Become a Freelance Writer: Beginner to Intermediate Levels
- 3.5 hours on-demand video
- 17 articles
- 54 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
Get your team access to 4,000+ top Udemy courses anytime, anywhere.Try Udemy for Business
- Start your first year as a freelance writer
- Submit your writing to paying markets all over the world
- Live a life of fun, independence and fulfillment
- Plan a new career outside of the nine to five
- Write in all kinds of categories for profit
- No experience or special software is necessary. Just a computer, a pen and a notebook!
This course will get you started on the road to becoming a freelance writer. It is aimed at the beginner and intermediary writer - especially if you've had little success so far. Market listings and exercises are included at every step to help you find your way in this demanding yet most rewarding of careers. No prior experience is necessary. The course may take up to ten to twenty hours to complete, is broken into 60 lectures over 19 entertaining and informative sections. By the end of this course you will be able to begin your freelance writing career immediately - and with confidence.
- Students should have a basic grasp of English and be attracted to writing. No particular skill or qualifications are necessary, although enthusiasm and the ambition to become a freelance writer will be helpful.
- The course may also be useful to freelance writers who have yet to experience much success - because this course will change that for you!
- Fiction authors may also benefit if they are not sure where to start with nonfiction.
- Writers who lack organizational skills and perhaps struggle with self-motivation will definitely learn much in this course.
This is a short text insert to help you make the most of this course. You'll discover a little housekeeping advice and instruction on how and where to collate ideas you may need for the future - ideas that may well turn into money in the bank in a very short while!
As I say often, I'm here for you, should you need any extra guidance, feedback and perhaps advice about issues raised by this course. If you have any questions at all, please contact me via the Udemy Console, either publicly through a Discussion, or privately if you prefer.
Again, welcome to this very special class on Easy Cash Writing.
If you've ever wanted to make money from being a writer, then this Easy Cash Writing course is for you. For the last twenty five years I've been a well-paid freelance writer, which makes me the ideal person to run this course for you.
For the last fifteen years I've also taught the art and craft of writing online and offline to students from all over the world.
During that time, many people have asked me how they might start earning money from their passion. The fact is, there are hundreds of ways to make money from writing. It's just that most writers get stuck in a groove where they either can't stop writing fiction that doesn't sell, or they believe they're not capable of writing nonfiction and articles that might earn them cash.
This course will show you how to change your mindset in this regard and help you realize that paying writing jobs are, in fact, all around you. You simply need to start seeing them because, really, many are already right under your nose! Join me on the voyage of discovery that is Easy Cash Writing.
This also section contains an audio version of the previous video lecture - The Easy Cash Writing Foreword - for your use.
Listen to the audio in the car or in the bath with your eyes closed.
Perhaps listen to the audio just before you fall asleep at night. It is a well attested phenomenon that information received during a semi-meditative state goes deeper into your mind than during normal waking hours. Use this time to put the Easy Cash Writing philosophy deep within your subconscious.
You need only three things to ensure you start making money from writing - and soon.
1. The Easy Cash Writing program
2. A pocket notebook or portable computer file
3. The right mindset
Of these, the right mindset is the most important. Opportunities to make money writing are all around us though often we don't see them for what they are. This aspect is discussed at many points throughout the program. In this lecture we begin our journey with a general discussion on writing for a living. But mostly we discover the value of having a notebook...
A writer's personal notebook can be his or her most valuable asset. In it, we should record any and all ideas and inspiration we might think of. We should also record possible new markets for our work: not just the titles of new magazines or websites, but also people and companies who might benefit from our skills.
Most importantly, in this lesson, we learn how to construct a list of our interests. When writing, we need subject matter. And the best subject matter for us to write about is that which we sincerely care about. We serve our 'customers' best when we are passionate about our preferred topics. For this reason, our first job as an Easy Cash Writer is to make a list of all those areas, topics and subject matters we are most moved by.
Go find a small notebook now and commit to making it your most treasured possession.
When I released my previous course, The Easy Way to Write Short Stories That Sell, many of my students contacted me to say how much they appreciated the fact they could also download a SCRIPT for the video lectures. Some people actually downloaded the script before the video and read the words along with the video - something I hadn't expected might happen!
Also, some discussion of the Udemy Instructor forums talked about how students also enjoyed having audio versions of the lectures they could download and listen to without the 'distraction' of the videos. I guess there's a hundred ways we can take in information - and the important part is finding some way to make the information stick!
Feel free to download the audio files and listen to them at your leisure.
Any feedback you'd like to offer me concerning the course, please do. Contact me personally through the Udemy console.
In this practice exercise we begin small but with an activity that will become more relevant as we proceed.
When embarking on a writing career it's easy to underestimate how the simple day to day practice of recording your thoughts and ideas can help you achieve the correct freelance writer's mindset.
In the future you will need to be a kind of 'ideas machine' - and the best pay to make that happen is to get used to writing down every idea that strikes you, no matter how seemingly irrelevant or whimsical.
What you're actually doing is beginning to train your mind how to think in written words - rather than using your brain and internalizing everything. The writer doesn't think - he or she WRITES instead.
Understanding this one little concept will begin to increase your written output enormously - as well as providing you with lots of sellable ideas.
In this lecture we discuss the importance of mindset. It's important to approach the concept of Easy Cash Writing from the point of view of a professional freelancer.
There are many, many ways of making money through writing and the important thing is not to get stuck in a groove and believe that you are only capable of making money one or two ways. Plus, if you stick rigidly to only one type of writing - say, novel writing - then you're perhaps severely limiting your income-generating potential - at least in the short term.
Every writer is different and we each experience success in our own unique way. But if we don't try to stretch ourselves, especially if there's money on the table, we may never know quite what we are capable of. We need to experiment in our writing - which first means being open to ideas and new strategies. This introductory section is all about opening your mind to possibilities and moving forward from there.
You'll find that if you mentally 'shut down' when presented with new ideas, eventually you'll end up where you started. Poor and no better off. Best to keep an open mind, let your brain cogitate over suggestions for writing markets, and see where your inspiration and intuition leads you.
You can't let the idea that writing for money is somehow going to spoil your craft. Skills acquired writing anything - advertising copy, business reports, letters to bank managers, even compiling shopping lists and things to do - will help ALL of your writing.
Your eventual aim is to find all types of writing easy - to let your body and mind know that writing is as automatic to you as breathing. And the only way to do that is to keep stretching yourself as a writer.
Many great novelists past and present have used their writing skills for all kinds of purposes, so never feel you're in any way cheapening your craft by experimenting with lots of ways to make money writing.
The next section begins with low word count options and as the lectures progress, the envisaged word count increases. Use this to your advantage. Try the Easy Cash Writing techniques that may take up just an hour or two of your time first. Then you're feeling more adventurous, move into the Easy Cash Writing Strategies that may take a little more time to master.
To get you into the habit of writing short pieces, start with fifty to one hundred word anecdotes, brief pieces of description, observations from around you, even jokes. These little practice pieces will help your creativity and proficiency. Plus, they have the advantage of perhaps even being worth money to you shortly!
This is an important exercise to accomplish before you move on.
In some ways it's a test to see if you're the kind of person who can make money as a freelance writer.
Please try your hardest to complete the exercise before you move on.
At the very least it will put you in the right frame of mind for what follows!
If you're struggling, feel free to drop me a line through the Udemy console and we'll see if we can't sort out your issues!
There is a good reason why this is the first lesson of the Easy Cash Writing course. Because it requires the shortest possible word count for the maximum potential gain.
A query letter to a paying writing market should be no longer than 200 words long. But this letter represents money in the bank if you have enough of them out at any one time.
Contrary to what your average university lecturer might believe, writing 3000 to 10000 word articles before you contact a magazine is not a good way to go if you expect instant publication. Getting articles accepted for publication is a process - .one in which you first establish contact with a magazine editor, pitch an idea for an article, then only go ahead when you've received positive encouragement.
This simple tactic will save you much wasted energy and disappointment in the short term.
When you're starting out in the freelance writing industry you simply cannot afford to write for no monetary gain for the first few months, hoping that eventually you will sell something. No, you need to behave like a professional from Day One. And the way to do that is to do what professionals do: PITCH IDEAS for future articles to editors BEFORE you write them.
Watch this modules video carefully to garner my best advice on how to use this strategy to begin your freelance writing career.
NOTE: Below you will see two more downloadable versions of this lecture - one is the PDF script, the other is the MP3 audio.
Also included is a sample query letter you may adapt for your own purposes and a listing of current PAYING magazine markets.
This lecture deals with the 'Query Letter' you're advised to send to possible article markets. A sample of a mock query letter is attached below for your use. You just need to fill in the blanks or augment to suit your personal style.
Many new writers spend a couple of years writing great articles without getting any published - basically because they're either missing the target when it comes to understanding what editors want or they're applying a scattergun approach to markets that might not even be looking for freelancers work.
When professionals are busy writing lots of articles that editors actually want they realize that most often, editors don't want to have to read their articles simply to reject it. Most magazine editors would actually prefer to know what a professional is going to write about FIRST. This marks the epiphany moment when professional writers realize they should ALWAYS have pitched their ideas for articles at editors BEFORE they wrote them!
Get it right. Do the professional thing right from the start. Pitch for writing gigs from editors using query letters before you write those articles. At the very least this practice will save you wasted writing time. And at most, you'll be lining up lots of paying work for the future.
When it comes to topics for articles you might want to write about, refer to your 'ideas' notebook. If you haven't already got a notebook or allocated a file on your computer for collecting ideas, then do so now. It's really important!
When looking through magazines for ideas it can be very tempting to essentially copy other articles. That's not a good idea. Start with your ideas and think about how you can bend them to fit the market's style. Or, study the magazine you're targeting and then really think about what the reader of that magazine is like as a person. What makes him or her tick? What kind of issues are they interested in? What would make them feel good?
When I was a buyer for a corporate company, for instance, I had a subscription to Purchasing Monthly. Many of the articles were dry and full of contract law minutiae - but I knew the target audience contained people like me: mid thirties cubicle dwellers, self-important in their jobs, needing to be flattered. I wrote and submitted an article to the magazine in their style, with the audience firmly in my mind. The article was accepted immediately. The article was about contract novation - a subject I was passionate about at the time - but, to me, the subject matter was not as important as having the reader firmly in my mind as I wrote. In other words, getting the attitude right was my main concern.
Download the attached markets for articles, study them, choose one to three markets to pitch to (per week) and write letters outlining possible articles to their editors. That's it. A morning's work each week that will result in article commissions in the long term.
Downloading and listening to this lecture offline may give you a better feel for visualizing your article writing goals.
Also reading the script for the lecture can effect you differently from watching the video - where you might get distracted by the images, the text, and my big ugly face staring at you!
Many of my students tell me that having audio and written versions of my lectures help them absorb the information better. The most important aspect is not so much learning the tips and tricks I teach, but to get the information into your subconscious, bypassing the conscious rational mind, so that you start to act and make decisions based on what you know at your core as opposed to what you've heard, seen, or read.
Beyond that, only experience will teach you more.
Good luck with your article pitching activities!
The best way to learn a new skill is to practice it. In this exercise we do a pretend pitch to a magazine editor in order to get the hang of writing these things.
Now, remember there's no pressure. Many editors will probably not respond to your letter anyway. But that's good because you will have learned something important about that market: despite their guidelines they're not actually interested in freelance submissions.
To me, this type of knowledge is crucial to your success. You could spend days getting an article exactly right for a market - only to find out later, the hard way, that the editor was never going to give your work a serious look.
Don't beat yourself up over rejections - or being ignored - often apparent disinterest has nothing to do with the quality of your writing. More often, the editor has all the articles he or she needs.
A better strategy for you, the writer, is not to write for markets that don't need more freelancers.
This 'pitching first' practice will save you a heap of time in the short and long term, so stick with it!
Would you like to write around 250 words and get paid around a dollar a word for your efforts?
That's how writing short fillers for publication works!
The best way to think of the filler markets is as an Easy Cash backup - a gift that keep on giving.
Once you understand a little about what magazine editors require - especially Reader's Digest editors, then you can plan to create perhaps half a dozen short filler articles a week that you can send out to magazines on a regular basis.
The best thing is that it's possible to sell fillers many times over to different markets. So once you have a few, you just need to keep sending them out, over and over again.
Watch the video carefully for clues into the cracking of this potentially lucrative Easy Cash Writing market.
Also included with this module, a PDF version of the lecture, an MP3 audio you can listen to in your car or on the way to work, plus a current PAYING market listing for short fillers from all around the world.
Many people - even writers - don't realize just how many filler articles there are in magazines. They certainly don't get that these fillers must be written, submitted, and collated by many conscientious writers and editors!
The best way to familiarize yourself with this lucrative market is to buy magazines and study them. Look for any pieces of writing that are between 50 and 250 words long. Even those pieces that look like they're attached the main articles - they're often not written by the main article authors but have been inserted from a collection of fillers - either pre-selected or specially commissioned.
Sure, many of the large magazine publishers like Murdoch use unionized staff writers to pen their short fillers - because it makes more sense for them to do that. It's quick and easy and there's no-one to pay.
However, many of the smaller magazines - as you'll see from the market listings - are actively seeking short fillers about a whole range of human interest topics.
Again, as you go through your day, be aware that you're looking for filler ideas to put in your notebook. Plus always try to submit to a filler market at least once a week. Then, within a few short weeks, you should start receiving checks - for paid work - on a regular basis.
After this exercise you'll be a master at writing short fillers.
Writing succinctly requires a certain state of mind, one in which you know you must write almost to order - within a structured framework, guarded on all sides by word count.
Short fillers are by definition SHORT. The exercises in this module are designed to re-educate your mind away from long form prose and into a more disciplined approach toward storytelling.
Because, after all, that's how the best fillers work - they are actually self contained stories.
And learning how to edit down your writing into powerful short snippets is good.
Good because you can make money from fillers - but also because learning how to be direct and succinct in your writing will help you in all areas of your freelance writing career.
In terms of pure word count, this lecture should perhaps technically be the first in the Easy Cash Writing markets section. Word count rarely exceeds 50 words and most slogan competitions have a maximum of 15 to 25 word limit.
It may never have occurred to you before that writing-based competitions might be a valid way of increasing your income. Okay, I'm not suggesting you dedicate the rest of your life to 'comping' - however, you should bear in mind that many corporate companies do give out cash and prizes to winners of slogan competitions, and that most people entering have little skill in stringing words together. You should therefore use your superior talent to your advantage in a valid attempt to gain an extra stream of income.
These three lectures on 'Slogans and Competitions' are also important as a way of analyzing your attitude toward making money from writing. How far will you go in your pursuit of income from your passion? It's all very well saying to yourself you want to be paid to write, but what does that actually mean to you? Plus, when you say you want easy cash, just how easy do you want it to be? These are crucial issues to weigh in your own mind as you proceed on your new, writing-based, career.
It's all too easy to believe there might be an effortless way to make money. Indeed, you may have taken this course for that very reason! I've included this little pep talk to let you know that I understand. I, too, have always dreamed of discovering a Holy Grail that would make me rich without having to do very much!
Deep down, we all understand that nothing comes from nothing - and that, conversely, success is almost invariably the result of hard work, commitment and is usually achieved by following our passion.
I really only mention this because, far too often, new writers get sucked into apparent 'opportunities' for easy money that turn out to be nothing of the sort. Especially online.
We return to this issue later but, for the moment, just be careful that, when you're looking for paid work as a writer, don't get sucked into websites that promise to pay you for your articles, your blogs, your thoughts, fiction, poems, whatever. Because, honestly, you'll no doubt be wasting your time and talent for little, if any, payment.
Thanks for listening.
Think of entering writing based competitions as a fun way to pass the time. As an Easy Cash Writer, you have a major advantage over ordinary punters who make up slogans over the kitchen table. Your word play will be superior because you already have a way with words. Plus, you can do these things quickly. A slogan might take you ten minutes to invent and mailing the entry perhaps another ten. One competition entry a week and you're bound to win something soon!
You may be dismissive of the idea - until you win cash and prizes!
This lesson contains five key tips on how to enter these competitions.
Why not have a go? The most you've wasted is half an hour a week and again, as I keep mentioning, Easy Cash Writing success is all about creating multiple streams of income over the long term: little bits of cash that add up to a healthy bank balance.
The best slogans are short and memorable, often have a double meaning, and sometimes inject humor into the subject matter or product.
I always think one of the best slogans of all time was for the first Alien movie: In space, no one can hear you scream.
Whether you're trying to make money from your slogans or not, inventing them is a great writer's pastime.
You'll probably find that when you first try inventing slogans you'll tend to think of phrases that are overcomplicated or sound contrived. The trick, therefore, is to keep working on catchphrases, simplifying them, shortening them constantly until you have something solid, powerful and compelling.
Think of Nike: how simple and memorable is Just Do It.
Imagine you're an ad executive charged with coming up with the ultimate slogan for a company - then invent as many as you can until you get one that is perfect.
To you, the verses and jokes in greeting cards most likely fall under the category of 'someone's got to do it!'
If so, it may surprise you to learn than if that cliché applies, then so does another one, namely: 'nice work if you can get it!'
One of the reasons why the greeting card market is wide open is that many writers fail to even recognize it as a bona fide way of making a living. This is good news - and is reflected by the fact that payment for card wordage is actually quite high, around $10 a word, on average.
As with all my Easy Cash Writing suggestions, I suggest you take a look at this market, perhaps try it on for size, and see how it feels - before rejecting it out of hand.
You just never know what might be keeping your bills paid when you retire!
This text lecture contains more specific information should you be attracted to this writing market.
As with all writing genres, your success is often dependent on your expertise within that genre. Note the word 'expert' hidden within expertise. Often becoming an 'expert' in a genre means you have the edge over anyone else competing because you know more about the genre, are familiar with the buzzwords, and can hold you own in a conversation with an industry insider. This is true if you want to become a romance writer, a horror writer, even a greetings card writer.
Know the terrain, the market, the companies involved, the personnel behind the scenes, and you're half way to conquering your particular genre.
There's nothing wrong with learning to be concise.
Writing short verses and jokes with punchlines can teach you a lot about the power of words.
You might surprise yourself here. You might not have realized you have the ability to make people laugh or cry with just a few words.
It can be very satisfying to know, for instance, that you are capable of writing jokes.
Don't be afraid of writing seemingly sentimental verse-based messages, just for practice. At least you'll know what to avoid in your normal writing!
Have fun with this exercise!
When people think about going into business, they will inevitably try to invent a snappy name under which to trade. This practice is completely unnecessary when you're going into business as a writer.
For a start, when you submit articles for publication, you'll be doing it under your own name. You'll find that most publishers, editors and webmasters will prefer to deal with a person rather than a corporate entity. Individuals who insist on calling themselves a company name may be seen as 'trying too hard'.
Plus, it's easier to get new clients - especially if they're family and friends at first - to pay you when it's seen to be on a more personal basis.
The best reason I can think of not to use a company name is that it's an unnecessary expense for little return and, anyway, setting up a company bank account leaves you open to excessive bank charges, and the temptation to take out business loans that will probably lead you into debt - and possibly end your writing career sooner, rather than later!
Remember, an Easy Cash Writer doesn't spend money he or she doesn't have. (And that includes credit card balances!)
Also, get used to the idea that paying tax is a good thing - because you can then claim writing-related expenses. You'll find that your income is enhanced when you claim business purchases - so you end up with more money in your pocket and actually less going to the tax office.
(A good accountant will better explain to you how this works but for now, for the first couple of years as a trading, self-employed, writer, just trust me on this!)
Setting Up Your Writing Business
In my experience, there's a curious phenomenon within the freelance writing world.
When people advertise for a writer, things rarely end well. For some bizarre reason, people who say they need writers for a project don't like paying writers for their work. This is true from the smallest of jobs - designing a logo, writing a short blog, say - to the largest - like creating a screenplay for a production company or ghost writing a 100,000 word book. It seems the kind of people who advertise for writers are sociopathically dishonest!
For this reason I nowadays always steer of ads for writing work.
The best writing jobs come about through my own efforts. Pitching for writing work seems to pay best.
In this lecture I explain how creating a writing business is all about getting paid work before you spend money on setting up a company. And the best way to get paid work is to pitch for it to local businesses, usually with the use of a simple questionnaire - a sample of which is attached to this lecture.
Another surefire way to get paid writing work is to alert your friends and family that you now write for money. Then ask what you can do for them. It's this strategy that, though it seems simple, actually puts you in the right frame of mind for the freelance writing world because, in order to progress quickly. you need to have only one question firmly in your mind. And that is: "What can I do for you?"
Use the above question as your personal mantra - and you won't go far wrong in the freelance writing business.
Good business sense dictates the wise entrepreneur shouldn't spend money he or she doesn't have,
Fact is, unless you're some kind of saint, saving money before you commit to starting a new business venture is next to impossible.
In my own case I managed to save up $10,000 while I was working so that I would have something to fall back on when I began writing full time. As fate would have it, my evil ex-partner stole all of that money as soon as she learned I had it! Consequently, when I was sacked from my day job and thereby forced to make a living as a freelance writer, I had zip: no money to invest in my future, nothing to fall back on, no safety net.
In retrospect, this taught me a lot about setting up a writing business with no money down.
In this lecture you'll learn the exact strategy I used to attract paying clients - and lots of them - without spending more than the cost of letter postage.
I would advise you to do the same because spending money without obvious quick return is a freelance writer's recipe for disaster!
Apologies if you think I'm stating the obvious but I believe sound money management is fundamentally important to the Easy Cash Writer.
On Running Your Own Writing Business
There's much down-home, perhaps cheap-skate, advice in this lecture because I know from experience that writers are not generally the richest folks around.
Some motivational gurus will tell you that - if you're poor - you have to change your attitude toward money, start borrowing from banks and venture capitalists etc., and generally do lots of things that will put you further into debt than you already were.
I don't adhere to that philosophy. I believe there's always a low to no cost option that will get you on the road to riches. Mainly because, anyone who's ever gotten rich will tell you, it's not the money that got them started or gave them an advantage. No, it's wanting the cash and needing to think of smart ways of getting it that eventually ensured their success.
The Easy Cash Writer needs to develop a particular mindset that provides cash for the work we do. Too many writers think that getting paid is some kind of a bonus, that writing is not really a job - or doesn't feel like one - so how can we possibly expect to get paid for it. This is wrong.
Writing is a business like any other. And, very basically, you have to teach people how to treat you: avoid the non-payers and follow the money!
The best writing work is that which you have generated.
When you do the exercise in this module, you'll no doubt receive replies from corporate companies in due course.
What do you do then?
Here's what I do:
In a letter back to the company I point out the importance of well written leaflets, company documents and advertising material. I then usually say something like I can create a sizable difference in their volume of sales by simply revisiting their sales literature.
At the very least, I will say, well written internal company documents can increase employee productivity. And that improved communication of a company's ideals can create a better sense of loyalty within the workforce.
Basically I'm upselling what I pitched for in the first letter - focussing on the boxes they ticked.
If you're so inclined, you might want to phone the person who returned your questionnaire and discuss their possible needs. Personally, I rarely call at this stage because I don't want to seem pushy or annoying.
Better to keep a nice and friendly written relationship going until the client wakes up one day and thinks, Okay, I see what Rob's saying now - maybe we can use him - whereupon they will call and ask for a quote on some written work.
Of course this strategy doesn't work for every potential client - just for around one in ten, which can easily provide more than enough work to be going along with.
In this lecture I use an anecdote from my early career as an example of how the Easy Cash Writer needs to be proactive and self-motivated.
Not everyone thinks of writing letters to newspaper and magazine editors, not until they feel so moved they can't think of another way of expressing their thoughts. But as Dorothea Brande once said, 'writers have to create their own sense of emergency' when it comes to writing. Fact is, nobody cares whether you write something or not.
Only the individual writer cares enough to do something about a personal compulsion.
In a very real sense, writers make their own career, they alone decide to forge a path that doesn't get pinned up as available at the Job Center, nor get a listing in the Situations Vacant column of your local newspaper.
For this reason, YOU need to think of ways of getting your writing out there. This Easy Cash Writing course is really just about giving you ideas on how you might make that happen.
Far from being difficult, I believe forging a writing career is fairly straightforward because it's all UP TO YOU.
When you decide what you want and then fully commit to it (which means also deciding you're going to get paid for it), then all you have to do is take action. Then, all the good stuff flows from that decision - as long as you have the persistence to see it through.
The best form of promotion is word of mouth - even in these days of high tech and globalisation. If you're in any doubt this is true, know that even Hollywood puts great store in 'word of mouth' publicity. They worry that, for instance, if word gets out that a movie is bad, then nobody will go and see it. This is why sometimes Hollywood will release a movie in all territories simultaneously - so there isn't enough time for bad reviews to spread!
Seriously - when it comes to creating success, your personal reputation can take you a very long way.
When you write for magazine and newspaper editors it may seem as though they're not taking any notice. But you could be wrong. Many is the time that editors watch freelancers 'from a distance' to see how they progress. This has happened to me several times during my career. When I finally get something accepted by a magazine after several tries, the editor will invariably say, "I've been watching you!"
So, never feel you're wasting your time submitting any kind of writing to people. Even if you are serially rejected. You just never know what's going on in the minds of those you're trying to impress.
As I mention in the lecture, the markets most likely to take Star Letters and True Life Confessions are the same as those listed for Fillers. Go back to the Filler Market Listing and download that, if you haven't already, to discover the markets most likely to be interested in letters and true life stories.
Also take a trip to your local newsagent. I'm sure you'll be surprised to find how many True Life story magazines there are currently available, some of which have no Internet presence at all.
I know many fledgling writers want to believe that the Internet has everything they need to succeed - hidden somewhere in cyberspace. For the Easy Cash Writer, this is simply not the case.
Many writers markets almost snobbishly avoid the Net, knowing that there are many amateur writers - and assorted weirdos - out there that they simply do not want to deal with!
That being the case, good luck in your search for offline markets.
Be assured that one of the reasons you should seek out offline markets is that they usually pay very well.
There's a lot to be said for networking and developing contacts as a freelance writer. Not in an idle way through simply meeting people or socializing randomly with industry insiders, but in a more proactive way in which you use your writing as CURRENCY.
In the writing business, your words have power and are therefore valuable. Though it may feel sometimes that you're not being taken seriously, this does not mean that you should undervalue what you produce.
Everyone involved in the writing business is in it for the same reason: they understand that certain words, in the right order, have the ability to generate a lot of money, whether by design, accident, or sheer good fortune. Therefore, the best way to put yourself in the running for possible riches is to make sure the people you meet are aware of your writing and its validity - and its relevance to the marketplace.
Don't just contact people about your writing - make sure they see it!
In this exercise we experiment with focussed rage. Read the exercise and follow the instructions.
But what about those True Confession type letters?
The trick with these is to read a few before you start. Buy a magazine that specializes in True Stories and analyze the style the writers have used to capture characters in peril and their circumstances.
You'll note there's little fluff. Just the facts, stated in the most plain way possible.
Short sharp sentences designed to jolt a reader into devouring the piece.
These articles generally start with an almost fictional feel - by mentioning an intriguing idea that needs explanation later. This is classic thriller writing: plant answered questions in your lead lines which you deal with over the course of the story.
Show don't tell when you can. Instead of simply relating startling events, add dialog, setting and some characterization.
And don't forget to give your piece an uplifting ending, perhaps with a personal quote from the protagonist to round things off at the end.
Think of a startling story you know about someone and try to write it in the first person. This exercise will help give you a feel for writing these kinds of stories. If you get stuck, read some more examples!
Writing erotic fiction might not be your idea of a 'respectable' form of making a living. But when it comes to generating income, are you willing to consider all options?
The successful and multi-published horror author, Graham Masterson, was once an erotic writer, then editor, for Penthouse magazine. This fact has never detracted from his career, nor sullied his name in literary circles. Masterton is still regarded as a talented and effective writer, and has won numerous awards for his fiction.
As I keep saying, practice in any form of writing improves ALL of your writing. And, given that erotic writing is one of the most difficult genres to master, you should not immediately dismiss any form of writing that may improve your craft - and strengthen your way with words.
After all, getting published is getting published - even if you use a pseudonym!
It may also interest you to learn that around 20% of romance writers are in fact men using women's names!
If you're curious about writing for erotica magazines, you have plenty of markets to explore. There are perhaps as many adult entertainment magazines on sale as there are ordinary lifestyle and hobby based publications. And for good reason: they sell. And, of course, all adult magazine publications need writers.
Do you think you could write for these plentiful PAYING markets?
Stephen King, for one, has no problem selling his stories and articles to Hustler, Playboy and other adult magazines. Why should you?
Writing sold is food on the table after all.
And if there's one thing the majority of writers have in common, it's the need for cash!
So, don't cut yourself off from paying markets if you don't have to...
The Easy Cash Writer is always on the look out for extra sources of income.
Writing erotica is not for everyone.
Even many successful authors of popular fiction avoid writing sex scenes if they possibly can.
Some for reasons of good taste - and others because sex scenes tend to undermine the impact of the rest of the story. (Readers flick through your book hunting out the next saucy bit...)
Or simply because writing about sex is actually quite challenging to get right.
You don't have to do the exercise in this module but if you're ever going to try your hand at modern romance novels - which tend to have quite a bit of sex in them these days - then you may find the practice useful.
Erotic writers say their work often needs a lot of editing - and many drafts - before their sex scenes work best.
So don't be afraid of bad writing that you need to throw away, or hack to pieces to get right!