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.

I had dreamed of becoming a published writer and had sent in queries every few years, but had never received so much as a rejection letter back. This time I seriously studied writing how-to books and carefully crafted a query to a small, local publication. The editor responded in about a week with the go-ahead to write it. Two weeks later, I submitted the 800-word piece in which every word had been scrutinized repeatedly. She loved it and even asked if I had other ideas. I was ecstatic. Finally, I had broken through and was going to be a published writer.

After that initial success, I submitted three more stories in a row and each one was accepted. The topics were about local resale shops, a wedding coordinator and a gala fundraiser. These were all subjects I had experience with and felt comfortable writing about. Hardly a word was changed in any of them, which I took as a compliment. This was easy