Monday, June 27, 2011

Writing as a Gamble: Encouragement!

one tip so you don't get discouraged with the regionals: write your piece and send it EVERYWHERE ... to all on my list. it seems like a gamble and it really is, but these pieces do not take you nearly as long to research and write as something you would make 10 times the money for writing for a national. you also get more headaches writing for nationals, but when you're ready to move up, go for it! it's taken me about 3 years to get over 60 writing credits ... i just keep writing and sending ... i have about 35 articles i keep in circulation and not a month goes by these days that i don't get a check.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Guest Post: I am a Writer!

Tanya Scherschel is our guest blogger for today. She bought my ebook recently and is already getting results. I feel like I sell exercise videos sometimes: "Buy my video and get instant results ... your butt will look better within one week." Instead it's more like I almost guarantee that if you keep sending out full pieces you will sell one within a month. Check out Tanya's piece at ChicMom.com ... I'm impressed because this is a place I have not been published! Keep up the good work, Tanya!

Actress Rachel Weisz, a.k.a. Evelyn Carnahan in the 1999 blockbuster The Mummy, and I do not have much in common. She is a statuesque brunette. My blonde gets a little help from a box. She has a gorgeous British accent while mine, after 16 years of marriage to a southerner, is a strange Chicagoan-drawl hybrid. But in the scene where Rachel’s character is asked by Rick O’Connell what it was, exactly, that she did for a living her response that, “I…am a librarian!” did resonate with me. No, I am not a librarian. But after selling my third article I did shout out with equal gusto that, “I…am a writer!”


Making money shouldn’t be the only criteria one needs to proclaim themselves “a writer.” After Mrs. Cable, my first grade teacher, told me that my poem, “The Mouse,” was the best she’d ever read and then hung it on the coveted bulletin board, I knew I’d found my passion. Small writing successes followed: publication in a junior high school anthology, a college paper read aloud in class as an example, board members’ praise for my monthly newsletter column. But let’s face it, people. When you’re a stay-at-home mom you know that even though hubby assures you the money belongs to you both, sometimes momma needs more than a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, momma needs a new pair of shoes – bought with her own money.


For years I’ve been tinkering with this submission process, and I have some really nice ding letters to show for it. Then I read about Kerrie’s eBook, and I bought it. A month later I sent my first story out and that afternoon I received a request for an invoice. Such quick turnaround has never happened with any of my submissions before – or after, I’m sorry to say, but it breathed new life into my efforts.


Kerrie often writes that, “it’s [publication] a numbers game,” and I couldn’t agree more. Our written babies are competing against hundreds of others for the same prize. Even when we play the game “right” there’s no guarantee of publication. One editor, for example, loved my first piece, but was unable to buy it because funding for her magazine fell through. I pitched her a second piece which she published on her website. Yes, it was free, but this gracious editor gave me advice I might otherwise have not received. Not only did she help me make the story stronger, but she also gave me my second clip: a necessity in the game for paid publication.


To date I have three published pieces, have three others pending, joined a LinkedIn group, and am working on a website. Six months ago this did not seem possible. If you’re a closet writer as I have been, I encourage you to brew a cup of tea and put your Rachel Weisz on. Then take that work and send it out. There ain’t no tellin’ where it may take you.
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