Early in my career, I subscribed to every writers’ newsletter and magazine available, mainly for the market listings. In 2002, a few years into my professional freelancer’s life, I wrote my first Success Story for WritersWeekly:
That was my light-bulb revelation: I could write articles, short stories, and verses for pay, and also earn an additional income by writing about the writing process!
What I’d been slow to realize was that nearly every writing publication I subscribed to was also a potential paying market for writers. Once I’d established that fact, I began writing for as many of those markets as I could.
My success with short stories gave me the authority to write about characterization, teaching writers how to sell their grandmothers (legitimately), and much more.
A foray into journalism taught me new writing disciplines, which I passed on by writing about those for various publications. Having edited restaurant reviews, I wrote articles on food writing. That was how I landed a column in a newsletter for food writers.
While working as a reporter, I was invited to address a seniors’ group. I’m not a natural speaker so I devised a talk consisting mainly of readings from my published work. That paid engagement led to an article on the writer’s role as entertainer.
I developed a truffle hog’s snout for markets, gaining two separate jobs as markets editor where I wrote about writers’ markets. I even found a magazine that would buy a humorous verse about the writing life. As I’d published light verse, that gig had my name on it.
In recent years, many writers’ publications have folded, or become non-paying. Only the strongest have survived as paying markets, though new ones occasionally appear. I recently discovered a website, Write Naked, which invites guest posts. Although I’d dipped my toe in the muddy waters of erotic writing, I was relieved it was only my writing life I’d have to bare.
Close to my desk, I keep a selection of my published writing articles, ready to be turned into a book for new writers. I never forget writing is mainly about earning a living. If I can help new writers along the road to success, that’s a bonus.
Now here I am, writing about writing about writing. How cool is that?
SUBSCRIBE TO WRITERSWEEKLY (it’s free) to receive weekly paying markets via email
Mary Cook is a UK-based freelance writer whose writing interests include self-sufficient living, folklore, humor, and horror. She has written for various writing publications including Writing for Dollars, Writers’ Forum, Freelance Writing and Photography, Writing World, Byline, WOW Women on Writing, Freelance Market News, Write Naked, Fabulist Flash and Star Writer.
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:
>>>Read More Success Stories<<<
Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience
Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed
A systematic approach to writing that generates better quality quickly!
Chock full of ideas, tips, techniques and inspiration, this down-to-earth book is easy to read, and even easier to apply. Let author Jeff Bollow take you through a process that brings your ideas to the page faster, more powerfully and easier than ever before.
Read more here: