Spectator or Participant: What kind of writer are you?
Finishing up my daily routine of searching for remuneration for the words I place on pages and finding little foreseeable hope in the exercise, I go to what works. I remind myself of the true meaning of being a writer. “A person engaged in writing…” is what my dictionary describes. Not someone who talks about writing. Not somebody who reads about writing. Not even someone who thinks about writing. It is a person who actually writes
I realize this is an oft used mantra, especially from this scribe, but it cannot be said enough. There are an exponential number of writers who wish they were paid for their writing as opposed to those who actually sustain themselves from the money earned at the keyboard. I am one of those exponential persons who are currently in desperate need for some paying work.
The amount of pay is also an important desire. I read and apply for all sorts of jobs and hear from none. I looked at the New Year with hope and expectation. This is the time I have set aside and the leap I am taking to realize the ever elusive dream. I am here to tell you from experience and emotion; do not stop!
In a determined fashion I will get there and the when is up to the Divine Manager of all that is “when.” Your efforts will be rewarded in some fashion. Your expectations are a different story. I find it extremely disquieting and often enraging when I read statistics about books published, writer acceptances, and sales. To me, it is the shortest route to quitting. What I write is important, and if the only place those words exist is in a file on my hard drive, then so be it.
There is hope. I am writing this and based on my statistics on HubPages, I can expect, perhaps 10-30 people to read this. One way or another, due to the graces of HubPages I will receive some money for my efforts today. How much is probably of little consequence in the light that I have, philosophically, fulfilled my dream. This is a start to get over a dismal day in the job search realm.
Given the “How to” flavor of this venue, I think that I can reiterate what others have shared about making money online. Since launching the effort to get paid I have been able to increase my readership by over 600%. While it is not a number that will impress I have learned that every effort brings new followers and if I let the Laws of Mathematics actually BE the Laws of Mathematics this will turn into a quantity of true effect and substance.
Here are 10 things to do:
- Write and establish a method of getting other people to read your words. HubPages is a great avenue to start. There are numerous other opportunities that cost nothing.
- Publish a blog. There are many sites that will let you blog for free. I maintain one on Blogspot.com as well as one on Wordpress.com. They are simple and allow you to change the template and design to make the site be more visually attractive.
- Look for opportunities to get paid just by having a blog. Google AdSense is one route. There are instructions on each site that will walk you through the process. HubPages offers one of these services and is also quite effective.
- Create a theme for every web presence you begin. Is it based on personal experiences, or some kind of technical expertise you have? Either is fine. Whatever path your writing takes can be categorized and controlled by you.
- Read other blogs. There are probably millions of people writing for free online and it will help to see what others are doing to get an idea of where you want to go.
- Look for writing websites and read them. This can take up a lot of your time, and not all of it is helpful. At first I subscribed to everything I viewed and what the result was that I would get 50 or 60 emails a day, with only perhaps seven or eight being of use. It takes time to establish what you want and separate out what you cannot use. A simple Google search for “Top 100 sites for Writers” can be your first place to start. My personal favorite is “Funds for Writers.” www.fundsforwriters.com
- Seek and listen for criticism. Getting an idea of what other people think of your writing is important. Remember, the more you write the better you get at it. I receive much kudos for my writing and that feels good, but it is the criticism that shows me where to improve. A good resource for advice for your writing is any of the sites run by Tom Gillispie. Tom is a for-pay editor and proofreader who is quite knowledgable and is a true professional. http://tg-editor-proofreader.blogspot.com/
- Participate in Social Networking. There is any number of locations for this with the potential to reach literally millions of people. Facebook certainly as well as Twitter are the standards. Other sites can be found easily; Tumblr, MySpace, Plaxo are some of the more popular locations.
- Build your own marketing regimen. Whenever you publish something send out an email to all your contacts (those who would not find it bothersome). Develop an email address strictly for your writing and develop professional contacts gained through your research and experiences looking for writing work.
- Write Write Write…Publish Publish Publish! Anyone who reads me will get sick of this statement but it is the very basis of what we wish to do. By having a blog or website you have a way to get some personal validation to your writing. It is important to think that your writing is important because it is! Never give up!
To close out this piece I would remind you that there is but one question you need to ask yourself where it comes to writing. Am I a spectator or a participant?