Success Story

Freelance Success Story By Lois Jean Riley

"You should consider being a writer." Famous words, I thought, trying for another slam dunk with the 24th crumbled re-write. Who ever said writing was easy? I shouldn't have listened. The teaching position certainly looked appealing right now. Teaching twenty-six students was a piece of cake compared to battling with pen and paper. …

Follow Your Muse. You May End Up Knee-Deep in Poop! By Gary D. Robson

I've tried pretty much everything in the writing business. I got my first check for a magazine article 22 years ago, and writing has been a slow, steady sideline ever since. I self-published two nonfiction books in the mid-90's. For my third book, I went with a trade association press. My fourth was a little thing (40 pages) put together for a local historical society. Not enough to make a living on, but they're bringing in enough money to make me realize it's possible to get there. …

Burn, Baby! Burn! By Jerri L. Ledford

Burn out's tough. I paced. I stared at a blank screen. I did anything, including cleaning, to avoid writing. All the while, knowing there were assignments waiting and articles to be written. My heart just wasn't in it. …

Editing my Father By Jeanne Sable

Lately, my father has been calling me Ed. It has nothing to do with his mental state, which remains pretty sharp at 89. It has to do with my recent role as his editor, which proved to be one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences of my life. …

The Day “Good Morning America” Came Calling By Troy D. Evans

As a professional speaker and author, receiving national exposure is about as good as it gets. On Wednesday afternoon, June 30th, I received a call from a producer of Good Morning America inquiring as to what I had going the next morning. …

Novelist’s Life Becomes Reality By Karin Gillespie

The life of a full-time writer seems so sublime. Who wouldn't want to work in silk pajamas or jet off to New York for a power lunch with an editor? The notion was extremely tempting to me, a single mother struggling to support my family with a job I hated. But publish a novel? I probably had a better chance of becoming a supermodel. Still I dared to record my far-fetched fantasy in my journal, thinking that if I saw it on the page in black and white, it might be obtainable. …

Overcome Self-Doubt and Start Writing By Following Your Inner Voice By Alicia Adams

I can tell you two sure things about my life. The first one: ever since I was eight, I wanted to be a writer. The rest of the story of how I became one is, well, a little less sure. My commitment to my writing career reads more like a Britney Spears marriage vow than a literary masterpiece. But that's why I am here, writing this article. It's because the second sure thing I'm going to tell you about my life is this: if I can be a successfully published writer, so can you. …

Celebrate Your Book’s Small Successes By Lori Hein

Playing in the big leagues isn't the only measure of a book's success. Success comes in small packages too, and if we continually create and celebrate lovely little wins, that elusive call from Good Morning America loses some of its ability to rob us of sleep. …

No More Pantyhose! By Connie Lynd Sievers

For 12 years I worked as a freelance writer while holding down a day job, often worrying that I would never be able to freelance as a career. It took me until I was 35 years old, but I now earn my living solely as a freelance writer and plan on never going back to the daily wearing of pantyhose again. …

Determination & Diversity Keep Writer off the RIF List By Ruth Paarmann

From the moment I moved back to Iowa from Minnesota, freelancing my advertising copywriting skills was on my mind. Instead of waiting for advertising agencies to start hiring, I settled for a corporate communications job and soon confirmed that the cube farm wasn't for me. Writing newsletters, emails and web copy was fun, but WorldCom was spiraling downward. In 2002, I was finally included in a large RIF (Reduction in Force, for the few who don't know), and a few days later, the company's scandal came to light. I wiped my brow in relief and focused on taking this opportunity to do what I love: write ad copy. …

Validation! By Mauverneen Blevins

I had just turned 40 and decided to try and find the humor in it. There was plenty. I put together a small piece and submitted it to the Chicago Tribune. I didn't tell a soul. Not my husband, not my three kids, and not my mother. Especially not my mother. She's a writer. …

Writing About Life’s Triumphs By Jayne Thurber-Smith

When I was initially told in September 1997 that my three-year-old son Paul had autism, pictures of him sitting in the corner of an institution, rocking back and forth, flashed through my mind. After a week of crying, I found Judy Smith, a wonderful speech and language therapist. She made me believe that Paul could and would be helped. …

Selling Soap? By Liz Swain

I discovered that she and her husband wanted to recruit me to sell soap and other products that "practically sell themselves." The couple said they hated their jobs and planned to retire young. They asked about my dreams and created a chart to show how much leisure time I wasted. They were right! Although I didn't picture myself hawking soap, I could find time for writing. …

Patience is… By Bryan Johnston

We'd been married less than a month, but it didn't take that long to realize there were a lot of things associated with being newly married that nobody bothered to tell us about. Case in point: You register for eight place settings and you only get five complete sets and a couple of miscellaneous salad plates. Guess who gets to cough up the hundreds of dollars (that you didn't budget for) to fill out the set? Must have slipped my friends' minds to bring that bit of information to my attention. Same thing for clueing my wife in to how many copies of our marriage certificate she would need for when she was going through the fresh hell of changing her last name. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. …

Over 80 Rejections in 10 Years = One Stubborn Author! By Angela Dorsey

I have been writing for twelve years with the majority of those years being rewriting and submitting my first juvenile fiction/young adult novel, Freedom. With over eighty rejections, I think I am a good example of perseverance, or just plain stubbornness. …

The Unexpected Freelancer By Beth Hering

In 1994, I walked into my boss' office at a major encyclopedia company to tell him that I needed to quit my job as an editorial coordinator because my husband had been accepted into a graduate program in another state. What I expected to hear was something like "sorry to see you go" or "you will be missed." Instead, he said, "How would you like to stay on as a freelancer?" With no better prospects, I gladly accepted. …

Write For Money and See Your Words in Print By Terry Tucker Hinkley

All I wanted for my third birthday were pencils and paper, my parents say. That writing passion still burns. At nine, I won poetry trophies. By 19, I was selling articles and poems to national magazines and newspapers for money. A teenage essay I wrote sold to the New York Times Op-Ed page. Soon after, Reader's Digest sent me a check for reprint rights to excerpt that essay. When I married, I sold several short pieces to Modern Bride. I also sold dozens of opinion and inspirational articles to national religious magazines. The checks kept on coming. And they still do... …

Dreams of A Real Writer By Kelly Kyrik

I always wanted to be a real writer. I dreamt of days spent churning out page after page of evocative prose that would impress editors with its brilliance and move readers to grateful tears. There was only one problem: I *couldn't* be a real writer. Oh, I could work at dead-end jobs (hating every one), doodle in a journal, and raise kids, but professional "success" was simply out of my league. …

Second Chance on a First Impression By Tequitia R. Andrews

Start local. That's the advice I received when building my writing portfolio. In 2001, I was new to freelancing, with only a few clips published on the Internet. There were a few newspapers and magazines that I considered writing for in my area and one in particular was a regional parenting magazine that I read regularly. …

I’m the Publisher! By Pamela White

For three years, I've taught Food Writing classes online. Last June, a student proposed that I write a Food Writing II class, and start a newsletter. He believed in my ability to publish a profitable e-zine. He obviously didn't know my disastrous history as a publisher. I started a community newspaper years ago, only to find the workload too heavy and my bank account too light. …

BWOC By Sandy Siegel

As a university undergraduate, I was interested in TV writing, not journalism, so working on the school newspaper never entered my mind. Now, years later, I'm suddenly "in demand" as a writer at my alma mater. …

Another Booklocker.com POD Book Lands Traditional Contract! By Paul Clayton

Over the next three years, I tried; no luck. Books about Vietnam wouldn't sell, they said. Out of frustration, I sold the erights to an ebook startup. In 2001, they entered it in the Frankfurt eBook Awards. Carl Melcher was named a finalist, along with the work of Joyce Carol Oates and David McCullough. I had made it, right? Selling the book would be a slam-dunk now! Wrong. …

Freelance Success Stories By Author Paul Oranika

One day I read an article on WritersWeekly.com that advised writers to be prepared to try new genres of writing and the author placed emphasis on technical writing. Prior to that time, I had concentrated on seeking writing assignments on regular non-fiction, magazine-newspaper type of articles. …

Novel Query Strategy Generates Additional Sales By John K. Borchardt

Like many freelancers, I've seen my income drop sharply in the last couple of years. However, last summer I developed an effective recovery strategy to increase my article sales. My strategy is a variant of the tried and true technique of building on success by approaching an editor with a new article proposal after she has accepted one of your manuscripts for publication. …

My Small Steps to Success By Grace West

In December 2002, I decided to become a freelance writer. I came to the profession with no formal education in writing, and I had no contacts in the writing industry. I believed that I could be a good writer because, at the age of seven, I wrote my life story. And, I have continued writing ever since. I am also an avid reader. The fact that I am a married middle-aged mother with two young children did not deter me. …

One Things Leads to Another! By Shirley Bahlmann

Even though I lived there, I'm embarrassed to admit that I failed to see the obvious. It was only after a friend asked me when I was going to write about the tornado that the light bulb nearly blinded me. I got busy, conducted over 70 interviews, tracked down photographs, and ultimately self-published a 130-page book titled Manti Tornado Stories. Copies sold right out of my hands! …

Who Knows Where $50 May Lead? By Jodi Helmer

When the editor of a small community newspaper called to ask if I would be interested in writing several freelance articles for the paper, I hesitated. He was only offering $50 per story and I was concerned that the articles would require much more time and effort than the pay warranted. But, with the holidays around the corner and few deadlines during November and December, I agreed to take on the assignments. …

Turning Dreams Into Goals By Anne E. Skalitza

Years later I wrote a letter to a local newspaper regarding something I felt passionate about. Out of two hundred letters printed that month, mine was chosen as the second best letter submitted. That was the catalyst I needed to pursue writing as a career. I now realized that my dreams were to be my goals. First I wanted to see an article of mine in the newspaper. It happened. Then I wanted to see my name in print in a magazine. I did. And over the past three years, with a lot of hard work, articles and short stories were published and I was getting paid! …

Stretching For Success By Kathryn Higginbottom Gorin

On the WritersWeekly.com Freelance Job Listings, I found a link to the CBC Radio Freelancer Forum. As a print writer, radio was a BIG stretch, but a little desperate for paying markets, I registered for the CBC forum and newsletter. In one of the newsletters was a request for "consumer" pitches requiring freelancers to test several products and tell which gave consumers the best bang for their buck. The finished pieces were only 3 or 4 minutes long and I knew that this was something I could do. …

Write Beyond Your Comfort Zone By Christine Cristiano

After WritersWeekly.com published my article, Paying Personal Essay Markets, a publicist who had read my article contacted me and inquired if I'd be interested in reviewing a book on sexual child abuse. She'd supply me with the book plus the opportunity to interview the author, but I'd be responsible for writing, querying and ultimately selling the book review. …

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