By C. Hope Clark
Let’s say you’re working on a book. It engulfs you, dominates your every waking hour. This story is the reason you became a writer. Problem is, it’ll take you at least a year to write, edit, and publish, assuming you indie publish, but if you go the traditional route, expect two to three. How are you supposed to pay the bills in the interim?
Every single writer should know how to freelance.
And no, you don’t have to write for free to break in, one of the largest myths in the industry. There are ample markets out there paying ten cents/word up. There are plenty of others who don’t and they often make the most noise when seeking writers, but hold out. You want to respect yourself. Don’t forget, this freelance effort is to subsidize your effort to write that novel, so you cannot afford to give it away.
Where to find the gigs:
1) Run a search for “magazine writers guidelines;”
2) Purchase a current year’s Writer’s Market, published by Writer’s Digest Books;
3) Subscribe to writing sites like: Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Gigs, Funds For Writers, The Write Life, Writers Market and World Wide Freelance.
4) Subscribe to job finding sites like Indeed, Simply Hired, and especially LinkedIn.. Consider the paid subscription with Linkedin for the best opportunities.
But how do you get started? Where do the ideas come from? First learn how to query or pitch at sites likeThe Renegade Writer and Make A Living Writing. Your query is the first introduction between you and the editor. Make it powerful. It even doesn’t matter that you haven’t freelanced before as long as the idea is solid and a good match for the editor’s needs.
Also, start pitching local, soliciting the regional and local publications in your area. Editors prefer local. Your dentist, real estate agent, nursery, bakery, or local diner may do a newsletter once a month, too. Offer to write for them, or even offer to create and deliver said newsletter. Same goes for nonprofits and charities. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and become the only freelance writer in the membership and watch the requests come in.
You may think you’re shortchanging your book. Just remember that freelancing not only provides interim income as you write your novel, but it also hones your writing skills. Every word you write, edit and publish helps you climb that ladder to becoming a more polished, entertaining and marketable writer. And your novel will thank you in the end.
C. Hope Clark
Funds For Writers