Writer makes $805 - with clips 'to go'Written by Cheryl Paquin
An exciting day! I sent out invoices for $805 dollars, for one article and three hours editing. But it did take time and effort to finally get my freelance writing career off ground, with a few tricks learned along way.
Before I began applying for work, I built a Web site for my writing business. I updated my resume, I signed up for a fax service, with free business cards as part of deal, and I dreamed a lot about being a 'writer'. And then, when inevitable could be put off no more, I began applying for jobs. There are scores of job sites on Internet, and I trawled them everyday. Some of my favorites include:
- http://www.Copyeditor.com - http://www.CraigsList.com - http://www.Sunoasis.com - http://www.JournalismJobs.com - http://www.Career.com - http://www.Monster.com - http://www.WritersWrite.com - http://www.InscriptionsMagazine.com
Another great resource is Sunday classified sections of metro newspapers. Just type in 'freelance', 'writer', or 'editor', and see what comes up.
Once I see a job I'm interested in, I apply for it right there and then. If I bookmark it, I KNOW I'm not going to go back to it later, I'm just not. So fully aware of my ability to procrastinate, I made it easy to apply for jobs as soon as I found them - with clips to go.
Many jobs ask for a resume and clips in text-only format. This means typed directly into an email, or copy and pasted from another program. It doesn't mean sending Word attachments, or text attachments or any sort of attachment. It means TEXT ONLY. Remember, your potential employer is possibly wading through hundreds of resumes. Does he/she want to open another program to read yours? Probably not.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO GET STARTED INWritten by Craig Lock
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE Anyone with reasonable literary skills can write, but not many people can write really well. Yet we all have opportunity to use this means of expressing our creative energy. You don't need much: no money - only time and IMAGINATION. To start writing, all you need is a place, a pen, paper and an idea (which comes through amazing power of human mind). Firstly, work habits: Organise yourself (my big difficulty in all areas of life!). Decide WHERE you want to write. Which room will enable you to concentrate and lift your spirits most? I find writing outdoors enables me to be most relaxed and therefore at my most creative. THEN Allocate a few hours a day when you won't be disturbed. Then stick to it with total COMMITMENT (remember qualities of a writer from lesson one?). What other tools are there to help you? The local library, dictionaries, like a Thesaurus. What's that? And especially, a dictionary of quotations. Can you start a sentence with an "and"? All of these resources are extremely helpful to a writer. I find local library especially helpful. Get to know your way around, to find out where things are. Using this resource saves a great deal of time and frustration...and most of all, money - not having to buy books ("El cheaposkate", like me). I am constantly using facilities of excellent HB Williams Memorial Library here in Gisborne. What other resources are easily available? Dictionaries: Such as Oxford Dictionaries of Quotations. They'll always come in handy when you're looking for a good quote. Incidentally, good grammar and punctuation, together with presentation, is very important in getting published. I cover more on this subject in subsequent lessons. As my English teacher at school said, READ, READ, READ. It develops vocabulary (another nice long word). Typewriter or Word Processor? Once you've got this clear in your mind, ie. place, time, tools (like pen and paper), later comes decisions about whether to buy a typewriter, word processor or computer. Word processors and computers make life so much easier for writers: you can quickly rewrite by moving words around or simply cutting them out altogether. They even have a spell check for those not too confident in this area. All writers continually revise their work many times to make words flow better (don't say 'continually' and 'many times' - they mean same thing!). Do you need one? If you want to be published, no editor will consider handwritten work, so you will need to make that decision someday. If you want to write purely for your own pleasure, no "hassle"! My simple advice is to take your time regarding purchasing decisions. Don't rush out and buy now, but wait and see how your writing develops. Perhaps you have an old typewriter in attic to start on, or you may be able to borrow one from a friend in meantime ("cheapskate"). This advice is based on what I did. Start off with a typewriter, because all your work should be typed - unless you're writing purely for yourself. Later you can progress to a word processor, if you really get caught up in writing 'bug'. I bought my word processor just before I left work after being made redundant as a Life Assurance Manager. It was best investment I have ever made in my life! Then I progressed to learning computers. This was no easy task for me, but now working every day with one, I've become quite good (even if I say so myself!). However, I still use my word processer to work in hot sun outside. Hedonistic sun freak! What other tips are there?... * Keep a work diary of your projects underway - keeps one on track.