I have five children and over the last few years, I’ve made thousands of dollars writing about them. I write about our oh-so-precious “awww” moments, and I write about the times when they make me feel as though my head will explode. (Don’t judge me – we’ve all been there.)
Nearly all of these stories are written in the first person, from my point of view. But recently, I discovered that I was missing out on a huge opportunity. I was telling the stories from my perspective and selling them to magazines and anthologies that target other moms. But what about my kids’ point of view? Couldn’t I write the same story through their eyes? I did some research and found a variety of children’s magazines that would consider such stories. I knew I was onto something.
I looked through my archives (Okay, it’s just my jump drive) and found a story I’d written a few years back. It was about my nine-year-old son, the orthodontist’s chair, and the drama that ensued – written from my point of view. The story had sold to several regional parenting publications, and I figured I’d gotten everything out of it that I could. I spent some time on it, editing and re-writing it to tell the same story from my son’s point of view. I sent it in to one of the health magazines for kids and they bought it.
Since then, I’ve re-written more than a dozen of my “mom stories” and sold them to various magazines geared for kids. (I always tell the magazine in my cover letter that a different version of this story was previously printed in ABC magazine. They usually don’t mind, but I always want to be up-front.) It doesn’t take long to re-write the stories and, although the checks I’m getting aren’t huge, my hourly rate has sky-rocketed. It’s also eased the pressure of having to come up with new ideas all the time. If I can’t think of anything new to write about, I simply use that day’s writing time to re-work one of my older stories.
And best of all, it’s helped me to better understand and appreciate my children. Now, I try to view life through their eyes.
And did I mention I get paid for it?
Diane Stark is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. Her work has been featured in seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She loves to write about the important things in life: her family and her faith. She is the author of Teacher’s Devotions to Go.
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