mini home additions niles ht floors and remodel lincolnshire adding 2nd floor to ranch house add a second floor to my house rolling meadows best finished basements .. Chicago Drug testing

Starting a Freelance Writing Career (or How I Sifted Through the Muck and Found My Way)

So, the decision is final. I am a writer.

Actually, I have always been a person who writes, but I have never applied the term to myself in a professional sense. Having pushed aside my financial fears and gained the requisite self-confidence, I began to surf the net in earnest for information about how to begin a freelance writing career. The vast amount of information was daunting enough, but when I realized how much time and effort would go into an attempt to get published, I almost quit.

Several thoughts are keeping me going. A lot of it has to do with my personal history and the role that writing plays in my life. When I was 8, I left notes around the house asking my parents for an increase in my allowance. When I was in college, I was the nut who took three journalism classes and three literature classes in one semester. When I went to graduate school as an adult with two small children, my ability to write well saved my sanity.

I pushed on. My initial research told me that I first needed to learn about the business of writing because I knew nothing of queries, markets, or copyright. Once I learned what content should be included in a query, writing them was not difficult; however, researching the various markets has been incredibly time consuming. At first, I hit dead ends. I started searching the typical job sites, but most of them did not post freelance work.

Then I came across several subscription sites that claimed to connect freelancers with writing markets. I was concerned that some of these sites might be scams, but after spending several days exploring one site in particular, I had almost decided to subscribe. Before I took the leap, I came across an article which criticized the site. It did not appear to be a scam, but it was enough to validate my initial skepticism. I placed this market source on hold to explore other opportunities.

A few other market postings also begged caution. One in particular sounded like a great opportunity for new writers to get published. I started to complete their online application form until I arrived at the page that asked for my social security number. They claimed that they needed it in order to pay me, but they had not even seen my ideas or any of my writing samples. I cancelled the application and moved on.

Perhaps the biggest shock to my English teacher sensibilities was the listing for "academic writers." I thought: "Great! This I've done." I clicked the button that led to more information and realized that these "markets" were actually students trying to cheat their way through school. Again, I moved on.

Although my early attempts to find writing markets were clearly filled with concern, caution, and a certain degree of paranoia, my experiences thus far have been mainly positive. I found several sites that posted seemingly genuine paying markets. Even if the information does not lead to publication, many of these listings sparked ideas which I can pitch to other markets. Even more important, the generation of ideas has lifted my spirits by making writing for a living seem more realistic.

My biggest morale booster is no secret to most writers. Before purchasing Writer's Market, I knew that it contained market listings and informative articles. I did not know that it contained lists of contests and awards, some of which are designed to assist writers financially while they are writing. I may never win such an award, but somehow, knowing that such a thing exists makes my goals seem more attainable.

Finally, I am almost ready to start submitting queries. The queries are written and effectively target the appropriate markets, but I am still confused about copyright. I'm beginning to fear that my grasp of copyright law is going to become something like my grasp of the offside rule in soccer. My oldest son has just completed his second year playing travel soccer and each time I think I understand offside, something happens that makes me question my understanding. The same holds true for copyright. I understand the concept of first rights and I understand what it means to submit simultaneously. But when a market indicates that it buys first rights and also accepts simultaneous submissions, who gets first rights if two markets opt to purchase the same manuscript? If they both print the story, they can't both have first rights. Can they? Since I do not have the answer, I do not plan to submit queries simultaneously - yet.

The most important lesson I have learned during this journey is that the faith I have in myself and in my aspirations must rise above the confusion and chaos created by the pursuit of the dream.

Michele R. Acosta is a writer, a former English teacher, and the mother of three boys. She spends her time writing and teaching others to write. Visit articles.TheWritingTutor.biz for more articles, writingeditingservice.TheWritingTutor. biz for professional writing and editing services, or TheWritingTutor.biz for other writing and educational resources for young authors, teachers, and parents.

Copyright (c) 2004-2005 The Writing Tutor & Michele R. Acosta. All rights reserved.

In The News:

Fight The Fluff!

The first and final rule of quality writing is this:... Read More

Time to Write

SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER?Many people have entertained... Read More

Dont Get Burned: Evaluating Script Writing Contests

Hundreds of writing contests tempt screenwriters with the lure of... Read More

Publisher Ethics For Reprint-able Articles

Let's Discuss Publisher Ethics:If you are an ezine publisher or... Read More

Gut Check: Quitting Your Full-time Job for Your Freelance Career

It's 6:00 p.m. You're dead tired, but instead of an... Read More

Getting Past The Shoulds To Write

During the past few months I have received many questions... Read More

Discover the Magic of the Most Beautiful Words in the English Language

'Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always... Read More

Essay Types and Modes Youll Need to Write for College

~TYPES~You Want Us to Write What? Understanding the Task AssignedWhich... Read More

Becoming a Writer

The urge to write fiction seems God given for some,... Read More

Business Writing Tip: Question & Answer Format

Traditionally, business writing uses the "one thing after another" format,... Read More

How to Build A Success Freelance Career (Part 1)

In the current job market, many editorial workers have turned... Read More

8 Ways to Write a Winner Book Fast!

Have you given up on getting your book out of... Read More

Writing Requires Self-Control

The only way to become a writer is to write.... Read More

What Does It Take To Make Your Memories Into Publishable Memoirs?

Why should you consider creating a memoir of your personal... Read More

Write SMART: How to Create Terrific Writing Goals - And Achieve Them!

Open up your favorite calendar and circle today's date.Why? Because... Read More

Break in with Fillers: The Best Market for New Writers

Interested in breaking into writing or breaking into a new... Read More

Writing Made Them Rich #3: Richard Bach

One day in the mid-1970's a young man stumbled into... Read More

Freelance Writing: How Many Regular Clients Should You Have?

This is a tough question for every freelance writer. For... Read More

Make Your Readers Cry

You know, I really hate it when someone catches me... Read More

Five Tips to Find More Time for Your Writing Life

When I asked new ezine subscribers, "What is your Number... Read More

Keep your Book Dream Alive

Is your book nearly finished, finished, published, or even in... Read More

Screenwriting, Screenplays, Screenwriters - Writing a Screenplay Using Structure

Effective screenwriting relies on the good understanding and use of... Read More

Masquerading As Novel ~ Can Author?s Work Convey Important Perceptions?

While novels do not usually attempt to convey concepts about... Read More

Write For Yourself First

It would be very selfless or noble of me to... Read More

Dialogue Tags - A Study in Common Errors

Verb and SubjectIncorrect:"I bet you two had a fine time,"... Read More

energy efficient lighting led led retrofit kit Pete's produce ..
energy efficient lighting led led retrofit kit Pete's produce ..