“The most wondrous fairy tale of all.” That’s what Hans Christian Andersen called it. And, when I learned that my writing could lead to non-writing opportunities, I felt like the princess in one of his fairy tales. Here’s how it all started.
As a high school English teacher, I was active in our local and state organizations. I wrote a number of articles for the New York State English Council, including an invitation to submit student writing in a contest held during the Taurus days (April and May).
Such state-wide involvement led to work on a national level. I attended conferences sponsored by the National Council Teachers of English, and joined several of their committees. I also wrote a number of articles for the national publication.
In time, this activity led to an invitation to join a small cadre of teachers asked to travel around the country by IBM, which had an educational arm called Science Research Associates. Teachers were needed to promote educational products to other teachers. This well-paid work took me to several different states, and gave me a glimpse of opportunities that lie beyond the classroom. This teacher was taken out of the classroom, yes, but the classroom was never really taken out of her.
I soon discovered that the same techniques I used with teenagers worked just as well with the teachers who taught them. Years later, I wrote a book titled 500 Creative Classroom Techniques for Teachers and Trainers. It contained many of the approaches I had first found useful when addressing adult learners.
If you are interesting in a secondary income stream for your writing, consider these recommendations.
1) Make a name for yourself.
The universe probably has its eye on you. But, that metaphoric awareness of your existence can be heightened if you do more than you’re now doing—probably writing and querying. Gain visibility—have local radio or television stations interview you. Contact the local newspaper, and provide a hook intriguing enough to have you featured. Power does not flow to invisible people. And, your chances of having your work published are increased as your visibility grows.
Think of ways you can help the universe notice you. You could, for example, offer to talk about the writing process in local schools. You never know what connections are waiting to be made—the principal just might have a brother-in-law in the publishing business.
3) Break the prism of your writing into pieces.
Your book is complete. While you wait for it to be accepted, take select facets of it, and convert them into other pieces of writing. A romance novel no doubt has language ready to be turned into a poignant poem. Your memoir might become an article for senior citizen publications, encouraging the elderly to record their personal histories. You blog about cooking could turn you into a foodie e-blogger, much like Anna Kendrick in the movie A Simple Favor.
Success has been defined as the union of preparation and opportunity. Prepare yourself for extensions of your written words by seeking opportunities that are out there—opportunities that relate to what you’ve written but carry you well beyond your manuscript-domain.
HAS YOUR WRITING LED TO ADDITIONAL FREELANCE OPPORTUNITIES? Please share your experience in the comments box below!
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Dr. Marlene Caroselli is an author, keynoter, and corporate trainer whose clients include Lockheed Martin, Allied Signal, Department of the Interior, and Navy SEALS. She writes extensively about education, business, self-improvement, and careers and has adjuncted at UCLA and National University. Her first book, The Language of Leadership, was named a main selection by the Executive Book Club. Principled Persuasion, a more recent title, was designated a Director’s Choice by the Doubleday Book Club. Applying Mr. Albert: 365+ Einstein-Inspired Brain Boosts, her 62nd book, will be released by HRD Press in in early 2019.
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