My success writing short non-fiction articles for the true confessions magazines began several years ago when I was studying magazines at a bookstore, searching for potential money-making markets, and picked up a copy of TRUE CONFESSIONS. One of the short columns inside, “The Life I Live”, caught my attention. I read it, and thought, ‘I can do that!’ But it was the sidebar that really caught my eye. Wow! They were offering $100 for 500 words or less about an inspirational time in your life. I’d had plenty of inspirational times in my life.
I ran home and wrote about going back to school after my marriage. It sold. I wrote another–about my father, a man who had deserted his family, but whom I’d forgiven and had allowed to live with me during the last months of his life. It sold also.
I checked other of the true confessions magazines–TRUE STORY, TRUE LOVE, TRUE EXPERIENCE. I discovered other columns: “Phenomenal Woman”, “That’s Incredible!”, “Worst. Date. Ever!”. I’d had a lot of bad dates before my marriage so I wrote about one of them. Evidently, other women had had worse dates than mine because mine was not accepted. But, I kept sending things in.
I was concerned the magazines would quit accepting my articles after so many submissions from the same writer, but they never did. Actually, they encouraged me to write others. I also worried that I’d eventually run out of inspirational things to write about, but new inspirational things kept happening to me. Eventually, I even got an acceptance for the “Worst. Date. Ever!” column when I began dating again after my divorce.
Over several years’ time, I’ve earned more than $2,000 writing these short, easy articles. They’re the best way I’ve found to make money while working on my novel; I often write them in one sitting. My “The Life I Live” column has remained my favorite, not only because it pays well, but because the stories come so naturally to me. The articles I write are quite often of a very personal nature, but that’s no problem because the editors allow me to remain anonymous.
Barbara Weddle has had articles, essays, book reviews and service pieces published in more than 200 publications, including THE MISSOURI REVIEW, CHELSEA, THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, CHICAGO LIFE, THE WRITER and more, and has completed a mainstream novel and a middle-grade novel.
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