The Southern Christian Writerâ€™s Conference was held last month and I was once again blessed to be able to attend. There are always a number of small teaching sessions provided on a number of topics (which I enjoy) but I go for the contacts and the motivation as much as I do anything else.
This year was no different. Small successes have shown up in my freelance writing over the last year, but I wanted to push myself even farther. I came home with the determination and tools to make that happen and the results are already starting to show.
1. Send out five queries each week. These do not have to be full articles, but just article ideas (unless the magazine requires full manuscripts â€“ always follow the submission guidelines). I have learned to make an outline of the idea so that when it comes time to write the article I know what direction I was headed when I wrote the query.
2. Look for higher paying jobs. If you are like me, you have to bring home the bacon, but that doesnâ€™t mean I canâ€™t be looking for bigger pigs. I forgo those job listings that are only paying small change and aim for the larger payouts. The clients I have been working with for lower pay, I am still working with. But as I submit quality work on a timely basis and a consistent manner, I do request periodic raises.
3. Expand your experiences. The regional newspaper is always looking for quality work so you might consider sending a query for an article to one of its sections. Look at some of the greeting card companies â€“ like Blue Mountain â€“ most are looking for prose over rhyme. The more avenues you pursue then the more opportunities you are likely to uncover.
4. Embrace rejection. Take any rejections in a positive light â€“ at least they took the time to reject you instead of just tossing your work. Determine to make the query or article better and then resubmit to the same organization or one more suited for the piece.
5. Dedicate time to your writing every day. This means all of your writing. As a working freelancer, I have deadlines almost daily. I also have to set aside time for developing queries and outlines. There must also be time for my novel work. If I decided to tackle the greeting card industry (which does pay quite well) then I will also give time to that each day (greeting card work can usually be done on index cards while you are waiting in line â€“ or the doctorâ€™s office).
Take your writing seriously and you will be able to find ways to make your writing a serious business.