One day I read an article on WritersWeekly.com that advised writers to be prepared to try new genres of writing and the author placed emphasis on technical writing. Prior to that time, I had concentrated on seeking writing assignments on regular non-fiction, magazine-newspaper type of articles.
Since I read as many articles and books on financial markets as I can find, I decided to to approach financial writing markets. One day, I ran across an ad online seeking financial writers, to do short breaking news-type financial stories. I applied for the job, and the editor asked me to do a write up on any breaking news story as a writing sample. I put that story together, and was soon given the big break I was looking for. I became a correspondent for Fundexchange, an international Hedge Fund News organization based in London, England.
With that work secured, I went back to the non-fiction newspaper and magazine type of work I had been seeking, and I updated my resume with the new correspondence work. I noticed that my query letters received more attention then, and I received more assignments from some editors that did not reply to some of my earlier query letters.
From this point on, many of my articles were published by small to medium type media organizations, but I was not totally satisfied with the income coming in at that point. The best advice I got from some of the earlier books I read on writing was not to quit my day job on my earlier writing days. So all along I kept my day job, while I was developing my writing career.
The next stage for me was a giant step. I decided to do a book, based on the weird and humorous stories I collected over the years while I drove a taxi in Chicago during my college years. This time I wanted to do a self-published book as such a project would help my resume when it is completed.
I sought out a self publishing company and began putting my stories together. That book is called Chicago Taxi Confessions. It was released in December 2002, and is available on Amazon.com. My advice on writing a book is also drawn from many experiences of other authors. Treat your writing as a business; if you can, write everyday. If you can write only one page per day, you will have at the end of one year about 365 pages, plenty of page for a book.
My second self-published book is called Fun Math Workbook. It is a book to help young teenagers develop their mathematics skills. The only drawback to a self-published book is that promotion and sales of the book are solely the responsibility of the writer, so the amount of money you make from that book is directly proportional to your marketing and sales efforts.
However, the biggest break for me was the decision I made to go into financial writing, because over the years, I gained so much knowledge in the field of alternative investments, that I was very confident when approaching a traditional publishing company with a book proposal on Hedge funds, a topic I knew literally nothing about a few years back. My hedge fund book was released in November, 2003. You know the funny thing is that as 2003 came to a close, after hundreds of intimidating rejection letters from editors, I was offered an editor-in-chief job with a major hedge fund company. For me, writing is a passion, and I still write basically every day. It is a matter of consistency. Hang in there, apply some of this simple advice, and you will achieve your writing objectives.
My advice to new writers is to strive hard, but expect overwhelming rejections at the beginning. It is part of the process of becoming a successful writer. Every successful author (other than celebrities) experiences this stage as well. If necessary, change your writing genres, read or scan as many books on writing as you can, and keep your day job until your writing income reaches a point that you can afford to do other things in life in addition to paying your bills. And finally, read the writing articles on WritersWeekly.com. They offer so many valuable viewpoints and other pertinent information on this highly competitive business of freelance writing.
Paul Oranika’s books are available on Amazon.com.