Success Story

Christian Authors Guild Publishes 2nd Collaborative Book

In 2003, the Cherokee Christian Writers Group wrote and published Stepping Stones Across the Stream of Time, a collection of memoirs from the members. The purpose of the print on demand (POD) project was to not only produce inspiring and entertaining stories, but to also give new authors a chance to see their work in print. The press coverage given to their book was responsible for bringing a number of new writers into the group. The initial run of 350 books was sold out within two weeks, not only making the project self-supporting, but also adding to the organization's charity fund. …

How My Freelance Career Derailed and How a Sympathetic Editor Got it Back on Track By Martha Miller

My freelance career began about two and a half years ago after reading an article and deciding I could have written it better. It has been said writers need to have a little arrogance and I never thought I did until that moment. The story dragged. It was about shopping for a certain piece of furniture and it was illustrated with an unhappy-looking store clerk next to a dusty, empty bookshelf. The photo was as much of a turnoff as the article. …

A Break Can Revitalize Your Writing Career By Beth B. Hering

I have heard the advice time and time again that a successful writer must work on her craft each day. With the hope that I might be able to eek out a bit of a living in this profession, I dutifully followed this mantra when I began my freelancing career. At first, it was easy. I had years' worth of story ideas floating in my head and was eager to finally get them onto paper. A few early acceptances added fuel to my fire, and I couldn't wait to face the computer screen each morning. …

Swallow the Fear By Terri Pray

Taking the plunge into writing full time has been one of the hardest and yet easiest decisions of my life. In the last year I have gone from stumbling along to writing every day and submitting work at least three times a month. …

Success and the Great American Novel By Jena Ball

I've always loved words. As a child I was in danger of becoming a couch potato because my idea of fun was leaping headfirst into a book and staying there. I'd become so embroiled in the lives of the characters, that it was all my mother could do to get me to go outside and play. Looking back, I realize I truly believed that the physical world was just one of many. I fully expected to awaken one night and find Borrowers scurrying across the floor or a fairy twinkling over my bed. Thanks to the enchanting prose of C.S. Lewis, I also had great faith in the magical powers of furniture. …

It Never Hurts to Ask By Joe Dungan

As a relatively new freelance writer, all I can do is keep my eyes and ears open for new opportunities-and write, of course. Inspiration may have its own timetable, but information can be waiting to fall into your lap if you shake the right tree branch. …

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. …

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