I’ve been out of the writing game for quite some time. Achieved a B.A. in writing from Ithaca College, and wrote a weekly sports page in a small town for a start-up newspaper for approximately nine months. I am a professional firefighter with a lot of time on my hands, and would like to spend some of my free time blogging or writing on the Internet. How do I get started with little to no recent samples?
You can create your own writing samples. They don’t necessarily have to be published in print. Some writers put up a blog, and then refer editors to those posts as writing samples. It’s simpler than you might think. I recommend buying your own domain but, if you really just want to get some writing samples online, you can build a fast, easy, and free blog using Blogger or WordPress. Please understand that publishing on someone else’s website means you lose some of the control of your content. They can put ads wherever they want, and any type of ad, and they can remove your blog for any reason, at any time. That is rare but it has happened.
If you want to start your own low-cost website, try GoDaddy.com.
As for paying markets for writers, you can find thousands of them, sorted by posting date, HERE.
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