Step 1: Write
Step 2: Submit
Step 3: Repeat
Just about every aspiring freelancer already has step 1 down. They have drawers — or hard drives — full of manuscripts. They scribble all the time, about anything. They may even have looked at some submission guidelines.
And there they stop.
Step two is the tricky part. For some, moving on to step two is a matter of confidence. They don’t feel their writing is worth showing out in public. If this describes you, the best cure is to ignore those doubts and send something in. It’s likely you’re wrong, and if you’re right — you’re better off knowing.
For many others, the trouble with step two is not knowing where to begin. If that’s you, consider these six places to share your work with the world. Some pay. Some don’t. But once you’ve gotten a few hundred page views, it will be easier to take yourself seriously as a freelance writer.
Nearly everybody has a blog these days, but it’s easy to tell the talent from the rest of the pack. You can make one in five minutes and update a few times a week. Not very profitable in most cases, but a great way to get used to the idea of others reading your work. Once you’ve established yourself as a solid blogger, you can start getting paid surprising amounts of money to blog for others.
2. Nonfiction Magazines
I’ve said it before: if you want to write for a living, write nonfiction. The world is full of aspiring fiction writers, and publishers who pay next to nothing — or actually nothing — for their work. Nonfiction publishing suffers from a shortage of excellent writers. You’re an expert on something, and there are a minimum of two magazines on that topic. Reach out and see what you can do.
3. Social Media
This one is just a step above showing your poems to your grandmother, but is a great interim step for people working up the courage to submit. Post your work on Facebook, or in a Tweet. Serialize longer work, or use it as a teaser for your blog. It’s not too aggressive, but some people have experienced major success starting from this mode.
Check in next week for part two, where we’ll discuss commercial websites, local ‘zines and guest posting. Meanwhile, what have you done to share your work with the world?Image courtesy of Nationaal Archief. Used with permission.