director at Large: Membership “shall have such duties as are delegated to them by the Board, including responsibilities for Membership and Communities and perform other such duties as assigned by the Board.”

Candidates must be nominated and seconded by CFG members in good standing. Click here to view or fill in a nomination form. Authorized nominees will have a chance to place a 500-word statement, photo, and short video on the CFG website. 

Nominations will close at 6pm Eastern Time, Thursday, April 22nd, 2021. Candidates will have a chance to ‘meet and greet’ with members during the CFG Monthly Mixer at 4pm ET on Friday, April 30th.

Electronic Voting will take place on May 7th, 8th, and 9th. Details to follow.

The CFG’s election policy can be found at the bottom of this page, along with the bylaws of the CFG.

Questions about the election can be sent to CFG Organizer Don Genova in order to be forwarded to the Election Team for consideration.


Your Election Team

Karen Tankard, Elle Andra-Warner, and Don Genova

Posted on April 8, 2021 at 10:04 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

2021 Access Copyright Payback claim period now open

Writers and visual artists, the 2021 Access Copyright Payback claim period is now open and you have until until May 31 to submit your claim.

If you were affiliated with Access Copyright as of December 31, 2020 you’re eligible to submit a claim this year for written and visual work published in books, magazines, journals and/or newspapers between 2000 and 2019. Works published in 2020 will be eligible for a claim next year. Payments will be sent out at the end of November.

If you’re not yet registered with Access Copyright and you have published work that fits the claim criteria, now would be a good time to register via Access Copyright’s online affiliation portal so that you’ll be ready to submit your claim next year.

For a full explanation of how Access Copyright and the Access Copyright Foundation could contribute to your income stream, check out this Story Board post from 2016.

You can find more information and submit a claim on the Access Copyright website.

Posted on April 6, 2021 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,