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courtesy of http://www.flickr.com by Alan Cleaver

Writing comes as an ever changing craft. Getting the balance of it takes intentional thinking.You have to put food on the table and gas in the car. So you find assignments that give a steady income. At the same time you have to do larger projects that may catch the eye of a literary agent or the public’s in self publishing realms. The third piece comes as continuing to develop as a writer.

Assignments

The Internet in one sense has made finding writing assignments easier. Traditional methods involved writing query letters and sending your resume and manuscript which was placed in a slush pile. Like waiting for Christmas present expectantly you wait for some to say you picked me. Frankly not enough jobs existed and competition was fierce. The best person does not always win but the one who fits the mood and theme of the day does.

Internet writing offers a variety of platforms to choose from. The short articles someone reads daily comes from a writer hired by a venue. Internet formats developed differently for many reasons suchs the size of the web page, media has trained many brains to read a large volume in short paragraphs. Most Internet articles range from 150 words to 800 words. Many articles have short subheadings and graphics. Most of it has informative value. Then you have your large venues of ebook publishing. Hybrid publishers who do some traditional and some modern.

Pay

Traditional methods if one is chosen you may get an advance or 6 to 8 percent of the money made. They have a large marketing machine so a decent income for a time and a promise to publish your next novel or book. So few are chosen. Most are quite gracious when they do make it since they understand from their many friends that some of it is luck that there book was recognized at all. The others use them as mentors, teachers and people to follow.

Internet methods you get paid but not necessarily regularly. You have to be careful about exploitation. The markets pay by word and by hour. Both have their hazards. Most writers make 1 to 6 cents a word in the Western civilizations. So speed becomes the answer to earning a living. Snagging a column helps a bit but those jobs are few and far between. Getting paid by clicks can happen but not for most. Have other income to fall on since it varies.

Self Publishing

Amazon has a portion called Kindle Direct Publishing. It allows an author to self publish for no fee. My shorter stories I developed at the Longridge Writer’s Group with Tom Hyman as my mentor I have published some of those there. ( Grace the Music Man Way The Constitution and Judge Robert McAlpin Williamson) I set a goal of sending out my stories and when I get the third magazine letter saying we like your story but we cannot use it I publish it on Amazon. My thinking is it is Tom Hyman approved (New York Times best seller author, editor of the Washington Post for years), been rejected 3 times by high quality magazines and I received the good letter that is it ready for public viewing. Also a trend in the younger generation among corporate players is to read short stories on their lunch hours or breaks. They tell you on that platform one needs to publish many things to make money. It is a 30 percent for Amazon and 70 percent for you deal.

Excursion

Once you get proficient enough in the Internet writing you can start your own website and offer writing services. The need for high quality writing comes huge and the Internet now is getting old enough things have to become updated in new formats. Managing writers comes as another way to make money. I do that for http://inkedlinks.com/ with an Indian partner Dhurghae who manages the web end. That has proved to be a wonderful business adventure with clients, writers and a partner.

Encouragement

My oldest son has writer friends. They sent word to me that in the early years develop the craft. As you get to your third year develop the business. As you approach your 5th year expect your reward. Not a single writer has claimed you will get rich. They all talk about the craft and the life. Most are gracious. The few that are not fall by the wayside eventually or go into other areas. On a personal level it works for me in this stage of my life. I get art, I get to do my music, I have added theater and writing which is always fun. Mary took her pain that she could not get rid of and it spilled out to transform into this. I still have the pain but I have found with the help of other artists a way to comfort myself. The rest I have not figured out and may never.

Whatever you choose to do, diversify. Explore the other paths and decide for yourself what to keep.

Until next time have grand escapades,

Mary