My father-in-law once told me that the reason he didn’t have grandchildren yet was because I was wasting my maternal instincts on my pets. I had to laugh at his comment, even while I admitted it held some validity.
Like many people, my pets are like my family. So when my cat, Tigger, developed a serious medical condition, I was willing to do whatever it took to make him well again. As I wrote the bigger-than-my-mortgage-payment check to cover Tigger’s surgery, the writer in me was already thinking of a way to use the experience and recoup some of that cash.
A quick peek at my Writer’s Market revealed nine pages of markets geared toward animal lovers. The bulk of them are written for dog, cat, and horse owners, although there are a few publications geared toward those with more unusual pets. I did some research, checked out the magazines’ websites, and chose the market that seemed to be the best fit for this story. I sent a query about Tigger’s condition and subsequent treatment to my target market, a magazine for cat lovers.
Less than a month later, there was an acceptance in my email inbox! I wrote the story and got paid $50 for it. (Of course, Tigger’s surgery cost more than ten times that amount, but it was a start!)
Yes, it definitely was a start. In fact, I have made about $350 in the past two years, just from writing about my pets. I have written two more stories about Tigger and some about my dog as well. Some of these were essays about experiences I’ve had with my pets and others were more serious, nonfiction pieces. A few of them sold to true animal’ publications, but the majority of them were printed in more general interest publications, including a children’s magazine and a Christian publication.
If your furry friends give you the warm fuzzies, try writing about them. It might not make you rich, but it could at least keep you in kibble!
Diane Sonntag is a teacher, mother, and freelance writer. Her writing credits include Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul and MOMsense. She loves writing about her pets and her children, both those at home and those in her classroom.
Writing for Trade Magazines
If you are tired of waiting for a response to your query because a thousand other writers are ahead in line, if you are looking for new and different stories and broader contacts, if you want to start getting paid for what you write today, you need to read this book!