Established freelance writers are, at times, skilled and fortunate enough to be able to pick and choose from prospective new clients. While this is flattering and ensures a steady supply of possible projects, it also means that you have to decide what’s best for your needs. This is where it can be a triumph or…
Give Your Writer Resources: Article Eight
Writing classes instruct writers on particular topics. These topics can be as broad as “So You Want to Write a Book? What a Novel Idea!” (the actual name of a course I took at Emory University through its continuing education program), or as specific as “How to develop Characters through the Use of Dialog.” Classes may address other issues: “Finding an Agent,” “Promote Yourself through Facebook,” or “How to Write a Query Letter.” Writing classes usually begin and end on a certain date, last a definite period of time, and have a syllabus that addresses a new aspect of the topic at each session. Writing workshops are similar in that they, too, address general and specific topics related to writing, but as a rule they meet in a concentrated time block. Critique groups differ from writing classes and workshops. A critique group is an interactive session where writers read and discuss each other’s work. As with writing classes, I’ve had good and bad experiences. If used correctly, a critique group can strengthen your writing.
My last post “Putting Your Sales Hunter Hat On” was an introduction to how to sell your services as a freelancer–because no matter how good of a writer you are, you are still going to have to be at least a pretty decent salesperson if you want to keep yourself in work. This post continues that conversation by giving you information on how to find people who hire for freelance writing services.
Granny’s Kitchen Taught Me Everything About Writing
Over the holidays, I moved from my very urban home of twenty years in Atlanta to a suburb with trees, open spaces, even a horse pasture. A ripple of something new was headed my way. It began with the year before when I turned off a highway and drove a curvy country road. My shoulders relaxed and I actually had thoughts of leaving the city. I was in need of a place where the air was fresh, where the only noises were birds, wind in the trees, and the occasional dog barking.
Give Your Writer Resources: Article Seven
Up to this point we have discussed how to provide your writer within with resources by building a library. However, a writer needs resources beyond his/her personal writing space and the Internet. For articles seven, eight, and nine, we will look at groups in the writing community that are valuable resources. I will divide these groups into professional organizations, writing classes, critique groups, first readers, and personal contacts. Article seven will focus on professional organizations and writing classes. These groups can be accessed from your computer or in “live” settings.
For the few weeks before and during the holidays, work is often feast or famine for a freelancer. In my particular case this year, with one client, it was definitely feast. Problem was, the feast was more like a 20-course meal, and he did not want to let anyone leave the table. He hit everyone…
Give Your Writer Resources: Article Six
While a grammatically perfect and readable story should be a top priority for every writer, a truly finished product needs much more. I call that “much more” the qualities that place your unique mark on the pages…the fingerprint that identifies your work to your writer within. Initially as readers, we are drawn to writers such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz because they write horror, or we gravitate to John Cheever or Alice Munro because we like short stories. But in the end, why do we stay with them and continue to buy their books and be loyal readers? It is most likely because we enjoy their style of writing.
Give Your Writer Resources: Article Five
Markets are the places available for you to publish what you write. If you are not writing with the intent of publication, then this column will not be for you. When you write for your enjoyment only, you need not worry about the submission process. However, if you want to share what you create with others, then you’ll need to understand the many places available to showcase your stories.
Years ago the task of finding a good fit for your work was tedious, expensive, and oftentimes hit or miss. Writers mainly sought out book and magazine publishing houses to print their fiction and nonfiction. University and special interest presses were other possible sources. A writer needed to send off for guidelines and/or sample copies for each place he/she intended to submit a story, supplying a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). A sample copy added more expenses…and all of this was before the manuscript was submitted. It took weeks…sometimes months to receive that information.
As I prepare for the holidays, it makes me reflect on how freelancing has a major impact on my life. Sure, I can take a month off to go backpacking through Europe or go sailing from one coast to the other if I want. I can be a night owl or an early bird, split shifts, take very long lunches and other fun perks.
But there are some significant downsides to working for yourself, too. Freelancing isn’t the glamorous life that some people imagine it to be. If you are thinking about ditching your boring but stable office job and throwing yourself into freelancing as a career, there are a few things you need to consider first.
“Write every day. Sit thy butt in a chair and write. Don’t talk about writing, just do it, kind of like the Nike slogan.” This was my advice to writers until recently. See, it is hard to tell people how to finish a work in progress when you are not writing. These tips stopped working for me well over a year ago. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about my creativity running dry. Each time I was sure I’d found my momentum again and hit the road at a full run, I was disappointed by my ideas draining, leaving me empty and sure I’d lost any talent I possibly had.
Then a sudden move presented itself to our family. I was determined to keep following my own advice, no matter what I would tap into the keyboard, while I packed up our house of fourteen years. My agent laughed when I told her my plan. “You won’t write a word for a month or two. Face this. Relax.”