My freelance experience has been varied and, because of full time work obligations, a bit sporadic. I want to share the resources that gave me opportunities and encourage you to start your own journey. Last week, I mentioned that my annual visits to an outdoor museum, in Wisconsin, sparked an interest and led me to “what if” statements. I took a chance and cold called an editor. He gave me the “go ahead” to write the article. It just felt right and I surprised myself with the bold step I took. I didn’t tell anyone in my family, or even my husband, because I didn’t want their negativity to darken the little cloud I was floating on. I’ll never forget the look on their faces when I handed them the paper with my first article on the front page. Priceless!
That gave me a clip that I took to a group of editors in Chicago where I lived. I loved writing feature articles. The interviewing process and boiling down the information into a solid piece of writing came from my experience as a Social Worker and the fine book by William E. Blundell, The Art and Craft of Feature Writing. I’ve always liked meeting people and listening to their compelling stories.
I was fortunate to find Writer’s Weekly, www.writersweekly.com , and highly recommend this website, started by Angela Hoy, for great resources and freelance job opportunities. There are a wide range of freelance jobs and paying markets as well as great articles about writing, independent publishing and contests. I got my first freelance job with www.sheknows.com as a recipe writer. I worked for she knows for about six months and had a positive experience. They paid on time and had a good support network. I was disappointed that it ended when they had enough recipes. I also wrote a short blog post about cheese!
I used Angela Hoy’s excellent book, Query Letters That Worked! Real Queries That Landed $2K + Writing Assignments, when I queried Acres USA. I got the assignment and am currently working on a farm profile.
I’ve used the Magazine Markets for Children’s Writers to research publications that I am interested in, particularly science and religion. I queried Weekly Reader, The Upper Room and Bread for God’s Children. I was rejected by all of them but, I got lucky with a query letter to Ask Magazine. My idea fit in perfectly with their theme and now I have a published magazine clip.
These “mini” successes aren’t earth shaking, that’s for sure. Really, it has been a very slow process but, I love to write so I write. If that describes you then maybe this tiny smattering of resources will get you going too. I hope so.
Start small, start confident, but just start! I think that’s a good motto. It has worked for me and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share my experiences with you. Now, I am ready to leap in with my two big feet. It is time for me to stop just getting my big toe wet and wade in. I am “plunging” in with a novel idea that I’ve had a long time. It’s about a boy, named Wallace, who gets into trouble when he opens a can of worms. Oh, no! There, I’ve said it. My “plunge” is out there and now you can hold me accountable. I finally found my sweet spot and am ready and eager to write. I am happy to say that this guest blogging has unstuck something and my creativity has been unleashed. Yahoo! It’s about time.
Please, share with me what you feel ready to try. Are you a “plunger” or only ready for a “splash” one toe at a time? Let’s learn and explore this writer’s journey together!
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Rosemarie is currently writing a middle grade novel. She encourages writers to not let the pressure of getting published squeeze out all the joy of writing.
She stands by her motto, “Start Small, Start Confident, Just Start!” Contact her at [email protected] .