Am desperately sick of spending freezing weekends in dingy newsroom earning $12.36 per hour as news editor. Too much time spent away from spouse and children, and it’s minus 20 F. when I finish work. Want to resign from job and freelance, and earn lots of money while ensconced in warmth of my home, with two daughters playing merrily near feet. Want a job that will allow me to travel to visit family in Australia at least once a year — preferably during Minnesotan winter.
Have ordered Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $85,000 a Year by Robert W. Bly from Amazon.com. I believe I can live on this annual income and support my travel habit.
Devour Bly’s book and believe all he says. Resign from job with spousal approval, with enough money to cover bills for a couple of months.
Enthusiastically design and print all my own business cards, letterheads and stationary. Buy thousands of stamps from post office for thousands of query letters. Have noticed, however, that minute I sit down to write a query letter, something urgent, like changing baby’s diaper, needs utmost attention. Organize myself by stacking newly printed stationary tidily into filing cabinet. Spent time cleaning desk, and buying pens and paperclips. Also buy tons of women’s magazines — official market research.
Decide I must get serious about writing career with no income gained in March. Enthusiastically join hundreds of online writing lists. Become scared with professionalism of some groups so spend hours and days in more social groups. Feel panic-stricken at decreasing bank balance and spousal concern at lack of writing work. Treble efforts patroling online job markets.
Hurrah! Success – respond to online job for writers and editors, pass editing test and receive assignments: $ 700 per article and $30 per hour as editor.
Hurrah! Defy query guidelines listed in Writer’s Market for regional magazine such as querying by snail mail and waiting six weeks for response. Send e-mail query to editor asking if she wants to see travel piece. Editor replies immediately via e-mail. Sell article for for $400 first rights, payment on acceptance.
Wait for checks to arrive in mail having earned over $2,500 last month. Wait some more and put account into overdraft, paying large sums in overdraft fees. Learn that cash flow is very important to fledgling small business. Also learn that it is very important to keep querying instead of resting on laurels, admiring achievements.
Checks begin to dribble in slowly. Articles get published online. Feel inspired to keep going, however no work. Children are home for summer and time is limited for writing. Head lice breaks out in house, efforts to control infestation that will not quit consumes more time. Finally overcome problem, and sell article on beating Nix-resistant nits. Decide life’s little dramas are good writing fodder.