Make Money Writing Fillers

Written by Teraisa J. Goldman


What Is A Filler?

Open any magazine, newspaper or webpage, and most likely you will come across a filler. A filler is a short item used to fill a space in a publication (or to fill time onrepparttar radio or television--keep in mind that a writer writes these fillers as well).

"The Teaching Home" and "Reader's Digest" actually reserve space specifically for fillers.

Fillers can be as short as a fun phrase; Happiness is thirty-one different flavors of ice-cream. Or fillers can be a long five hundred word anecdote. Fillers are generally nonfiction.

Recipes are fillers in certain publications. Jason Wolfe's free online weekly newsletter, "DIRECTCOUPONS," includes a reader's recipe in each issue. Hints, tips, problems and solutions, jokes, witty quotations, quips, epigrams (short clever poem or paradoxical statement) and other juicy nuggets of writing can also be sold as fillers.

Where Do I Find Fillers?

Fillers happen all around you. Do you clean? Do you have children? Do you cook? Are you a husband or a wife? Do you work (okay, do you have another bread-and-butter type of job?)? Where do you relax? What do you do for enjoyment? Do you have animals? Do you belong to a church or another type of organization? Have you discovered a better/faster/healthier way to do something? You can find fillers everywhere, for any reason, as long as you keep your senses open.

Observe and be alert for unusual or humorous signs on marquees. We read this on a church billboard: Drive-Thru Bible Study. Keep an eye on store windows, traveling trucks and buses. You just never know what you may be passing by.

Watch people. Listen to what they are saying. You will hear twists on old sayings, puns, amusing stories and plenty of jokes.

Mary Ann Hahn of New York says, "Tune in when someone compliments someone else by saying, 'Good idea,' or 'I ought to try that!' Jot downrepparttar 129334 idea. Many magazines use these tips as fillers, and these short pieces can helprepparttar 129335 new writer's break into national publications."

Recording Fillers and Keeping Records Keep a pocket sized notebook and a pen handy at all times. You will be ready to record incidents instantly. Unless you know shorthand, I recommend writingrepparttar 129336 comments, jokes, signs or happenings as completely as time allows. I have found that writing key words only does NOT always jog your memory when you are ready to typerepparttar 129337 filler.

You can use one page per filler, or use index cards, which will be of help when you are ready to file them. File them under headings such as: "Hints," "Tips," "Jokes," "Amusing Sayings," "Quotes," "Recipes," "Personal Experiences," etc. If you feel your filler should go into more than one category, put it in each category and noterepparttar 129338 cross reference.

Each time you submitrepparttar 129339 filler, listrepparttar 129340 date, name and address ofrepparttar 129341 magazine. When it sells, pull it fromrepparttar 129342 category files and move it to a "Published" file.

Additional Filler Tips

While writing, pay attention torepparttar 129343 position (viewpoint) you take to project your filler.

An objective viewpoint may be good if you are making a statement, when it doesn't matter who is speaking, when you report what happens, and when writing certain types of work/shop tips ("Before attempting to take out a splinter, soakrepparttar 129344 area in very warm water."). The statement can stand alone in an objective viewpoint.

Using a subjective viewpoint allows you to use emotions or reactions of a person. First person ("While watching my three-year-old play catch, I...") viewpoints are subjective, as arerepparttar 129345 third person ("Johnny Cash may have made good, but when he..."). This puts us inrepparttar 129346 thoughts ofrepparttar 129347 major character.

Don't be limited to anything. Find out what works for you and forrepparttar 129348 market. Practice writing your filler from different viewpoints. Which one is best for what you are writing? Which one would you want to read? Studyrepparttar 129349 markets to discover what is selling. Like any other form of writing; be sure your manuscript is inrepparttar 129350 best professional form possible. Editors will be turned off by sloppy work. Include an SASE.

Most editors buy all rights when purchasing fillers.

But... Isn't Filler Pay Pretty Low?

Some markets pay about $5 for fillers, while others pay $50 or more. Fillers may not seem lucrative to you, after knowingrepparttar 129351 payscale, but put it in perspective, and think about your time.

Most fillers do not require queries. With that in mind, you just saved weeks of waiting, as well as money for postage. But that is notrepparttar 129352 time I am talking about. Say a feature article will pay you $500. It will take you hours, maybe days of research. Next you will be organizing your information, in order to completerepparttar 129353 article. Finally, you send it out, only to have to rewrite. How much time is that for you?

Writing a filler often takes mere minutes; you happen to read a sign at church with says: "What Part Of 'Thou Shalt Not' Didn't You Understand?" This took maybe a minute to jot down, possibly a half an hour inrepparttar 129354 library looking for an appropriate market, and maybe five minutes to send it off. Maybe an hour. If you are paid $50 (think Family Circle, Woman's Day), that comes to $50 an hour.

Had you been writing that feature article--flat $500 pay--you would have to have it completed in only 10 hours to earnrepparttar 129355 same $50 an hour. Most of us know feature articles' query letters can take more time than that.

Why Art?

Written by Joseph Devon


The following isrepparttar hardest thing Iíve ever had to write. If I can get through this, allrepparttar 129332 way through this, than my little corner ofrepparttar 129333 universe will make sense again and Iíll be able to get a good nightís sleep. If I donít get through itÖwellÖif I donít get through it then you wonít be reading this and Iíve vanished off intorepparttar 129334 world of obscurity. The following isrepparttar 129335 hardest thing Iíve ever had to write forrepparttar 129336 very simple reason that I, in no way, feel like writing it. My father always used to question my interest with art in general, with writing in specific. He used to say, ďIn an English class, you can argue a point around and around, and atrepparttar 129337 end of class nobody will have been proven to haverepparttar 129338 right answer. In engineering, onrepparttar 129339 other hand, if someone doesnít haverepparttar 129340 right answer,repparttar 129341 god-damned bridge will fall down.Ē His point was blunt it is whatís haunting me at this very moment. On one hand, you haverepparttar 129342 very tangible fields of science with direct and provable facts that produce concrete results in our world. Onrepparttar 129343 other hand there is art, where no right answers exist andrepparttar 129344 results, if any, are impossible to measure. The question is simple. Why art? Why am I writing this right now? Why not tuck it all away and become a banker? It canít just be because Iím lousy with numbers. What sets me down in front of my computer time and time again staring at a blank screen that Iím to fill up with words? Is it hopes and dreams of a best-selling book and immortality? Iíd be lying if I said it wasnít. But Iíd be lying if I said it was, too. Those kinds of hopes and dreams are very much a part of it, butrepparttar 129345 truth is, those arerepparttar 129346 things that get me to sit down and stop procrastinating. What happens after Iíve writtenrepparttar 129347 first word, and is still happening after Iíve writtenrepparttar 129348 first sentence, what continues to happen afterrepparttar 129349 first paragraph,repparttar 129350 first page,repparttar 129351 second page and on and on untilrepparttar 129352 ending has been reached, what happens then has very little to do with fame and fortune. Those thoughts are long gone and have been replaced by a string of images and thoughts constantly being converted into twelve-point Times New Roman font. Thoughts of money have never ended up with me figuring outrepparttar 129353 perfect setting for a scene. Dreams of fame are not in my skull while I walk downrepparttar 129354 street talking to myself, working out dialogue. Andrepparttar 129355 bestseller list is nowhere near my mind when I come up withrepparttar 129356 perfect word to fit a sentence together. The enticement of a reward is not what makes me write, itís what gets me started, after that itís something else entirely. Writing, like painting, singing, sculpting, dancing, photography and acting is a form of expression. It is an attempt to communicate something inside withrepparttar 129357 outside world. Something that is important, important enough to make me sit down time and time again in front of this Satanic blank screen. Thereís something inside of you, something inside of every human, that it screaming to get out, a universal truth. No, donít blush. I donít use those words lightly. Whatever you write, I know that itís something huge. I know it becauserepparttar 129358 swarming mass of whatever it was floating through your mind was enough to make you sit down and get past that first word, andrepparttar 129359 second, andrepparttar 129360 third, and so on untilrepparttar 129361 ending has been reached. Thatís a task that requires an enormous amount of will. Something is driving you. Something you want to say. It must be huge;repparttar 129362 blank screen is not a hurdle that is surmounted easily. Does that answerrepparttar 129363 ďWhy artĒ question? No, not really. My fatherís statement contains far more than just a questioning of why I make myself write. It containsrepparttar 129364 question of why art is important to begin with. The more tangible fields have produced a great deal in our world, fromrepparttar 129365 wheel to indoor plumbing. What has art produced besides more art? It art even that important? Couldnít we just do away with it altogether? If youíre like me, such a question makes you cringe with horror. Of course we canít do away with art! But have you ever tried to explain to a non-believer why such a thought is ludicrous? Itís not enough to take them to a museum and stand next to them enjoying a Van Gogh. That sets you at ease, but it doesnít answerrepparttar 129366 question. And I canít settle for convincing myself, that wonít do it tonight. I know I wonít sleep if I stop there,repparttar 129367 specter of my father surely wontí be happy to leave it at that. Good news, though. I think Iím closer to an answer than it seems. Dragging a non-believer to a museum isrepparttar 129368 answer, just not inrepparttar 129369 way it seems. Your enjoyment of art isrepparttar 129370 answer. Art is communication; Iíve already said that. Donít kid yourself, in anything you write there are only two characters, you andrepparttar 129371 reader. There is a bond established between artist and viewer in which something is conveyed. As I said, something fundamental, even if itís only taking a few charactersí lives, tearing them apart, and then rebuilding them again byrepparttar 129372 end ofrepparttar 129373 book. Something as torepparttar 129374 nature of what weíre all doing here is passed along, is encoded in each word, in each brush stroke, in each note, something harmonious, usually something simple. But something is passed on allowing you to enjoy, on some unexplainable level,repparttar 129375 art of others. And I think thatísrepparttar 129376 answer. In engineering, ifrepparttar 129377 right answer is not present, thenrepparttar 129378 goddamned bridge falls down. But if allrepparttar 129379 right answers are there inrepparttar 129380 tangible sense, andrepparttar 129381 bridge is built, is it worth it even ifrepparttar 129382 lives of those who walk acrossrepparttar 129383 bridge are meaningless? No civilization has ever come into existence without artists. No civilization is complete without them. Without artists, civilization would not exist, we would only be isolated mass, unconnected, left to wander over bridge after bridge, because art is communication between one person and another. Art itself is a universal truth. If youíll forgive a slight digression, there is a Zen story that bears telling.

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