Monthly Archives: September 2008

I’m Back – And I’m Bad (I mean that in a good way)

Yes, it’s been awhile.

But that’s a good thing. While it took me nearly two years to get back to this post, don’t think for one moment I’ve been resting on my laurels. Oh, I’ve been working – and how!

The last time I posted, I was merely contemplating going into “the business.” Today I’m proud to say I’m a nationally published (as in a real, tangible magazine “published”) full-time freelance writer.

I have 3.5 consistent clients, which might not sound great from where you sit, but I gotta tell ya’ – I’m not doing too bad on this end. My bills are paid, I love what I do, and I’m not overbooked to the point I can’t give my best to each of my clients. Having said that, I do enjoy taking on one-time projects every so often – just for additional cash flow, and as a means of getting my name out to a broader audience. It’s working out.

So life is good today.

I say “today” because we really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. With the economy in the state it’s in, it’s always best to have Plan B firmly intact. But why am I writing this ominous post? As writers, we have to think in reality. But that’s not always easy because there are two types of writers: those who view writing as some type of romantic experience (which it often isn’t); and those who buy into the notion that a good writer must first “pay his dues.”

Let’s take that first group: the romanticist. I got six words for you: The Down Side to Freelance Writing ( Read that and you’ll have a better understanding of what’s really involved.

To that second group: the “pay your dues” club. To you I say, “Get over it already!” This is a new time and a new age. While paying your dues might not have been optional “back in the day,” that’s certainly not the case today. I’m living proof of that. I’m a health care editor with a national health care publisher – yet I never attended college and wouldn’t even know what an SAT test looked like.

But slow your roll. I’m not trying to tell anyone NOT to go to college. In fact, had I gone to college I’m sure the road to where I am today would have been paved much sooner. What I am telling you is that modern technology has made it absolutely possible for someone like me to eke out a living in the writing field.

The Internet offers a whole world out there for people like me: ones who thought they were destined to certain misfortunes in life because of the lack of higher education. That’s no longer the case.

Today, editors and publishers, agents and scouts, corporations and small businesses are all looking for writers – like me: real people who come from the real world – who can put two sentences together.

Magazines targeting parents finally got the message that parents listen to other parents who’ve faced similar challenges. They need those parents’ stories, in their own words.

Auto magazines are now looking for mechanics who share a knack for writing; just as writing magazines now accept articles written by people who enjoy reading and have a natural ability to write. And the beauty of it is that MOST DON’T ASK WHICH COLLEGE YOU’VE ATTENDED, SO MUCH AS TO VIEW OF SAMPLE OF YOUR WORK. Show a few good samples and you just got yourself a nice side gig—working from home no less.

So if you’re thinking of writing as a part-time gig, think faster. In the time it took you to read this post, thousands of writers have been hired to write an article, a book, or even a screenplay. Thousands of writers like you and me.

And that’s my cue, because in the time it took me to post this, I possibly lost out on a few nice writing assignments.

Darn it.