Writing: are you an amateur or a professional?

Vlad the Impaler, the original for Bram Stoker's Dracula

A pitch

Last year I was living in Romania. It was approaching Halloween so it occurred to me that a story about Vlad the Impaler - the original of Bram Stoker's Dracula - might be of interest. I pitched the idea to an editor, which started off : "Although Bram Stoker's castle was based upon a castle in Scotland...."

I needn't have written any more. Despite the fact that it was perfectly clear I was writing from Romania, the editor came back asking me to write a story about the Scottish castle. I wrote back to explain that, no, I was writing from Romania, and didn't she want to hear a Romanian story? But the damage was done. I wrote several more letters and didn't get a reply.

I had another good story, about the plight of bears in Romania. I had seen a bear in the wild. I had interviewed the Romanian Minister of the Environment. I had researched the story thoroughly. It was, I thought, an important story about the future of European wildlife. I pitched that story, one by one, to every editor of every magazine and every newspaper in the UK. Not one bite. Not one response. Nothing. I must have written a hundred letters. In the end I did get a taker, and a severely truncated version, about bear-stalking holidays in Transylvania, eventually appeared in Wizz It, the Wizz Air in-flight magazine. It was the only story I sold last year.

Currently I am sitting on four 1,000 word columns about the domestic life of an aging couple. It's called The Home Front, and, although I say it myself, it is a warm, wise and very funny look at the process of growing old. It is currently sitting on the Daily Telegraph's editorial desk not being read. Previously it was not read by editorial staff at the Guardian and the Independent, amongst others. I can't remember which ones now as there have been so many. I haven't got the heart to write any more of them.

In the end you give up.

I have given up.

The problem is in order to write you have to go through editors. So your first writing task is a letter to an editor, a pitch. Maybe I'm not very good at this. You need to know the editor, and I've never been in the trade, so I have no idea who these people are. Anyway, this is not what I became a writer to write. I became a writer to write real stories about real people that would really move an audience, not to write pitches for editors.

Ivor Coles
Ivor Coles

HubPages

I wrote a 2,500 word piece about a soldier, Ivor Coles, who died in the First World War and whose grave was lost. Subsequently his family - by following a string of clues - were able to find the grave again. Once more it has been sent out to a string of editors. One or two of them even took the trouble to answer using the SAE I'd provided, although I doubt from the responses that any of them had actually read the story.

What would a letter to an editor say about this story? Pretty much what I've said in the above. And yet the finished version is as poignant, as deep, as moving as any story I've ever written. It absolutely deserves to be read.

So I put it on HubPages. Here is the link if you want to look it up.

On HubPages all sorts of aspiring writers can publish their own material and, possibly, earn a small amount of money at the same time. If anyone clicks on any of the adverts on the page, the author gets a percentage of the revenue. Up till now I've made $4.65. So, you can see, I'm not here for the money. I'm here for the readership and for the comments: for the encouragement this gives me to keep on writing.

I asked the staff at HubPages to give me a snapshot of the traffic that passes through these pages. This was the reply:

Currently about 600 new hubs are published a day (which is one new hub every 2 minutes or so). 15-20% of hubs end up eventually being unpublished for a violation or removed by their author (for whatever reason).

Total Published Hubs: 135,242

Total Published Users: 27,629

Hubs with 1,000+ views in the last month: 1,929

Hubs with 100+ views in the last month: 13,591

Hubs with 10+ views in the last month: 61,703

Meanwhile, at the time of writing, the Ivor Coles story has netted me 384 page views, while my complete hubs have garnered a total of 3141 hits. That's not that many I admit. But it's way better than when the stories were sitting on my hard drive waiting for an editor to answer my queries.

One day I imagined what 384 people would look like. It would fill a substantial club. In human physical terms that's not a bad audience. It would satisfy most rock bands. It satisfies me.

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I know that many writers would say that this is very unprofessional. It's true. Most of the writers on HubPages are amateurs. There are some great writers here, but people are doing it as a hobby rather than as a trade.

So, you have to ask, what is the difference between a professional writer and an amateur? The difference is that a professional writes for money, of course, and demands a proper rate of pay. This is reasonable enough you might say, and it's certainly true that I could do with being paid for some of the things I write. But the real truth is that most of these professional writers are not writing for themselves. They write for an editor who works for a proprietor whose main purpose is to fill his paper with advertising. So in the end, most writers are writing for advertisers.

You may wonder how this has come about, why I am writing for free on HubPages, rather than for pay in one of the national newspapers as I used to. I am a good writer, not trained, but with a very distinctive voice, and a special skill. I have the ability to invest words with feelings. I can make words come alive on the page. I can invoke a mood or an emotion, but what I can't do, it seems, is write a pitch to an editor.

A few years back I was even a little bit famous. When I went to London people would recognise me. Sometimes, even, people asked for my autograph. Now I'm lucky if I can get the editor of an in-flight magazine to pay attention to me.

One day I was at a party. Someone from my old newspaper, The Guardian, was there. I was introduced to him.

"This is CJ Stone. He used to write a column for your paper."

"Ah CJ Stone. Yes. Weren't you some kind of an anarchist?"

So that's it. That's me labelled then. Some kind of an anarchist. In celebration of which I've stuck a bunch of anarchist writings on here to sell.

So no, I don't write for money any more. I am a thorough-going amateur. A professional writer writes for money. An amateur writes for love. And I know which side of THAT fence I want to remain.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Dorsi and to pgrundy who between them provided the inspiration for this hub.

CJ Stone has written four books: Fierce Dancing (Faber & Faber 1996), Last of the Hippies (Faber & Faber 1999), Housing Benefit Hill (AK Press 2001) and The Trials of Arthur (with Arthur Pendragon, Element Books 2003). Columns have included Housing Benefit Hill and CJ Stone's Britain in the Guardian Weekend, On The Edge in the Big Issue, On Another Planet in the Whitstable Times and Written In Stone in Prediction magazine. He is currently working on two new columns, and his latest book, the "biography" of a well-known supernatural being. He lives in Whitstable in Kent and, when not at his desk, is a part-time postman, which he describes as "like a four-hour workout every morning".

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Comments 79 comments

marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

This is wonderful and I find myself on the same side of the fence, yet, I am reminded that Erle Stanley Gardner was refused over 33 times before he even published in a magazine.  I'm sure there are hundreds more stories like that.

I would rather be a talented writer than one with training.  Training comes in the writing and self-criticism that all of us writers are over-stuffed with anyway. 

I believe I'm good.  I know you are good. 

But there are days that I trash myself royally.  What always wins, and what really sells, is the heart.  Those words that come pouring out, or were yanked out of your soul because you want to tell the tale. 

Editors are an UNnecessary evil and I think the writer must trip over the editor's ego to get them to READ.  It's pitiful and I hate it that you have gone through that.  I've been told that an agent can break the barrier!   I don't know.  I'm putting a book together of a collection of Odd stories with humor about tragic or difficult things in my life and my mother's loss of sight.  The humor wins, I hope to sell, but maybe it won't happen.  Still, as I breathe, I must write it down. 

Don't give up, yet, I think you have chosen the right "write" - for the love of it.

You write, we love it.  I write, I want it to be loved.  I think you pierced the heart of it CJ.  =-)  best to you!! 

P.S. I have found that the instant feedback on HUBS is crucial to seeing how your words affect others. I have written some hubs that I hardly worked on, and they were received in high esteem; and then others that I thought were of a good topic, were barely read.

Figuring in that some hubs get lost, but are still good quality, you can decide what topics seem to be of interest. Still, writers write once in a while because they need to say it, whether anyone else reads it or not.

I'm there frequently.

Don't you find the instant feedback both addictive and helpful?

I'm neglecting my other sites because of it, lol. Oh, ego. haha


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Excellent article as always, CJ. Your hubs are always entertaining and lively....at least the ones I've read so far.

Most people (authors, anyway) would agree with your remarks about writers writing for love, not money. But I think it is possible to have a marriage of the two. It's not really a question of 'can we', but a matter of 'how can we'. Therein lies the challenge. J.K. Rowling is a good example. It took a long time, but she managed to make tons of money from doing something she was passionate about. I'm not claiming that it's easy, just that it is not outside the rhelm of possibility. I believe your time will come.

All that being said, it does get very discouraging at times. Keep working on your queries, and good luck.


Babette Donaldson profile image

Babette Donaldson 8 years ago from Northern California

You have a fascinating range of topics and I was using your hub pages to share with my critique group. We're always asking why we write if it's not for money. Your articles were an a example of the intimacy that's possible if you offer your writing directly to readers rather than letting it sit in the drawer waiting for publishers. This article explains exactly what I was trying to say. $4.65? You're work is worth so much more! I'll be ordering a copy of "Trials of Arthur".


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

I'm sure there are a lot of us that are glad that You are here because you're here.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

It's a mutual admiration society. =)


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hi marisue, yes I have an agent now, and I'm writing a new book, which I will definitely aim to sell. I think the book market is still a little bit loyal, a bit less cut-throat and more fan-based, so I think I will have another go there. I don't dislike editors. All of my chances have come through editors, but they're under pressure, they don't have time, and if you lose that precious commodity, credibility, then it's hard to get it back.


Jeanette M 8 years ago

CJ, sometimes I think I write because I'm not fit for anything else. Don't get me wrong, I do have some skills, but my temperament is best suited for long hours in isolation, low pay, and abuse from editors of all stripes. Really. Maybe some of us are just driven to write. I don't always love it. Sometimes I look at this screen for hours before one single useful word presents itself. I curse myself, and rail against the universe for my inadequacies. Still, every day, before my eyes are even fully open, I plop down in front of this task master. Each time hoping, pleading and praying that just one bit of inspiration will find its way to me.

I love your writing 

J


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

And thanks too Shirley, Babette and Rochelle. See this is why I come here to write, because I feel appreciated. It can be so disheartening at times, as I'm sure you all know. It's a lonely kind of an occupation, and then when no-one even seems to hear what your are saying... sometimes I've nearly given up. But, I guess like everyone here, I just have this compulsion. It's like an itch I have to scratch. A need. Maybe I'm just looking for attention, or, like my good friend the Bard of Ely, I'm doing a bit of shameless self-promotion. That's all right because we all want to be KNOWN, and on a fundamental level, that's what we're all doing here.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hi Jeanette, yes I know that feeling. But the things that cracks it for me - which is why I get on with HubPages so well - is when I know someone will read it soon, and perhaps get inspiration, or a little bit of amusement or joy, or I can move someone to tears, or make them laugh. And then I find the words come very easy. A lot easier than pitches to editors ever did.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

I want to be understood, to make a connection, for someone to say Yeah! That's the way I feel, maybe it "validates" us? Whatever the drive, it's a strong presence in my life, I think I know where you are...the page is there, waiting for our words. For me, to live, is to write.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

That's a good word marisue: "validates". Yes, that's what it's about. Validation. Value. You are onto something there.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

=)  we struggle 'til we hit it, right? LOL


bright_sorcerer profile image

bright_sorcerer 8 years ago from London, Canada

You've hit on a key aspect of the soul of a writer...we write because it is in our very make up to do so. As writers, we put an incredible amount of stress on ourselves if we lose sight of the simple fact that we write because we love to write and in a way that is unique. Not everybody is so inclined or gifted. That person actually referred to you as "some kind of anarchist'"? I have a few friends who would have a snappy comeback with a right-cross lead-in...lol. I've found your hubs and writing to informative and insightful, with a standard of writing excellence that is something many of us are working towards. So, in my estimation, it's not simply just writing to be appreciated or liked but also to pass on one's own unique style that may be of benefit to others. I've enjoyed your writing as much for the content as how you deliver that content. As marisuewrites has pointed out... yes, it is a mutual admiration society. The support and encouragement one gives to a writer experiencing doubts today will be returned to us at a time when we least expect it. Love that mutual support!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Thanks for that Bright Sorcerer: yes, you and marisue got it about right. The joy of this place is the joy of mutual support for writers. That's what I've felt ever since landed here. I guess this is why I slightly object to the business model that seems to float about on some of the hubs and some of the forums. It's not that I object to people making money: far from it! But this is limited and a closed community in some senses. There's only so many adverts that you and I and all the others can click on and it seems to me that the BEST aspect of this community, by far, is that mutual encouragement and mutual support. I've never had that before, and I'm really glad I've found it here.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

You mentioned 'shameless self promotion'....if we don't promote ourselves, who will? I say promote the hell out of yourself and your work. Why not?


cjcs profile image

cjcs 8 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

Writers write because they can't not write. It's something that takes a while to learn for many, I think. At some point, if the writer is any good at all, the allure of money distracts them. Don't get me wrong--I love it when I get paid; but when the checks don't come and you still write anyway...well, for me that really nailed home the fact that no matter what else I might do, a writer is what I am. Whether in email, blogs, hubs, notes to myself, or stories and novels...many hours every day are spent writing several thousands of words.

And you're right: the feedback is great, too :-)

CJ


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

I agree Shirley. It's what we're all doing, and I have no intention of stopping.

And hi CJ, from CJ! What I discovered was that I actually got depressed when I didn't write. And when you're writing for money sometimes the dejection, and fear of constant rejection, gets you down, so you stop writing altogether. That was the lowest time for me. Now I just think f---it, I'm going to write whether any editors want to see it or not, and the beauty now is that my prospects as a "proper" full time writer are soaring along with the confidence that being here has given me.

So - and this is for everyone on HubPages - thanks for this. It's been a real blessing!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Chris, you know my troubles with editors and getting paid work and I have just found out today that it looks like I have lost Tenerife News too now - the editor has retired, none of my stories are in (nor the last couple of editions) and worst of all: they are appealing for people to send stories and photos in for nothing, suggesting this could be a hobby for some retired people. Just like the Tenerife Sun did when it changed hands - the editor wanted writing for nothing! No use to me though!

Meanwhile like you I am getting no response to pitches sent to editors so maybe I am no good at this too or maybe they have decided I am some sort of "anarchist" as well!

 I get nothing for my music too - 1.45 PRS royalties on my last statement, and I can hardly retire on that! lol

Maybe I ought to self promote even more? 

 


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hi Steve, sorry to hear about all those great ideas of ours being ignored. Sometimes I would rather a straight rejection. At least then you know someone is paying attention. It's the sheer ignorance that gets me. As for shameless self-promotion, well I think it's ok here in our little mutual admiration society, but you have to be a bit more cagey with editors, I think, a bit circumspect. Not too friendly. Not too imposing. At the same time not too reserved that they don't notice you. Not sure. I sure as hell never got it right.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Like I said, Chris, the new Tenerife Sun editor even replied to someone who wrote in trying to help me get my column back asking who this Steve Andrews was? Even though I'd been in every issue since 2005 with a colour pic and a blurb saying I was a "singer-songwriter, poet and amateur naturalist!" I responded saying what on Earth do you have to do here to get noticed? I would have thought I was a colourful enough character, but clearly not!

Well, I'm not giving up on any of it and in the words of an old song: "You ain't seen nothing yet!"

And I am going to carry on posting plenty of stuff here and make this my main site on a personal level and as a showcase.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Yes Steve, that's what I'm doing too. It's a free website basically, with the added bonus you share it with all these other writers who take the trouble to read and respond to your work. It's great. Trouble is I had all these business cards made before I joined so they've got my blog and my webpage, but no HubPages address. Oh Well. The shameless self-promotion must go on!


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 8 years ago from West Virginia

Well my two cents--if it is even worth that today! I used to write poetry in my teens, but my father threw out my book and I have long since forgotten how to write poetry or anything for tha matter. I am starting anew on here--thanks to SirDent who gave me this website in the first place. I know right now that my writing sucks big-time, but for me I am taking all this as a learning process and eventually I will get much better. I don't expect to get paid, but it would be nice. I am a housewife---I mean Domestic Engineer hahahaha!! so if I get paid great but if not--no hard feelings! I just want to sharpen my writing skills and learn my style and what it is. I am working on a large hub right now about my own awakenings. I don't know when I will have it finished, but the name of if will be Whispers from Oz. It might be a week or two because this work in progress is going to be tuned and tuned some more and fine toined again until I feel it is good enough to publish it. I am not sure how long these hubs can be or if I have to have many parts to the same story? I don't even know if I can add to hubs I already have or should call them part 2 or 3 when I add something else to the first hub? I learned Creative Writing in college and I often splash thoughts all around or just let my thoughts flow on the page until I can't think of anymore to write about on that subject. Then I go back and organized them. It seems to work for me.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I read recently that in the print world - which used to pay fairly decently - they have started taking on the traits of the internet world. They will buy substandard work, or work that isn't what they were really looking for, just because it is cheaper. I'm really hoping it's a bad rumour.

Almost all online clients want writing for next to nothing. Naturally, for the most part, the work they buy is not very good at all, and sometimes plagerised. I really hate to see the print world go that way.

Sad times.


New Day profile image

New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

CJ, like you, I adore writing. What better place than HubPages to publish articles and get readers. Don't ever give up. I love your voice. New Day.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hello Lady Guinevere, well anyone who say "I know my writing sucks big-time" is fine by me. One of the reasons I love coming here is to here the different tones of voice, the different accents here. I mean, you can. The very structure of the way things are put tells you what the voice sounds like. I love this. And so far your attempts have been brave and honourable and I look forward to reading more. As for the legnth, I think I hold the record for that. My Beyond the Forest hub weighed in at over 10,000 words, but it was too big. The best length is about 1500 -2000 words. Beyond 2000 and the words have to be very good indeed. You can divide the piece up into capsules in the same hub, or you could have a series of related hubs with one hub to bind them all together. jimmythejock has a couple like that which I would recommend you looking at. Good luck with all your efforts and I look forward to reading the results.

Shirley, yes I think the print world is under pressure too. In my local there's only two freelancers left - me and another guy who alternate our columns. The rest all got fired. And the pressure is huge. Mostly editors don't reply not because they're ignorant, but because they just don't have time to keep up with their correspondence.

Hi New Day, yes, I really like HubPages. It's easy to use, there's a large potential audience, and everyone seems genuinely interested in everyone else's writing. It's my phrase of the day, courtesy of marisuewrites: we're a mutual admiration society. I love you all!

New Day I'll come over and have a look on your pages in a short while.


Jerry G2 profile image

Jerry G2 8 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

Great hub, thanks for sharing! I still write for money, but it really is my own writing, and the page views that come with it, that really fill me with joy. I'd rather have 20,000 people read my articles and not get paid a penny then get paid a lot of money for an article only a few people will ever even glance at. Thanks for sharing!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Yes, that's what I think Jerry. That We're Here because We're Here story was just being wasted and in the end I decided I wanted it to be read. Money isn't everything. I still get paid for some stuff.


Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 8 years ago from Australia

CJ and Bard.

I love reading your work.

Thank you for sharing it here at Hub Pages.

There are SO MANY other talented people writing here. Many hating the things they do to earn income so that they can survive.

What's wrong with the world, where so many with something to say are drowned out by the empty rhetoric of those with nothing to say?

I can understand the need to go cap in hand to publishers in the past.

But now, surely, a group, or co-operative of good writers should be able to band together, convert their precious words into easily downloadable E-books, and sell them.

Or publish and sell hard copies through places like Lulu, cafeperess, or on Amazon via Booksurge.

By becoming known on social sites, developing a following for your shorter writings, wouldn't it be possible to generate some income from your longer works?

And if not, what are the missing pices of the puzzle that would have to be put in place?

Regards, Eric G.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Eric, you know this might not be a bad idea. A Hubages collective. Maybe a HubPages compendium to start with. I think we should all think about this. What would it take? What really got me trying to seel out there in the "real world" was when I discovered that it's the same set of writers who do most of the columns in Britain, but there's nowhere where MY opinon is heard. I think, how come, surely there's room? But I think that line from the Guardian says it all. Some kind of an anarchist. And that's the end of you then.


Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 8 years ago from Australia

Yes Chris, the old "Pigeon Hole" mentality. I used to work in the public service for a while, and know the concept well.

Well, There's an idea that I had some time ago, and have not done anything with.

It involves releasing small parts of a large e-book free, on a weekly, 10 day, monthly, or whatever -  basis.

But the entire work is available immediately if a payment is made.

I was going to use it for some training material that I'm creating. 

 The idea being that people are so keen to read the next part of the work, that they will pay for it instead of waiting for the next free installment.

(I've already got a name for this system in mind, as well as a domain name - but this is the first time that I've mentioned it anywhere.)

So - What do you all think. How would something like this work.

Where you provide really good content to the reader, and use the Zeigarnik Effect (google it) to make them want the next bit NOW, (and pay for it) rather than wait for the next free instalment?

To my knowledge, nothing like this has been done on the net, and I reckon it could be VERY effective.


Helen 8 years ago

CJStone: I very much enjoyed this hub and empathize quite experientially with what you decry here.

My own experience with the print publishing world, other than my own writings that have been published, is as a long-time book reviewer of many kinds of books...fiction, health, feminism, pop psych, finance, self-help...etc., etc., etc. To echo Shirley Anderson's concerns, far too many of the books I was asked to review (and this was even before the internet was the huge phenomenon it is today) were of questionable quality, substandard "writing" by "authors," not real writers. Because of this output of books of low writing - yes, they were from the big publishing houses: HarperCollins, Random House, Ballantine, Harcourt Brace, etc., etc. - I developed a personal policy: I would only review quality-written books and I refused to give newspaper space to badly written works or to junk writing or to junk subject matter. With the 500-word or 1000-word columns I was writing, I'd decided my columns were better spent on quality works, even if I disagreed with certain premises in the nonfiction works, even if I had any misgivings about certain aspects of the fiction works, when the writing and the thought and creativity were of evident talent, then I would review the work for my readers. Why give space to bad writing when there's so little space to review the quality books?

So, like everyone here CJ, talented writers are operating in a publishing world swarming with no-talents. How some of these latter get published in the first place is beyond me. How to get over the hump of finding an editor who will actually read your query letter, let alone your completed manuscript, is a mystery. How to get an agent on your side so you can feel it is fruitful to focus on a particular project - and take the time from your need to earn an income and from your family and social life - that such agent is interested in pursuing on your behalf is yet another mystery. How to break through the barriers in the traditional publishing industry is mystifying as well. As you point out, CJ, editors, agents and publishers have completely different agendas than we writers do. And they certainly don't care that we may need to eat and pay rent while we write their big blockbuster that will sell to multimillions of readers.

I totally agree with everyone who has commented here that we writers write for the love of writing and for the compulsion to write. And, yes CJ, depression IS a byproduct of a creative person not doing his/her creative work. This is something I counsel my creative patients about. That ART is a verb. An artist must art. A writer must write. (It's in my hub "Writer's Mind: Rare Blend of Logic and Invention" which you, CJ, read and commented upon.)

However, it's really important that writers realize their talents, efforts, time and unique abilities to express what readers will learn from and enjoy deserve to be paid for. Perhaps the reason writers are being offered "internships" and low or no pay is because writers are letting online publishers and periodical editors and book publishers get away with this practice. Loving to write is not the opposite of getting paid for your hard work and your writing gifts.

So, my fellow writers, don't give away your writing work free! HubPages is a wonderful example of how a quality writer can display varied works (and not be pigeon-holed into one specialty area or genre, either) - without spending a dime on snail mailing manuscripts - where one's prospective editors, agents and publishers can be invited to "go see my piece on xyz subject and note my writing style, or my varied writing styles" depending upon the topic and "if you like what you read, my writer's voice, or my points of view, get back to me with an offer to represent me or to purchase my work." Enough said. -Helen (a.k.a. Creativita)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Eric, you read my mind! HubPages is a veritable gold mine of great writing. I'm surprised HP doesn't already have a process to compile "Best Hubs" or "Favorite Hubs" and offer them as E-books or something similar. Great idea offering chunks for free over a long period, but the whole thing immediately for a price. Similar to "Buy It Now" on ebay.

Chris, looking forward to your next book!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Nobody wants to write in a vacuum despite the fact many of us can't help writing anyway. I read your stuff CJ; you rock and you have have an audience here. That has value as many have already said.

When I was a kid I read Piers Anthony fantasy/sci-fi stuff a lot. I remember reading about how he "wallpapered his study" with rejection slips. I hang mine up every time they come with pride. I smile when I see all of those papers fluttering in the wind at the end of Moulin Rouge too, fancying them to be rejection slips as well.

It is what it is.

Rock on CJ and I hope your next book brings you great rewards, whatever they may be.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

Hi CJ I really enjoyed your Hub and it certainly struck a chord. I worked in the newspaper and magazine industry for twenty years introducing electronic editing systems into newspapers and magazines so I know the story from the other side of the fence too.

I used words to enbale me to do my job. Presentations, motivations, tenders,progress reports,magazine articles, course materials and of course copious research and emails have all flowed from my fingers over the years. It is only recently that I have discovered hubpages and the great community, some of whom have become fans and actually read my stuff. I am always thrilled and flattered by the comments and I really enjoy some of the fun posts that take place. I have no illusions about becoming published in the written world but I guess I will eventually write that novel for myself. I have published 10 hubs to date on diverse subjects and have 499 hits to date. For me this is great and I really enjoy your and others in their writing.

Long live Hub pages! 


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hello everyone! You know when I was thinking about this hub I knew it would strike a chord. It's not that I mind or object to people trying to make money here. In fact the first hub I read (after the Bard's, of course) was pgrundy's hub about making money writing on-line, which was a hot hub when I first came here six weeks ago, and is STILL a hot hub today. That shows that this is a prime concern for many people here, and that it was a prime concern for me too at the time. But, then pgrundy in her own inimitable way, made me laugh my socks off, and that was it: I was addicted. I suddenly saw the potential for COMMUNICTION here, for COMMUNITY, for the expression of our COMMON humanity, which is at root what I've always been trying to find.

Eric, I'm not sure e-books work. You can't go on reading on-line for as long as you can read an ordinary paper book. My one long hub didn't quite work, and in future all of my longer hubs will be made up of smaller linked pieces. Maybe you should try it out, but 've downloaded several free e-books in the past and I've never finished one of them.

Helen, thanks for the comment. You talk about depression as a consequence of unexpressed talent, but shall I tell you what is the MOST depressing thing? You hint at it in your analysis. It's that really bad writers are out there making sh*t loads of money producing nonsense, while all the REAL writers are here on HubPages it seems (and some other sites) writing for peanuts. It's depressing when you know you can write but no one seems to want to know.

Shadesbreath, I think you and I started about the same time. I'm not sure. But what I like about it is that those of us with a distinctive voice - and I count you as one of them - have been able to make a difference in a fairly short time. OK, so we probably won't make a lot of money, but we sure as hell have made a big splash here, and I'm vain enough for that to suffice. One of the comparisons I've often made is between rock music (which I grew up with) and writing. The difference is, when a band finish their set everyone claps. When we finish writing, what do we get? Silence. Maybe several months wait. Maybe then a review. Here at HubPages we get that round of applause, and I LOVE it.

sixtyorso, yes, and we're back to the idea of community again aren't we? A community of writers all giving each other encouragement and hope and feedback and, maybe, a sense of direction and purpose, knowing we have an audience, and that the audience are our PEERS. That's important. Nothing beats it. Peer review is the basis of all true science and all true art, and I just hope that I can continue to be as encouraging to you as you have been to me.

Thanks again everyone. you've all helped to make those few hours spent in energetic contemplation - which is my method - worth it.


Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States

CJ,

I read the long hub you mentioned and I would read another and another if you should publish them here. Your words flow like water from a mountain to the valley with such grace that I am captive to your words. If only I could write as well as you, I could express how wonderful your writing is to so many. The closest I will probably get to book publication will be the e-book I am working on now because i'll do it myself and probably give it away. That will suit me perfectly because I could care less about the money that may come from writing. I simply want to write and have readers enjoy my work. If I had to write for money, I would probably lose the love and passion that I have for it. When that is gone, so are the words! I may as well donate my writing free so that hopefully I can at least help 1 person to improve something in their life because of something that I wrote. If that happens, I will give away every word I ever write for that 1 person.

Keep writing and promoting, CJ. Never give up! I'll be glad to help promote your books! I wish you all the best!

Bonnie


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hello Bonny. Wow. Thank you. That was a ringing endorsement if ever I've read one. I have actually got several more of those, all the stuff i was writing in Romania last year when no one was paying any attention to me. It would take a bit of work, but I might well start putting them up, although I still think I was testing people's patience a little with that one, so I will probably do them as a series of linked hubs rather than one big one. But you've made me want to have a go at this, so I will. Might take a week or two, since I know there's still some work needed. And thanks again for your encouragement and support. You don't know how much it means to me.


Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States

I'll be eagerly watching for them, CJ! Either all on one page or on 100 pages, doesn't matter to me! I am honored that you are so willing to share with us here at HP!

Bonnie


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

I completely agree with you, CJ.

I am a writer who spends a lot of time writing technical stuff and paralegal stuff and keyword-focused stuff, just to make ends meet.

Coming to HubPages was amazing, because suddenly I was free to write ... anything at all! ... and people would read it, and praise it! Even my more personal stuff about spirituality and personal growth, and even my poems.

It was amazing - I was hooked from the start. Feedback is crucial.

Writers are communicators, first and foremost. We may be alone when we write, but we have our audience in mind, and we know how we want them to feel after reading our work.

HubPages is a great platform, and the beauty of it is that each page keep attracting viewers and making a few cents a month - forever.

So, over time, that $4 a month becomes $20, and then $50, and then a couple of hundred. Not enough to pay the rent, but certainly enough to upgrade one's brands of coffee and chocolate - the twin fuels of inspiration.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

CJ - I'm entirely with you on this one. My 'day job' pays pretty well and from time to time I've supplemented that by writing articles about my own field, for the industry publications. But the writing I do from choice is mainly poetry, a couple of blogs and recently my offerings here on hubpages. Living where I now do, there are not the ready writing communities I was used to in London and elsewhere. Virtual communities (like this) are great for writers and in many ways more than a substitute. The international audience, though challenging, is also very liberating. It's good here!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Good stuff, as always,CJS. I'm searching for that elusive balance act of doing both: Writing for advertisers because it makes money, and writing the fun stuff here on HP. Think I'll ever find it?


drummer boy profile image

drummer boy 8 years ago from Kirksville,MO

great hub CJ. I love to write, so that is why I do it. If I make a few bucks on the side; bonus. Keep up the good work.


Cailin Gallagher profile image

Cailin Gallagher 8 years ago from New England

I write because if I don't, I'm not alive.  It has taken me years to accept this fact.  I suppose I could have a worse addiction.  Great hub.  I think that you have touched a chord here.


pgrundy 8 years ago

Holy cow CJ! You hit a nerve with this one didn't you?

Our internet service was down for 5 days, and over those 5 days I had a lot of time to decompress and reconsider some of the writing I do for money. I was doing this blog where I started out contracting for 25 articles a week on personal finance at $225.00, but then the buyer said, well, what I really need is blog posts--so I started writing a post a day only then he decided he wanted to pay me $65 a week for that. Okay, whatever. Then he started throwing all this other work at me and telling me what to write--like, write a 600 word post that's basically an ad for this Coca Cola website. (Yuck. Seriously, don't you think Coca Cola has enough advertising already?) After a couple of months, I was feeling so annoyed with this gentleman, and all of his now-do-this now-do-that, and I realized I was producing really good work for about $9 an article.

That's not even the bad part...

So Wednesday (just before my internet service went down) I get a bill from the third party website where I picked up the work--the bill was for $639---they wanted 8.75% of a year's work for this fellow because he set it up as an annual job through them for $9700. And I've hardly even made $639 so far--he still owes me for the last 6 articles in fact, articles I'll likely never get paid for now.

I told him to just get another writer, then I contacted the freelance site and got the fee waived. Wouldn't you know it, he was upset. He didn't want to lose all the 'momentum' that 'we' had built up at his site. I thought, well pay me properly then you big loser. Or get a $9 an hour writer and good luck to you. So that was that.

I'm telling you all this because I've decided my work for pay sucks ass, and HubPages is the only place I'm really having any fun with writing lately, and it's for precisely the reasons you lay out here. It is so terribly ironic that that hub I have on how to make money writing online is still so popular---I already hate most of the freelancing work I get. If I write one more MLM promotional piece I'll vomit all over my laptop, so I'm not going to write one more MLM piece, not for any amount of money.

Big box bookstores ruined paper publishing, and the internet ruined whatever was left after that, but I still feel good about what I write here, and I don't feel hopeless about it. I know I've produced some good pieces.

I love your work and I'm so glad you are here. Also, you already had WAY more hits than I do. So, you know, that Google thing might pay off eventually (good thing we don't have to feed ourselves with it though, huh?)

Thank you for this hub. It nails exactly how I feel about it all.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Very interesting article CJ. I have heard horror stories about submitting to publishers. That's probably one of the reasons I started ramping up my writing here at HubPages. I've always done better with creative freedom- and there is definitely alot of that here.

I am looking forward to reading more of the topics you write about- they are fascinating and have so much depth-

And I like your comment about the 4 hour workout- that's a wonderful way to get exercise and make money at the same time!


Die'Dre' profile image

Die'Dre' 8 years ago from The Great Pacific Northwest

Wonderful read. You do know how to involve the reader and evoke emotion.

I love to right and HubPages allows me a great outlet and I like it when my words hit home with someone.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hello everyone, thanks for all the comments again. I've had a day off being ill, so it was great to come back to all this interest.

Inspirepub, yes I'm hooked to HubPages and have been since the first comments started flowing in. You spend so many years hearing nothing, and then this: it's such a release isn't it?

Paraglider, I think this on-line writing community is better than ones you might find in the real world. It's the sheer diversity of background and writing style that makes it so interesting.

Constant walker, I still write for the print media, and, to be honest, it remains the only viable way of making money out of this trade, but who needs money when you get feedback of this quality? It's like having a bunch of critics for friends willing to read and respond to every word.

Drummer boy, Cailin, yes I know how it is. You write cos its in your blood. Because it's impossible not to. Being here is a kind of mas therapy for writers and it's great hearing other people's stories.

pgrundy, no, that can't be true! I can't have had more hits than you. Is that true? So what will you do now that you've lost this other on-line work? I know things are tight for you. Will you have to find something to replace it with? I think the guy should pay you more, you are WAY too good a writer to be stuck with underpaid hack work. Overpaid hack work is another matter.

Hi Dorsi, well it was you who made me think of this hub, so it's you I have to thank for this. Is that "karma" again?

Die'Dre'. HubPages is great for every writer and I plan to come over to your pages later in the day, so expect a comment.

And thanks again everyone. This was a successful hub, at least in terms of the comments.


pgrundy 8 years ago

Hiya CJ! Sorry to hear you were under the weather, so glad you are back No, I'm ok about letting the work go. I still write two columns a week on finance for a guy who pays me well, and I can pick up new work when I'm ready. But I think I'll take a breather. I've noticed the 'bait-and-switch' tactic is very common at Elance--here's a free warning to anyone picking up work there. If the buyer starts changing up what you agreed to, run! I learned from this. It would just be nice if buyers were, I don't know...nice! I did try to negotiate better pay with the $9 guy, but he said he's too broke so I'm outta there. It's never boring, that's for sure.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

pgrundy, you should do a hub about your experience at Elance to warn people about this kind of tactic. You could link it to the "Making money on-line" hub, as a sort of post-script warning.

To everyone: I've got about ten days off work, and I'm going to write another kid's book. I'll have to see if I have time to add a new hub over here, though I will certainly be catching up with everyone else's hubs and probably leaving comments.


pgrundy 8 years ago

That's a great idea actually. Thanks! I will write that by way of warning.

Good luck on your childrens' book and your ten days off work. That sounds lovely.


NateRider profile image

NateRider 8 years ago from Missouri

Writing is one of my favorite hobbies. I've never tried to give an editor or a newsgroup anything I write, so I cannot know the plight you endured. But, as for writing on HubPages, that's something I can relate to. Keep writing and enjoying what you do here. Great Hub!


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

Nice hub CJ, it seems like you've had a lot of time developing how you feel about this subject. I'm sure it's nice to get it all out, and just write! Props to you, and good luck with your future endevors.

Also, that's really cool you used to write for the Guardian. I work in SF, and my sister's boyfriend actually writes for the Guardian now. It's a great publication. If they published you, I want to read your stuff.


CasaDeMataOrtiz profile image

CasaDeMataOrtiz 8 years ago from Fruitland, Idaho

Thanks for scratching your itch, and bearing your soul. Bill


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

CJ, I read your hub this morning, and your words and those in the comments have been on my mind all day, because I've been wrestling with myself about what I'm doing here on HubPages...Why is it that my writings here have been in fits and starts?  What is it that I want out of this experience? 

You and your readers put a lot into perspective for me.

My training is in technical and corporate communications, and I've been writing in a formal style (and dictating that style to others whose work I edit, as well) for many years.  For me, that kind of writing is easy and mostly enjoyable.  I became the *go-to* person for helping employees keep their jobs through operations change and corporate transition (nice euphemism for corporate disintegration and merger).

Finding HubPages gave me an opportunity to step out of that pattern (although you can certainly see the legacy of it in my writings here) and try some new ideas I did not have time for in the past.  The stepping out has not been easy, because of long-time patterns.  However, I see that, here, I don't have to write persuasive arguments for proposing a clinical operations strategy or accepting a process change.  Now, I can write my fancies about roast beef and gossip, share my knowledge of abusive relationships, and give my speculations and opinions free range.

The HubPages founders are pretty darned smart.  They are providing a venue for all of us to stretch, spread our wings, and soar, editors be da**ed.  (I can say that, because I am one.)  At the same time, they've built in a revenue generating system that we can push to the limits if we want, and they've encouraged engagement and feedback among the members.

I know I echo a lot of you when I say, I like being here because I can write whatever I want for an appreciative and encouraging audience, and I can spread my wings while I do it.

Thanks for a very provocative hub, CJ, and thanks for all the great comments, Hubbers.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hey Sally, that's what I'm here for. He he.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

And so you are, CJ. :)


jeysun35 profile image

jeysun35 8 years ago from UK

Yes, It is a valid point. Writing for money or writing for satisfying your inner happiness, someone will monetize your words. It is a materialistic world. Even if you write about a national calamity you can see google adsense ads in that page. Sometimes it may for a non profit organisation which helps the victims of the calamity. But in many cases it is not.


joe strummer profile image

joe strummer 8 years ago from berlin-babylon

hi CJ!

thanks for this hub. I also feel labeled as "kind of an anarchist" sometimes.

but somehow i would rather take that as a compliment than anything else.

i´m new at hub pages, joined couple of days ago.

But it´s a nice feeling of community, and already beginning to feel the feedback flow. Feedback is fundamental, it´s what keeps me going. I write because i have to, because i feel it under my skin, it´s a relief and it´s therapeutical, and if that comes out and makes other people feel something, no matter what, just a reaction is enough. I never wrote for money, but sometimes I got money for what i wrote, maybe is this lack of ambition a problem, or maybe it´s not. Anyway I know that I´ll keep writing until the day i die.

Keep on hubbing like this

thanks


dabblingmum 8 years ago

Ha ha, I don't always write for money either. Sometimes I write for exposure, which helps me gain clients down the road. Sometimes I write for the purpose of advertising my skills and services, like article marketing tactics. Sometimes I write to share information with the world when I'm too impatient to find a publication willing to pay. And sometimes I write to help promote other small businesses like myself. In fact, I am moving my interviews from blogger over here, not for the money potential, but because I think the community here will offer a wider audience than just the newsletter subscribers I have or the visitors to my magazine. I am using hubpages as a way to help promote and educate others, while hopefully being entertaining.

Alyice, http://alyiceedrich.com


ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

Wow! Is there any room left to comment here? Fantastic! CJ, you and pgrundy are two of the most inspirational individuals I've encountered. Another standing ovation is due.

Writing is not unlike performing as a musician in a band that does all original work. It's an attempt to make a connection at a deeper level by offering something very personal and, hopefully, honest to complete strangers. It can be very unnerving. We just want to communicate, to feel a real bond rather than the shallow interactions we are forced into by our daily obligations. I performed for a number of years in clubs in and around Connecticut and New York State in the late sixties and into the seventies. Those were heady days and I miss them profoundly.

I’ve had a few rejection slips for SciFi things I’ve tried. I don’t bother any more. I write because I want to. If anything comes of it, so much the better. If not, c’est la vie.

Thanks for being here.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

To everyone: this has been my most successful hub so far, and I'm really glad I wrote it. I hope that it continues to give people inspiration on these pages.

To jeysun35, writing for love is not "writing to satisfy an inner happiness". Love of self isn't love. Love is communication. Therefore writing for love is about writing for other people.

joe strummer, good name. I have a vague connection with the original in that the Clash's ex roadie lives in Whitstable, and we once talked of writing a book together. "Some kind of an anarchist" was just the label the Guardian put on me because I said things in support of certain protesters at the time. I don't like labels, snd it shows how easy it is to pigeonhole a writer and then to dismiss him. "Some kind of an anarchist" meant they weren't going to let me work for them again.

dabblingmum, it's ok, you can use these comments for your exposure, but watch out, exposure can be fatal.

Hi CWB, yes, it's that real bond I'm after, touching something deep in people to counteract the superficiality of our ordinary relations. That's what "Art" is about. I'd loved to have seen your band. I'm sure I would have been a fan.


koncling profile image

koncling 8 years ago from Nice Winding Room

Nice and inspirational admiration.

But i have one problem, my writing skill is horrible, do you have so tips for me..?


dabblingmum 8 years ago

koncling, there are several online writing programs available for free or little cost, as well as your local community college. But if you want to do it alone, check out a few writing books. You can start with The Grammar Bible By Michael Strumpf or The Gregg Reference Manual by William Sabin.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

koncling here's my simple trick for improving writing style: read it out aloud to yourself. Once it sounds good being read out aloud it will sound good on paper too.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Wow! That's exactly what my 6th grade English Lit teacher Said. Great advice. I never forgot it.


dabblingmum 8 years ago

True, so true about reading out loud! Sometimes when we read within our brains miss things, like words that should be there but aren't or words that are spelled incorrectly but are technically there. I can't remember who it is, but one famous writer actually reads his text backwards to find grammatical and spelling errors.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

No dabblingmum, just aloud will do. You don't need to do it backwards. But there you are: free advice on how to write. It's the simplest trick in the book. That's how you get tonal colour and richness into a text: you listen to the very sounds of the words themselves.


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

My gosh. I came late to the party and it's taken me longer to read and absorb all the comments than it did to read your hub, CJ--but what an honest and wonderful hub it was. I'm identifying with you and so many of the other commenters too that I don't know where to start. So I won't :-)

Let me just say that I love reading your work. You are the genuine article--a really accomplished and talented writer who knows how to dance with words. I love reading your hubs and one of these days, I am going to go over to Amazon and order up one of your books because there is nothing more satisfying inthis world than curling up in a chair and turning the pages of a real book--especially if it is written by a real writer. Editors be damned. You are the real thing and no matter how much bad writing is being bought and sold in the marketplace that can't be taken away. Kudos, CJ :-)


Ronald Daniar 8 years ago

Inspiring thought! I am one of the amateurs here on HP. I even don't speak English in my daily living. Anyway, I keep on trying to write informative hubs. There are many craps on the Internet and we do need proffesional writers like you writing here on HubPages. I also believe that you will earn more soon because of your professional writings.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Thanks robie2, I take that as even more of a compliment coming from an accomplished writer like yourself.

And hi Ronald, I think the main thing here is just to enjoy yourself and get yourself read. HubPages is a great resource both for aspiring writers like yourself, and for old hands in the trade like me. It'd great that we can share this space and not get in each other's way.


Ronald Daniar 8 years ago

Hmm..I like your saying "enjoy yourself and get yourself read"

Thanks for the encouragement!


FoursX2 profile image

FoursX2 8 years ago from Laguna Niguel, CA

"... but what I can't do, it seems, is write a pitch to an editor." Boy, I've sure had exactly the same thought! I think the art of the pitch is just that, an art, and as such only distantly related to writing.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

FoursX2, yes, good writing is an emotional thing to me, whereas a pitch is a more calculated thing. I'm just not calculating.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

Flipping heck - don't you love it when the comments are longer than the hub! CJ I saw your comment on Jerrico's hub re 3000 words/day as an achievable maximum to write - now I need to make about $200/day to loose the day job so that comes in about 6.5c / word. Which is very, very cool because I am starting to get jobs which are paying just about that - $25/400 word blog post. Not enough yet to make the $200/day but at least I am not being underpaid!

I never did bid on sites such as elance as mentioned above because the pay seemed too low. I have had some success on Constant Content I wrote a hub about it here: http://hubpages.com/money/Recycle-Your-Articles-fo...

I find the whole idea of having to pitch to editors too much like applying for a job. I guess the internet to a large extent gets rid of the middle man. My regular writing gigs I have a general topic but what I actually write is up to me. I have pitched once to an online editor - which was accepted and paid for - if they hadn't wanted it I would have sold the article elsewhere or made into a hub! So it wasn't so much a pitch as explaining my idea and why I thought it would fit with their site!

I think publishing is evolving - I used to be a newspaper addict - but I've gone off the paper version a bit now: you can't add a comment and get feedback LOL!


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Excellent hub as usual CJ.

I think in order to be a good writer you have to love it first. HubPages has many people who are only here for the money and you can tell in their writing, and they don't last long...


Gail Jewel 8 years ago

I think your a great writer and look forward to reading you novel when you write it!? I wrote a children's story about dancing sloth bears in India, and sent it to an agent. She said 'it was too disturbing to be considered'. Imagine how I felt?! I write a chidlren's story which I hope is educational and raises awareness to the plight of dancing bears. And get told 'its distrubing'! Thankfully its been read by others who loved it ! I write for enjoyment and will continue to do so. At the then end of the day editors are swayed by who they work for. We on the other hand are not!


Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 8 years ago

I am impressed with your accomplishments CJ, I personally have always been a reader of non-fiction, but I do like a well written novel that captivates the readers and brings the characters to life with a compelling storyline. Great Work.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

Write on, CJStone.....if it weren't for HubPages, maybe I wouldn't have had the pleasure of reading what you wrote!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Hi Chris! Just read this again and voted up! The title is a good question and I am not sure how I would answer. I mean I would love to think I was a professional and look as if I am with a regular newspaper column but I am real failure at making money from my work and also at getting replies from editors. I must admit that lately I have been feeling like what is the point in mailing these people and haven't been doing much promotion of my work in that way. I need to get back to finishing the books I started writing and was keen on doing at one time. I know I would much much prefer a proper job to being a writer though!

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