Posts Tagged ‘articles’

Celebrating 15 Years as a Freelance Writer

Can it be possible that I have been working at my computer as a freelance writer for 15 years?  Right after we sold our flower shop and garden center business, I screwed up my courage to walk in to our local newspaper office and ask to talk to the editor.  I asked him if he could use some stories for the paper.  I gave him some of the ideas which I thought would be of interest to the community.  And he said okay.  It was just that easy.  My first story was an interview with a family I knew well, so I was comfortable with them.  When it was published in the newspaper with a photo, my heart soared when I saw my byline.  What a thrill.  My editor gave me a chance to write a news story and many more followed that first one.  Oh yes, he had to do editing and revising, and I learned something every time I put the story together, then read his polished version in the paper.

I queried several magazines with article ideas and received many rejections.  But I persevered and was accepted to write several articles through the years.  Unfortunately the main magazine dealing with camping closed its doors this year, a result of the downturn in RVing and camping in this economy.

I tackled writing for an online magazine too, now known as e-zines.  This was completely foreign writing to me as there had to be a certain standard of get in and tell the story and get out.  No extras, just the information.  The format was different but also the new idea of including keywords and SEO was a daunting task until I understood the necessity of that if I wanted to have anyone find and read the articles in this vast cyberspace of information.

Some of my short stories are floating around the Internet, but I have not pursued them because they don’t earn much money. They are fun to write.  I guess that’s why I have begun writing fiction novels.  It is exciting to create a world and characters and play with them.  I would never have tried a novel except that I was spurred on by the challenge of Nano—the 50,000 word novel written in a month known as the annual National Novel Writing Month.

I have written a non-fiction book for middle school girls that is now under consideration at a publisher.  Keep your fingers crossed that it will be contracted for publication this year.

Fifteen years ago, the Internet was in its infancy, no social networking sites, no Messengers.  There was no demand for information like there is now.  I don’t remember laptop computers that a writer could take anywhere to compose a story in a library or coffee shop.

So much has changed except that a writer always needs a good story to tell.  It is still true that to get the work published,  follow the rules of good grammar and punctuation, as well as be vigilant for accurate spelling. Don’t rely completely on spell checker.  (Remember their, there, and they’re.)  

Now go out there and write the best story you can.  You can do it.  Perhaps not in one month or one year, but you will be a writer if you keep working toward that goal.