Professional advice on writing for a living from published award winning authors
Professional writing advice from published authors
Have you ever dreamed of a day when you would get your writing professionally published? Some of us have the desire to write a novel or publish poetry, others want to contribute articles to magazines, while some want the life of a freelance writer and take what work comes their way...as long as they get to write.
I think anyone who writes... just because they love to write... has had the fantasy of "living the life" of a professional writer and author at some point in their lives. The idea of getting paid to write may seem like a dream come true. The question is how do you start?
When I first started writing, the entire process was a complete mystery. After all, where do you start? What is the publishing process ? What are the steps to finding work as a freelance writer? How do you go about submitting an article to a magazine? Do you have to have a formal education to write?
These were many of the questions I had in the beginning. Some of them have more concrete answers than others. For instance, education...what kind of education do you need in order to write professionally?
Authors have a range of education from drop outs, to PHDs. If you are writing a fictional book, most people do not ask for your credentials. If you are writing a "how to" type of book or article, having the education and experience to back it up is important. After all, who wants advice from a doctor who isn't a medical doctor (other than "doctor" Laura-- Her PhD is in physiology -- a degree which has nothing to do with human interpersonal relations...go figure).
Finding writing jobs
How do you find work as a professional writer? Do you want freelance work? Do you want to write on assignment or on spec? Do you want to be a ghost writer? Finding legitimate work these days is getting harder and harder especially for the freelance writer. The number of jobs that are showing up on job boards often read something like this:
"I have 3000 articles that need to be rewritten by end of the week. Pay is .20/500 words. If you cannot produce, do not bother bidding"
There are two facts I would like to point out about this kind of ad. First is the rate of pay. Twenty cents for a page of words is so ridiculous it is in the realm of absurd! Who can write for twenty cents? No one that I know...at least not in the US.
The next fact is the word "rewrite". For the most part, what this means is plagiarizing (stealing) another authors work and "spinning" the article. There are even software programs that will do this. If you have a company who is hiring to do "rewrites", I would want to know what the origin of the articles are. After all, if their ethics allow them to steal work, how will they treat you? People who participate in this type of writing are hardly professional.
Finding legitimate work as a writeris very possible. It just takes a lot of wading through the junk sometimes to find the real deal. Never waste your time with "article pimps".
For the most part, writing professionally as a freelance writer, an author of novels, a magazine writer, or any other type of writing job is very possible if you have the talent. you just need to understand some of the ins and outs.
Publishing advice from professional writers
In my writing career, I began a segment on a column I write called "inside the Writers Life". In the column, I ask well known published authors (many award winning) twenty questions or so about their experience as a writer.
Hearing their answers, allows a new writer to have a deeper understanding of the publishing world and what it takes to become an author.Their insight is invaluable, and their answers are candid. This is an ongoing segment.
The best way to share this with all of my writer friends is to link it here:
week I have a new author to interview. I hope that their stories and
insight will encourage you in your writing pursuits. Becoming a
professional writer is easier once you have an understanding of what
other published authors have gone through. Benefiting from their years
of experience and hearing their best advice to writers will help you as you pursue your writing career.
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