freelancerforhire

Posts Tagged ‘writers’

Phase 1 Step 3

In Step-by-Step on October 16, 2009 at 11:06 pm

This is the third installment of my “Step-by-Step” series.  I hope you’re all enjoying it.  A quick recap: phase one is the research phase.  Step 1 was researching the freelancing industry to figure out if it’s a good fit for you.  Step 2 was examining your interests to figure out what you would write.

Step 3 is figuring out where your writing will go.

Most books on freelancing touch on this topic, since there would be no writing career without this step.  A book I make reference to very frequently, The Writer Mama by Christina Katz, suggests examining what you read both as a means of generating ideas of what to write and place you might possibly submit some of your material.  This is just to give you an idea – if you love reading Entertainment Weekly perhaps you should set your sites on an entertainment publication, and so on.  (Note: If you’re still in the beginning stages of your career it’s a bit early to submit to national publications, they usually publish only established writers)

Most resources for beginning writers recommend not being afraid to work for free to get your first clips.  Try local businesses and organizations, they may have a newsletter you can write on.  In this case, just call.  The worst they can do is say no.  That first call is the hardest, I promise.  After that you get more and more comfortable calling offices and making inquiries.

Free local papers are also a good place to go fishing for assignments.  There’s usually a contact number in the front of the paper.  Call, introduce yourself, and ask if they accept submissions from freelance writers.  If so who should you submit to?  Do they prefer snail mail or e-mail?  Do they accept full manuscripts or do they prefer a formal query at first?  And last but not least – do they have an editorial calendar and writers’ guidelines and where can you find them?  (Note: Editorial calendars outline the theme for each month’s issue that year.  Writers’ guidelines specify anything and everything editors want you to know before submitting anything to them.  Not all publications will have these things, but it’s worth it to ask.  You’d have a huge advantage if they do offer these materials.)   

For finding places that may accept your work I’d suggest 3 things: the internet of course and a good old-fashioned Google search (using the example above you’d type “entertainment publications”), The Writer’s Market, and FundsforWriters.com (you can sign up for newsletters that have some great opportunities).   

If you’re reading this and looking for a place to submit your work I produce a web zine called Balancing Act and welcome submissions from new writers!

I would love to know how helpful you found this post!  If you learned anything new or simply want to share your own search for freelance success, I’d love to hear from you!

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Taking the Plunge

In Getting started on August 22, 2009 at 2:26 am

  Do you want to write for a living?  Do you want your words in print?  Are you trying to get your story published?  Do you want to make  a more than decent living doing all of the above and then some?  Join the club.  So do I, and so do hundred or thousands, maybe even millions of others.  So how do you compete?  That is the million dollar question.  If you have the answer please let me know.

  What I hope to accomplish in this blog, by sharing my successes and failures in the freelancing industry, is helping others advance their writing careers by avoiding some of my mistakes and taking some of my advice.  

  I’ve known since high school that I wanted a career writing.  But it wasn’t until about a month ago that I really started to do something about it.  I had read all the books on freelancing, but I hadn’t sent out a single query or gotten one byline since high school.  I had my work cut out for me.

  What was my first step?  I decided I needed a writing community to help me stay motivated.  I couldn’t find a community for writing mothers.  I started my own (Mommy Writers).  I figured I would be able to benefit from the experience of other writers and take advantage of the networking opportunities while supporting each other.

  What will be your first step?  Have you long toyed with the idea of a writing career but done nothing to make it happen?  Maybe your first step should be meeting other writers, pick their brains.  You’d be amazed what opportunities you might stumble upon, and how encouraging it can be just to talk to someone who’s been where you are and succeeded.   

 

For more information on Mommy Writers visit us online.