Writing has always been therapeutic during those difficult times in my life. Whenever there was loss or heartache, illness, or other testing circumstances I was dealing with, I’d find a quiet place to journal, or sit at my computer to free write.
Often times as I wrote, my prose, as expected, was choppy and raw but it was also equally moving and honest. In the midst of me writing about my situation, the healing process began and I realized that my struggles could turn into a viable essay or article that could inspire others.
As a writer, the majority of my success stories that were published in print and online, those in which I was paid for, have been these type of personal stories.
My first ever success story, one that garnered my first big paycheck as a writer, was published in a popular woman’s magazine. It dealt with learning to accept a physical flaw that had affected my self-confidence for years, and learning how to see my flaws as being unique beauty marks, which resonated with a lot of women. Another success story that I am proud of was being published in one of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series. My story was published in the anthology, “Chicken Soup For The African Woman’s Soul,” and dealt with how the loss of my mother helped bridge a closer relationship between my sister and I. It was even more of a success for me when I went to visit a friend in Atlanta years ago and, while browsing with my husband in a bookstore, saw a copy of the book, and told the clerk I was one of the essayists in it. He asked me to autograph it.
There are many paying markets in which to submit your personal essays. Most can be found with a quick Google search, such as the online magazine “Narratively,” which wants “original and untold human stories. Subscribe to Chicken Soup For The Soul to be notified of story callouts, and search “WritersWeekly’s Paying Markets for Writers” or “New Pages” for anthologies that accept essays and calls for submissions.
Essays are powerful. When we write them, they not only help us heal but, in turn, heal others as well. They resonate with publishers and readers who want to read about those disheartened times in your life and how you managed to survive them. In these types of essays or articles, there is always a lesson for the reader to take away. Sometimes, it is just knowing they are not alone, that someone else has experienced what they’re going through, and has come out on the other side. And, it’s nice to share such an inspiring lesson, and to get paid for doing so!
Have a Freelance Success Story to share? We pay $40 on acceptance, non-exclusive electronic rights only. Success stories run around 300 words but we're very flexible. Our guidelines are here:
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Jeanine DeHoney has had her writing published in several magazines, anthologies and online blogs. Her writing has appeared in Mused-Bella Online, Literary Mama, Mutha Magazine, The Mom Egg, True Stories Well Told, Devozine, Wow-Woman on Writing-The Muffin’s Friday Speak Out. Scarymommy.com, Parent. Co., and Brain Child Magazine. She is also an essayist in “Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul and the anthology, “Here In The Middle,” and “Theories of HER-an experimental anthology.” Jeanine was the 2014 Winner of The Brooklyn Art and Film Festivals Nonfiction Co
HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY
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