Thursday, July 22, 2010

Making a Living

I have a new plan for making a living: sell my writing. 





OK, now wipe away your tears of laughter and listen—I am happy here at my desk. I am full of ideas, I love what I'm doing, and I am getting positive feedback—lots of it, unsolicited, and from perfect-strangers-turned-friendly-readers. Momentum is building, and it's not just through the blogs. I have been writing, with no- or low-pay, for several magazines consistently and my portfolio has doubled in size in three months. 

Last time I managed to sell much of my writing was in 2004. I wrote a poem and two articles (one researched, the other a personal anecdote), and submitted each to a magazine. Each was rejected. I submitted each to a second magazine, and each was accepted. Each was paid for, and prettily. Ka-ching! 

This year, I vowed to sell my writing but approached the matter differently . . . I wrote a dozen query letters. Two dozen. I got one rejection letter, and not a thing more. 

Query letters, at least for me, do not seem to be doing the trick. It looks like writing on speculation is the thing to do, and why not do it? 

Professional writers say not to, and here's why—it's time spent without reimbursement. It's working for free. I ask, however—is it really work? If I'm having a blast, and loving every minute, why not write for the freelance market? Why not put something together and send it out? Why not try?

I'll let you know what shakes out.



  1. Hey, what happened to today's post? It's not showing on my computer....

  2. BP, thanks! I always appreciate your encouragement.

    M, sorry . . . real life got in the way. Happens sometimes, but then I suppose it gives me more to blog about in the end!

  3. So how is the selling of words going now Marnie?

    I started my own blog with my writing, my photos, my art - and I'm interested to know how its working out for you? Just maybe, maybe I'd have courage to see if anyone might be interested in reading some words of mine too...possibly, maybe?

    I love your writing.

  4. Angela, I've been making a living (or at least half a living—it's part time work) with my editing lately, though I haven't made time to write articles on speculation as I'd vowed to do in this post. I'm really glad you brought this up, and I do plan to apply myself. I just closed out my facebook page specifically so that I could spend more of my computer time earning versus playing, and I do feel that my portfolio is evolved enough now that I'll be taken seriously by the major players in print media.

    Good luck with your writing! Your blog is beautiful.


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