We all make them but writers tend to make New Year’s resolutions that actually sound like they can come true!
Part of the reason our resolutions sound plausible is our facility with words. Part of it is that anyone who writes for a living often thinks about the future and how they will manage as the economy shrinks and traditional publications fall to online magazines and, you guessed it, blogs.
So, what resolutions am I making? The first one is to share as much of what I have learned in this freelance writing business with anyone who is trying to get started in it. Why would I do that? Why would I give away what it has taken me more than 18 years to learn?
Because I wish that someone had shared their knowledge, their insights with me. It would have made the first 17 years just a little bit easier. So, without further ado, here are some of my thoughts about and tips on freelance writing.
Freelance writing is tough at the very beginning because everyone wants to see samples of your writing and prefers writers that are published…which makes it harder to get published. That said, there are a couple of places you can look for freelance jobs.
Of course, one of the first places I check is www.craigslist.org . I look in both Philadelphia and Delaware. Click on the Writing/Editing link almost at the bottom of your screen – just right of center. I have found a couple of freelance jobs through this listing. One caveat – for every writing job I got through Craigs List, I probably submitted 100 queries.
I also subscribe to one free newsletter which has job listings but, more importantly, has tips, ideas and stories about writing and how to get started and keep going. It is called Writer’s Weekly by Angela Hoy. You can subscribe by going to http://www.writersweekly.com.
You also may want to look into Writer’s Market. It is published every year and half of it covers book publishers, editors and agents and the other half covers magazines. You can look at it at Barnes & Noble or maybe your local library would have a copy. The good thing about Writer’s Market is that it includes all the information about the magazine including the editor’s name and contact information, the percent of the magazine which is written by freelancers and story ideas the magazine is seeking.
Oddly enough, I got the writing job with Equine Journal by answering an ad in their magazine. So another tip would be to read through magazines and see who is looking for freelancers. The down side is that some magazines only pay a very small amount — $60 per 600 word article – just 10 cents a word. But I love horses and love writing so it works for me. I also write for Advance Magazine for Nursing and The Art Times Journal.
And I write for businesses but that is harder to get into and stay into. To get jobs with businesses, you really, really have to network. More on that later.
Those are a few of the ways I just stay tapped in. I hope they help you meet some of your New Year’s resolutions.