Writing turned my yard sale discovery into $1,200!
Fictional tales in writers’ heads aren’t the only thing that can bring us money. Writing can transform items in our homes into dollars.
Vintage quilts are one of my passions. I scored big at a yard sale once when I found a set of thirty quilt squares. They were all signed, and one was dated 1934! I bought the lot for $15.00. Later, with some careful research, I was able to link the names on the squares to a small Iowa town.
When I started freelancing, I needed to find more money-making venues. The monthly theme for a children’s e-zine was “sewing.” So, I created a fictional tale, based on the real life story behind the quilt blocks, and submitted the story for a small sale.
I was hooked! After I submitted several more queries, my quilt squares were featured in Quilter’s World (twice) – for substantially more money! More queries resulted in my writing appearing in paid guest blog features, as well as national publications such as Country Magazine and Good Old Days.
The point of this success story isn’t simply that eight publications paid over $1,200 for articles about a yard sale item. What it showcases is how to incorporate our personal interests into our career.
Each of us can write about our passions, such as a hobby or craft, a collectible, or a treasured item, to bring funds our way. Do you have an interest in brewing your own unique beer? Do you spend your spare time in a glass studio, or behind a sewing machine? Are your gorgeous flowers the envy of the neighborhood?
Have a brainstorming session. What do you collect? How do you spend your spare time? What are your hobbies? What do you want to learn? What’s your favorite music? Are you a foodie? History buff? List everything you can think of.
The next step is to narrow your focus. What can you most easily write about? What needs the least amount of research?
Next, make a list of possible publications for each subject. Search Writer’s Market and WritersWeekly.com. Do a web search for magazines. (Writer’s Market doesn’t list all publications.) Search for trade publications. Think of ways can you tweak your chosen topic for other genres. For example, hiking obviously targets outdoor and hiking magazines, but could also be tweaked for whole living, lifestyle and spiritual magazines.
Look around you and set your mind to wandering. What’s hiding in your house that your words could spin into gold?
Trisha Faye writes from north Texas, when she’s not spending her spare time haunting antique stores looking for more treasures to write about. She’s on Twitter @texastrishafaye or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/trisha.faye.5
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