Stumbling into a Freelance Writing Career

When people find out that I’m a freelance writer, one of the first things they want to know is, “How did you get into that?” Sometimes it’s just passing curiosity. Other times they want to know because they aspire to quit working for “the man” and go out on their own and writing seems like …

Writing Advice for Older Freelance Writers

Writing doesn’t suffer from quite the same age bias as other media occupations, but there is sometimes a tendency to favor younger writers over older writers. Why? Because younger writers are viewed as having a longer career ahead of them (which means more money for the publisher). Also, the sad truth is that younger writers …

Why You Should Avoid Writing for Content Mills

Many freelance writers work or have worked for a content mill at some point. Many have regretted the experience. Content mills are websites devoted to posting tons of articles on almost every subject imaginable (and some that aren’t, see number six, below). Quality standards vary and most pay very little for the work required. While …

How to Make Sure You Hit Your Writing Deadlines

Ever notice how you tend to deal with things that have a due date or an expiration date (and a punishment for missing that date) first while you let other things slide? You read your library books before the books from your own collection because they’re due on a certain date. If you don’t return …

Don’t Forget Offline Writing Research

It’s great that we live in an age where information is just a couple of mouse clicks away. Gone are the days when we had to slog through the stacks at the library for even the simplest research. Unfortunately, too many of us have become excessively reliant on the Internet for our research needs. It’s …

1000 Words a Day Writing Challenge

If you find yourself in a position where you aren’t writing as much as you would like to, a great way to push yourself to do more is to do a 1000-words-a-day challenge. The actual number of words you choose to try to write daily doesn’t have to be 1000. It can be any number …

10 Approaches to Writing Revisions

Most people think of revision as painful and something that should be avoided. It’s much more fun to play with a first draft than to try to take something half-baked and shape it into something publishable. If you want to make money writing, though, you have to revise. No one’s work is perfect on the …

Action Is Required to Be a Good Writer

My parents were cleaning out their house the other day and decided to get rid of the old piano. Seeing it go to my young cousin brought back memories of my attempts to learn to play. I didn’t take lessons, at first. I just banged away on the thing, sure that I was creating masterpieces. …

What to Do If You’re a Victim of Plagiarism

You’re trawling the internet one day and you see one of your articles or blog posts posted on someone else’s website. Your byline is missing and there’s no reference back to the website where the original work was posted. Or, you’re reading a book and you notice that one section seems familiar and then it …

12 Things NOT to Include in a Query Letter

If you want to be published in a magazine or by a traditional book publisher, the chances are that you’ll have to submit a query letter at some point. At its most basic, a query letter is simply a letter that details your project and your writing credentials to a prospective editor, agent, or publisher. …

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