Monday, June 19, 2006

Writing for Money

I'm sure all writers dream of some day making it big with their words. However, money doesn't grow on trees as the saying goes. Writers have to work to earn, and there will definitely be dry spells. The key to staying sane during these times? Stick with it! You can't make money if you don't try, and if you love what you do the money will follow.

However, if you enter into a freelance writing career with the idea you'll become an overnight success, think again! It takes time to build up enough of a client base that you can safely quit your day job and move to writing full time. I was working at a dry cleaner's before I made any strides in the freelance world, and as it were I happened upon it by a pure stroke of luck. After putting in exhaustive 8 hour shifts each day at the cleaner's, I suddenly became very ill shortly after starting there. No one could figure out what was wrong with me, until finally it dawned on everyone that I could be allergic to the chemicals used at the cleaners.

Sure enough, after a doctor-approved leave of absence my health dramatically improved, and I had to bid farewell to my fellow employees and supervisor. I've never been one to sit long without a job, so I got to work the following week searching for employment. I've always been interested in writing; since I was a small child, I knew it was what I wanted to devote my life to. Searching for jobs online, I sent off a few e-mail messages in response to advertisements looking for article writers. I never really thought it would turn into anything, but a few weeks later I heard back from one of the companies I'd applied to and the rest, they say, is history.

Don't get me wrong, there are days I struggle to make ends meet -- let's face it, some WEEKS are a struggle. But I love what I do, and one minute there's a dry spell the very next a lucrative project can come my way. The bottom line? If you love writing, if you live and breathe writing and could do it for the rest of your life regardless if you ever make a substantial income out of it, then you ARE a writer. Don't give up your dreams just yet! If you're willing to work hard and endure the tough spots, you'll make it just fine in this business.


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