3 Ways to Support Your Fiction Habit
While Working Towards That Big Contract
Many of us are committed fiction writers, yet haven’t been paid for our efforts in years. Sometimes it’s hard to convince family and friends and we’re working when we don’t bring home a paycheck. Sometimes it’s even hard to convince ourselves.
So what’s a devoted novelist to do while waiting to land a big contract?
Before the fiction bug bit, I freelanced for several local magazines. But when raising kids, writing fiction, and freelancing became too much to juggle, I hug up my press hat. Unfortunately, I forfeited the little money I was making that “made” me as a real writer. Now almost ten years later and one book contract advance spent, I need to make money while I wait to land a bigger contract. Since getting a J.O.B is not an option for me at this point, I’ve decided to go back to my freelancing roots.
At a recent writers conference, Chuck Sambucino offered great insight on freelancing. In class I realized I had years worth of blog content that I could repurpose for different periodicals, and was inspired to send out queries. My first query to the local paper didn’t get a response, but I got a “yes” twenty minutes after I emailed a query to a magazine I used to write for. There might even be an option for writing a column when there’s an opening. Now it’s official, I’m a working freelancer again and all because I decided to send out a query!
Last summer I taught story telling/plotting to a group of preteens and had a great time teaching what I love, and I got paid for it! This year I’ve added new classes to creative writing camps and hope to hold one or two this summer. The biggest obstacle is finding students, but I’m doing everything I can to make it happen. I won’t get rich doing this, but it will help fund one writer’s conference this year. And it will add to my speaking resume!!
This fall I’ll publish my first ebook starting with the writering course I created for teens. I also plan on taking my blog content, organizing posts into themes, and publishing them as ebooks. With seven years of blogging, I think I can come up with a couple of ebooks that people will want to read.
What about you? What have you already written that you can turn into an ebook, freelance article, or class you can teach? You might not get rich, but you might just earn a little money while you wait for that next big fiction contract, and prove to the naysayers that you are a legitimate writer.
Unfortunately, the downside to trying to support your fiction habit is that it gives you less time to actually write. But that’s another subject for another day. Til then… keep writing, one word, one project at a time!