Cross-Post Question

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2009
Cross-Post Question
6
Thu, 06-04-2009 - 9:00am

I hope it is ok to just jump in with a question. I am determined to have a career as a freelance writer of articles and books. Taking classes and workshops have built up my confidence, but I need to get started. I have two questions:


How do I begin???


Someone suggested ehow to get me started. Is this really a good idea? This is not going to be a hobby, but my career so I am not sure if this is a route I should consider.


Thanks for any and all advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2005
Thu, 06-04-2009 - 9:10am

As a full-time freelancer writer, I have posted extensively on this topic on this board. With a little research in the archives, you can find those posts.

Re: ehow. I say absolutely not. They're a mill content site that pays a pittance and per page view, which means it's maybe-someday payments. I don't know about you, but my landlord and utilties don't let me pay my bills that way, so why should I be paid that way?

You want to build up clips from LEGITIMATE places to vault you into well-paid work.

Again, I've answered this question in detail at least a dozen times on this board, so looking in the archives will give you my suggestions.

Good luck

Ink in My Coffee: http://devonellington.wordpress.com Hex Breaker: http://hexbreaker.devonellingtonwork.com www.fearlessink.com www.devonellingtonwork.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 06-06-2009 - 11:00am

Welcome to The Writing Life, oldanddesperate.


I'm pretty old and not too desperate (but still desperate enough) so I can relate.


Please do look back in both folders of this board to find Devon's advice and links to her own articles. It seems every time my writing life runs out of gas, Devon writes something to bring me fuel.


What type of books and articles do you plan to write? I'm sure you've heard that fact can be stranger than fiction. It can also be an increasingly easier sell. (Not that selling your writing can ever be called easy.) You've probably heard you should specialize. Has anyone told you having several specialties is perfectly acceptable?


I've subscribed to many writing e-zines over the years. Over half the ones I used to read have disappeared (some more than once) or morphed into membership sites. Some had instruction for writers like how to write a query, find an agent, write a bio, or write a synopsis. Some had listings of magazines looking for fresh articles from new writers. Some had listings of publishing houses and agents. Some had it all. I'm down to about four e-zines now and subscriptions to a couple industry magazines.


I've found that entering writing contests (all no-fee, of course) have helped add bulk to my writing resume (when I'm among the winners). A stint writing filler for my local newspaper as a child didn't hurt either. Sometimes clips are overlooked because they don't come from a glossy magazine.


Writers, especially those with nothing else to pay the bills, must always be on the lookout for a new venue. They don't always land in your inbox. Follow your passions. Do your research. Get published in that free paper at the grocery store (only if they'll pay you) or in a $2-per-word glossy. The big guys might make fine clips but the little guys still prove someone bought your writing.


You should also be on the lookout for scams and for those who want to pay only a pittance for your hard work. Websites offering pay-per-click compensation may be almost as bad as those offering no pay at all. How can you track how many views your article receives? Can you tell what your "employer" is getting paid?


A huge part of writing is not writing at all. Still, the way to begin a career in writing is to write.


I'll shut up now. ;-)


JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2004
Sat, 06-06-2009 - 2:42pm

Just chiming in my two cents worth ...


Make sure that freelancing really is what you want to do.

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Writing Blog |

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 06-06-2009 - 7:13pm

Good point, Linda!


This particularly applies to novels. Writing cooking articles or maybe even restaurant reviews would tie in to my cookbooks but do absolutely nothing if I want to write food-related mystery novels. ;-)


JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2004
Sat, 06-06-2009 - 8:36pm

I'm finishing up an Urban Fantasy/Thriller.


What I've had published:



  • Inspirational

  • Toastmaster speech articles

  • Literary fiction

  • Poetry

Absolutely nothing to do with urban fantasy.

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Writing Blog |

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 06-08-2009 - 10:53am

That's quite a list of accomplishments, Linda.


You're right. None of it has anything to do with urban fantasy. If anything, the literary fiction might pigeon-hole you. Frankly, that's not the hole in which this pigeon would like to spend forever. ;-)

JudyB







JudyB