When one of my college professors suggested I subscribe to WritersWeekly.com, my world opened up. I had always thought I would get a Ph.D. in literature, teach at a college, and hopefully have free time during the summer to dabble in writing. But to presume that I could actually make a career out of writing – preposterous!
But with my newfound resource, I realized I didn’t have to get a degree in literature if I really just wanted to write. I could freelance! I devoured every issue, saving relevant markets and sending off a few pieces, looking for my first publication.
But with graduation looming, I knew I had to find a job. My husband was beginning graduate school, and even as newlyweds, we weren’t quite prepared to live on love alone. I found a job with a non-profit organization, and at first it was daunting. I was working 50-hour weeks, leaving me far too exhausted to spend any time writing queries.
My supervisors are amazing people, though, so after five months, I cut back to part-time and dove into freelancing. I finally had entire days with nothing on my schedule except writing! My success wasn’t immediate, but I utilized my database of articles, collected from two years of reading WritersWeekly. I contacted Angela on several occasions with beginner’s questions, and she always responded quickly with great advice.
My portfolio of clips is now growing, and as it does, I find it easier and easier to sell articles. The job that I originally thought was hampering my success has provided me with a wealth of new knowledge and experiences that I have converted into paying articles. And recently, publications have begun contacting me for reprints and story ideas!
I wouldn’t have even made it off the starting block without WritersWeekly. Thanks, Angela, for helping so many of us pursue our dreams!
Jessica Mayo is a freelance writer and communications specialist. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including Strut, Vision, Dovetail, The Dollar Stretcher, Cross and Quill, and Work. Home. You., among others. She was the winner of the Winter 2007 WritersWeekly 24-Hour Short Story Contest. Jessica and her husband currently live in Ames, Iowa.