Need a little guidance

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2009
Need a little guidance
3
Wed, 07-22-2009 - 9:33am

I am looking for advice/opinions that will help guide me in a decision. Let me try to explain! Although you will not find me on any Fortune 500 list, I make a comfortable income that keeps the bills paid. I want to begin building a writing career while I continue with my job.


Here is my dilemma. I really want to write books and articles. The pro side to this is that is where my heart is. The down side is it make take years to be published much less make a real income with it.


I have considered freelance commercial writing. The pro to this is a steady income would come quicker. The down side is I don't know if I would be good at it or enjoy it.


I would be interested in any and all opinions concerning this.


Thank You

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 07-22-2009 - 3:57pm

Welcome to The Writing Life, joyfulathena!


Hmmm. My gut says KEEP THE DAY JOB! That's what I did. 'Course, I didn't do it exactly right. I lost sleep over novels that (so far) have gone nowhere. On a whim, about a year before getting laid off from the dreaded day job, I sold the first magazine article I queried. I should have kept going. The magazine giving the assignment was dying. I never showed up in print. Rather than a kill fee, I took the $25 payment for an article on their website. (Probably the best thing about a website is that it doesn't kill as many trees as magazines made from paper.)


Now unemployed, I tackled a cookbook. That should sell easier (and maybe more) than a novel about a retired cop turned PI or a group of book doctors in a world a little sneakier than one of Orwell's. But it's still taking almost as much time!


Really should have kept on writing articles. How many times can the magazine you sold to fold? (These days, sadly, it may be often.) Selling an article for 10 percent of the original price is never exciting. The cookbook could always get its own appointments on my writing calendar and articles could have their own appointments. It's doable. Think I'll do it! There's a relatively new cooking magazine that has some features I think I could write for. Yup, I'm gonna try!


Copywriting? That's what they call writing all that sales stuff (copy). There must be money in it since so many people are selling books, "retreats," webinars, courses, and anything else that will get you to part with your money so they can teach you how to do it. (Do I sound bitter? Maybe it's because I'm not that greedy.) Actually, my big gripe with those "mentoring" newbie copywriters insist the long letter is the only way to do it. Personally, I think it takes more talent to sell something in a few paragraphs than in 4 to 15 pages. (Oh! That's right! They're training people with no talent.) You'd think they got paid by the word and not by sales. There has got to be an honest way to make a living writing sales copy that won't cost you the price of a good used car to learn. If you find it, please let me know.


Gee, sounds as if I've talked about myself and my opinions. I hope you've gotten something from it you can use for yourself. I did prove that I'm not perfect, right?


Hope you get some really good advice here. Something tells me there's at least one person who can give you much better advice than I did. ;-)

JudyB







JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2004
Thu, 07-23-2009 - 6:27am

Seconding Judy's comment about keeping the day job.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 07-23-2009 - 8:33am

Thank you, Linda.


Since I want to write nearly everything, maybe I need a few pseudonyms, a big appointment book, timer, alarm clock, and a heckuva lot of organizational skills. LOL!


Definitely will check out David Fryxell's book! Thanks for another introduction.

JudyB







JudyB