Success Story

Filling the Gap By Marion Stroud

I have to confess that when I come across a situation that I don't know how to handle, my first instinct is to run to the bookshop or the library to find a book on the subject. My husband jokingly claims that I don't take a 'pill for every ill' but read a 'book for every situation'. And if there isn't one...well there is a market staring you straight in the face. …

Knowing When to Break or Bend the Rules By Carol R. Cool

Attending my first Christian writers' conference five years ago, I heard all sorts of rules: Always send an SASE. Write what you know. Study several issues of a magazine before querying. Query the little publications first. Write for free to get clips. Nurture your contacts. Anyone willing to work hard can be a writer. …

Browse, Uncover and Write By Sue Sundwall

I am a part time small business owner and a part time freelance writer. If I had to choose between the two, I'd choose the later, but that's not quite an option. Yet. I've been seriously putting my ink scratches to paper for almost a year now and have been amazed at my own success. My aim was supplementary income, but being paid to write can be addictive and enormously satisfying. …

Cat’s Furball Leads to Very Impressive Resume By Felice Prager

Before I had kids, I was a public school English teacher for about a decade. I spent my days teaching grammar, spelling, composition, and literature to students in grades ranging from middle school to high school. There were times that the decade felt more like a millennium, but it was who I was and what I did. When my first child was born, I hung up my pointer and whip, and became a full-time parent, only occasionally wondering about the outside world filled with other people's children. …

WRITING IS HEREDITARY By Suzy Feine

The first children's book I ever wrote was published. My second submission consisted of an article about my pregnancy. It was purchased and published in the Better Homes & Garden's New Baby Book. Still, I had serious doubts about quitting my full-time career to become a writer. …

Success Means Managing Myself By Lisa B. Samalonis

Although the love of writing as been with me since I was a child, the meaning of success has changed through the years. Early victories included a story in the school newspaper or finishing a draft of my novel , written in girlie scrawl in a blue line, black marble hard cover notebook. Later, it meant degrees in journalism, a job as a magazine editor, and traveling abroad for work. …

How I Sold 75 Books in One Day By Roe W. Van Fossen, Author of Dak’s Sisters

After I received my copies of Dak's Sisters from my publisher, Booklocker.com, I approached Schuler's bookstore in Grand Rapids, Michigan to see about getting some books on their shelves. Booklocker.com did a great job getting the book printed and their cover lady, Cathi Stevenson, designed a remarkable cover for me. Seeing the book in print, Schuler's readily agreed and took ten copies on consignment. Those sold rather quickly, so they took another 10, and then set up a book signing for me for a Saturday. …

B.S. Leads to Success By Darlene Trew Crist

My father always used to tell me that I could talk my way through anything so well that I should be an attorney. I agreed with him that my ability to craft an argument was well-tuned, but I didn't want to spend my life defending the bad guys or evil corporations that could afford to pay the exorbitant fees that I envisioned charging. Instead, I sought to follow my heart using my "B.S. Skills," as my father referred to them, to my best advantage on the written page. It has been a long, winding road with some steep hills along the way, but today I am writer and a happy one. …

Market Yourself Constantly By Tara McClellan McAndrew

It was my first official day as a full time freelance. I was still asleep when the phone rang. (Yes, I slept in my first day on the job -- tsk, tsk). It was my editor from a well-known entertainment trade paper. …

You Never Know… By Brad Cook

I built my freelance career on those three words. "You never know," I'd say to myself as I followed up on a job opportunity, hoping it would lead to paying work that I could add to the other paying work I was doing. Eventually, I hoped, that pile of paying work would allow me to become a full-time writer and toss my day job. …

Desperation, Determination and Dumb Luck By Beth Rubin

Little did I know when my marriage broke up--actually, down--that writing would become a lifeline, drawing me out of depression, or that my freelance career was about to take off. My success since then has been due to desperation, determination, and dumb luck. …

Rejected? Change the Rules By Kim Peek

Rejection. It's a problem I've dealt with my whole life. It usually stems from my need to share voluminous amounts of detail with my audience. …

Good Writers Are Good Readers By Damien Roohr

Everything I know about good writing I learned in Portage, Wisconsin in 1981. I was a cub reporter for the local daily paper. On the way back to the office from our standard mid-day fare of beer-boiled brats and string cheese, my friend, Patrick, also a cub reporter and the more talented writer, and I paused at a sidewalk book sale. Patrick handed me Giving Good Weight by one John McPhee. …

Success Breeds Success through WritersWeekly.com by Mary Cook

Certainly you may have my autograph - but no pictures, please! WritersWeekly.com brought me fame and a mailbox bursting with fan mail. Okay, there were eight e-mails, but when you consider that until then I'd only had two fan letters in my 15-year writing life, that was riches indeed. Andy Warhol predicted we would all have our 15 minutes of fame, but mine lasted almost a week. …

Going Back To School By Sandy Siegel

In the '90s, as my television career faded into the sunset, I started to think about switching writing gears. With no degree, experience or connections in other fields, I decided to go back to school, not to get a degree, but to use my college alumni association. …

Five Queries Per Week = Success By Lori Soard

It was in 1997, that I realized my love of writing could be turned into a career. I began to read everything I could get my hands on about writing for a living and it wasn't long before I ran across WritersWeekly.com Over the years, I've learned everything from How to Locate More Markets to Writing and Marketing Personal Essays. The variety and wealth of information definitely gave me a push in the right direction. …

The Writing Coach By Suzanne G. Beyer

"How to get published," read the course title in the community college brochure. At 57, I'd always loved writing but never considered selling my essays. I learned a lot from the course, but my publishing "career" would have to be put on hold. …

From Suits to Sweats: My Crooked Path to Freelancing By Donna Kozik

The Autobiography of Donna Kozik by Donna Kozik. It was my first work, written when I was about seven years old. It was complete with cover illustration, a Swingline stapler binding and thorough, albeit brief, storytelling. My mother thought it was the best thing she ever read. …

My Work Has Value By Damaria Senne

I recently moved into a new apartment and was working on my electronic equipment budget when it struck me that my freelance work had appreciated in value in the past 12 months. After drawing up a list of items I need to buy, I worked on finding the money required. A profile sold to Bona magazine would pay for the new video machine, while a career article sold to Cosmopolitan would pay for the microwave oven. A personal essay on single parenting would replace my old washing machine. The realization that each piece I write could potentially buy me a brand new piece of furniture was exhilarating. …

SOULEIADO–A Success Story By Tammy Banks

Sometimes a story just knocks on the door and invites itself in. That's the way it was with my time-travel novel, Souleiado. It wasn't the first novel I'd ever written: that distinction went to Houdini, a young-adult novel about a stray cat who makes good and whom late writer and activist Cleveland Amory was kind enough to call " a sweet, loyal soul. And a brave one, to boot" when he read it. No, Souleiado was the novel that demanded to be written -- the one that was born out of the grief and loneliness that followed my husband Tim's death in a car accident. …

When One Thing Leads to Another By Karen Y. Hogg

My first novel recently hit the bookstore shelves. Marie, The Lobster Queen is really not my book, but a book ghostwritten by me for a client who wanted to write her memoirs. She did, however, give me a Ghostwritten by on the inside pages. …

Keep Writing! By Rev. Dr. Steve Burt

In the eighties and nineties I published dozens of Christmas short stories in newspapers and in "little and literary" magazines. I didn't make much money, but I picked up many legitimate publishing credits. In 2000 I collected twelve of the stories into a self-published book, A Christmas Dozen: Christmas Stories to Warm the Heart. A backyard hit, it sold out its first printing of 1,000 in 40 days and 40 nights, then sold half the second printing of 3,000 in the next 20 days. By the end of a full year I had sold 8,000 and professionally recorded the audio book myself. …

Baby = Endless Article Ideas By Carrie Steinweg

From as far back as I can remember I have had two goals in my life: to become a mother and to become a writer. I've finally fulfilled both wishes and am ecstatic at being able to fulfill both roles simultaneously. …

How to Kick Start Your Freelance Career By Susan Miles

I must admit, I have never had dreams or lofty ambitions of being a writer. I have always been in awe of those who could write and their ability to inspire and motivate those who read their offerings. …

From Betting Shop Manager to Author of Eight Books! By Belinda Levez

In 1992, I was a UK betting shop manager and aspiring travel writer. With more experience in odds than words, I journeyed to the local library for knowledge. Fully educated in query letters, contracts, copyright and the prospect of rejection, I joined the local writer's group. It was run by novelist Elizabeth Lord who was very supportive and offered helpful criticism. Not everyone was so positive. My husband (now ex) derided the prospect of me being a writer. Undaunted I posted five query letters. My husband found it highly amusing when two rejections arrived. 'I told you so' he laughed. Then three commissions came and promptly wiped the smirk from his face. …