The Humble Beginnings of a Freelance Writer
From the Midwest
by Christopher Kendalls
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name is Christopher Kendalls, and I was born and raised in Akron, OH. I
ended up in Dayton, OH, however, when I dropped out of school having put in
many years pursuing a degree I had decided I did not want. Besides, I
thought that I could use what little I had learned in college to get a
decent computer job; little did I know that I would end up being a freelance
I would simply write at my own leisure, to entertain myself in-between
classes. The only article I had written was an essay for a contest that
the school was running in which I had won $250. It was then that I
reconnected with the urge and passion to write, although I would end up
writing tens of stories and poems before I finally decided that article
writing was my niche a few years ago.
up replying to an ad on Craigslist for an "editorial intern", which ended up
being a non-paying opportunity at an upstart called MSX, short for
Meterosexual magazine, which is based out of New Hampshire. I wrote many
articles for them, yet the editor is having difficulty getting the
publication off the ground, although they are having some success getting
not bother me so much that I was not paid for them, but I began to have
serious concerns if they had the resources to go into print at all, since
none of their editorial deadlines were being met. I took my business
elsewhere writing an interesting profile of Ann Coulter for
Meanwhile. the only paying opportunities I'd had was a profile of
work, for his own website, and various articles written through Write for
Cash. Write for Cash pays up to $15 for an article, and usually
publishes through WebYoga. The only problem I've had with Write for Cash is
that they do not allow the writer to truly take the piece in the direction
that they wish to go with it, often returning articles back to the writer
for revisions 3 of 4 times before they wash their hands of you and give the
piece to some other writer for work.
you can only work on 3 pieces at a time for them to begin with, so if you
are trying to make some serious money, you are stuck with $45, $90 a month,
at best, if you can get the three you're working on accepted and turn around
fast enough to complete another 3 for them before the month ends.
obviously was not going to take me anywhere, and I was being rejected more
from them than I was anything else. I was fortunate enough to find another
site, Associated Content, who more or less took all of my pieces at one
time, published all of them, and paid me more than I had made with Write for
Cash the entire time I had attempted to write for them (a few months).
daily duties as a freelance writer is taking advantage of every little
opportunity that comes along to both find the inspiration to write, and
also to be the first one to answer any inquiry an editor has for potential
writers to write for them. It involves working endless nights and hours if
you are not the fastest writer out there, and taking the time out to rewrite
and reformulate your process three of four times with each piece that you
are lucky you will make more than the $30,000 a year that most individuals
in this field average, unless you are overly aggressive with writing
professional business correspondence; letters, proposals, ad-copy. If you
play your cards right you may get an actual full-time job, yet there is
nothing quite as satisfying as working for yourself.
important to know who you are as a writer because a lack of passion and
determination about what it is that you are trying to say in the article is
crucial to your success as a writer. It is entirely too easy for someone to
talk you out of expressing the ideas that you wish to convey, the way that
you wish to convey them, if you have doubts about your own talent, and a
lack of conviction about how you express who you are. In fact, if you find
this happening to you more than not, you need to seriously evaluate whether
or not you should continue attempting to write for this editor in the first
place, because there are more than enough publications who will accept your
work, for you to continue persisting with any one editor.
the mistake of trying too hard to work for publications based off of the
prestige that I thought I would have because I had published at Slate,
for example, not realizing that if I were to be published at one of these
publications, it might not be my ideas who the readers were reading, but
that of the editors! Keep your feet to the pavement, and continue to take
all of the advice that everyone gives you, because there is some truth in
everything that any editor, or anyone else that you have read your work,
have a lot of experience in being successful getting work out there, and
readers have a lot of experience knowing how to differentiate between what
most people will like and what most people will skip over. It is not good to
have the opinions of either, who agree with you the majority of the time.
Kendalls This article may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in any
form, for any reason, without the express, written consent of the author.
Violators will be prosecuted.
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