Freelancing to Support My Fiction Habit

May 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Craft, Encouragement

Before I became a novelist, I was a journalist. I wrote for my high school and college newspapers, rising in the ranks to news editor. After college I began my first novel, got married, had a baby and stopped writing. Then had three more babies. Unfortunately, I didn’t know I could write and raise children.

During my years of not writing, I blogged and started freelancing for local magazines. I enjoyed being a real writer once again and having editors call me for assignments. The money was validating as well, but when my fiction longing began to stir, I knew I had to make choice. Starving artist or freelancer. Since I wasn’t starving and had a husband who provided for our family, I decided to abandon freelancing and jump into fiction. Seven years later and not much money to show for it, I landed my first contract. Now that my kids are older and my financial needs have grown (writing and dance conferences,) I’m being drawn back to my roots of journalism.

I’ve thought about freelancing for years, but there was always something holding me back. Fear, lack of knowledge, not enough time, not good enough. But something changed last weekend at a local writers conference. I went to pitch my current WIP, but ended up taking a freelance class taught by Chuck Sambuchino. That’s where I found what I needed to jump into freelancing with both feet.

There wasn’t much new-to-me information shared in that class, but the encouragement and freelance ideas that stirred while listening to Chuck speak was invaluable. He also gave me a lead I plan to pursue.

So what writing have I been doing this week? Drafting queries which Chuck outlined how to do. Before that I turned in an “audition” for a guidepost  book, and I’m writing press releases for a worthy nonprofit organization. Though the money is not yet rolling in (will it ever?) I’m starting to feel like a REAL working writer. Next in the queue is working on a marketing article due next week and hopefully I’ll get to share some exciting announcements with you soon!

How about you? Any aspirations of making money while you write the great American novel? If so, what are you doing to make it happen?

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