Writing: Not for the faint of heart

If you are thinking about becoming a writer, please read this article first!

Becoming a writer is not as easy as people make it seem. There are a lot of sweat, blood and tears that goes into it. There are a lot of hard hours, hours spent where you aren’t writing at all, and times when you just want to throw in the towel and do something else. It’s not easy, at all.

If you have children you have to be prepared to tell them “This is my work time, I can’t play with you right now”. Hire a nanny, or someone you trust, to take care of them if they aren’t in school so that you can actually work a 8-hour shift. You have to stand firm, telling others that you need the computer to work (and actually work!)

There are a lot of good writing sites out there, Contently is one (didn’t work for me, but it has worked for a lot of my friends). Textbroker is another, and Zery’s is yet another (www.textbroker.com and http://www.zerys.com). With Textbroker, I can’t say this enough, you have to advance through a complicated series of testing done on your writing, and with so many other writers out there submitting their articles as well as you, most of the time Textbroker will just give out a 3-star rating en mass instead of doing what they are supposed to (this has happened to me twice now and I’m still stuck at 3-stars even though I’ve been working there for a year now).

Be prepared for disparaging remarks. I’ve gotten “She lives off well-fare” and “You know she must be lazy, it doesn’t take much talent to write. I do it all the time!” If you have children you will get those who believe you are neglecting your children. I can’t tell you how many times members of my own family have called Child Protective Services on me because they thought I wasn’t taking care of my children properly (it was a combination of being a writer and a Witch, and I think it was more me being a witch than anything else….).

Set up a schedule, and keep it! For me, I work from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning until I can’t work anymore at night. When there aren’t any articles that can be done (either because there aren’t any orders for any or because there are articles that I feel are beyond my knowledge and capability to research) I do other things. Currently I have my own Etsy shop where I’m selling some of the things I’ve made during my off times. Or, I’m trying to either find an agent to represent me so that I can get my book published, or a publishing firm that isn’t a self-publish gimmick (yes I’m aware that a lot of good authors have gotten their start from self-publishing, but I don’t have that kind of money, I barely made $400 last year).

Learn how to balance things. I don’t have the luxury of having people I can trust to take care of my kids so that I can work, so I balance my work time with strategic break periods so that I can clean the house and take care of the kids.

And finally, when you start down this road, realize that you aren’t the only writer out there looking for a payday. There are others out there that are only writing because they feel like writing is an easy paycheck, and they will bulldoze you. This goes for clients as well. Always be willing to do a re-write, and make sure the client knows that if they aren’t happy with the article you are willing to re-write it for them. Never let a client have the ability to flat-out reject your hard work, not unless you have tried diligently to make sure that the article is the way they want it (that is one of the reasons I absolutely love Zery’s, if you write an article and it’s the way the client wanted it, you can refute their rejection and win because Zery’s moderators will read the order specifications, review the messages between you and the client, and then review the article. If everything is the way it’s supposed to be, they make the client pay you for your work).

Getting Published

Getting published is one of the most difficult things for a writer to do, especially when they work freelance and want to branch out. Sure, they could save up their money, agree to only take high-paying articles, and get published using one of the thousands of self-publishing Publishing houses out there, but that takes a lot of leg work for someone who would rather be working on their writing than looking for ways to just make money. To me, when you have to focus on just getting published and you aren’t working on your chosen career path (being a writer) then writing becomes a JOB, not a JOY.

For me, the word “job” doesn’t mean what everyone else thinks it means (a source of employment in which an individual works a particular field for pay). To me, a “job” means “Just Over Broke”. Because that’s what you are, just over broke making enough money to pay your bills and that’s it. The joy of doing something, because it’s something you WANT to do is gone as you work day in and day out doing mediocre work for even less pay. This is why many freelance writers dream about one day becoming someone of importance, like the famous Authors we know and love today.

However, like I’ve said before I’ll say again, it is nearly impossible to get into a traditional publishing firm without the right connections. Also known as: having an agent.

Finding an agent is an equally difficult, if not nearly impossible, option for writers. You have to send out Query letters/emails to a variety of different agents. Each letter has it’s own different format, depending on which agency you are looking at, and has to be done just right or else you are shoved out the door without any help from the company. Not even a “Try this agency to see if maybe they will accept you” message.

So, what does a writer do when faced with these daunting scenarios? Give up? Nah, that’s not our way to do things. We never give up, even through writer’s block and family or friends telling us to just leave it alone because writing will never pan out for us.

Well, that’s when good, old-fashioned leg work comes into the play.

I have found, through Facebook of all places, one publishing firm that is currently accepting Queries from both agents and authors. Of course, if your work isn’t of the genre they are currently publishing, you shouldn’t send in a Query.

Dark Fantasy Press, http://www.darkfantasypress.com/, is a small but promising publishing firm that is currently accepting Query letters in both electronic and printed versions for authors and agents. While their genre is focused on the dark side of life, unlike some publishing firms, they don’t seem to cater to just one type of person. (I have seen publishing firms that won’t accept your Query if you aren’t a specific race or gender, it’s ridiculous, but it does happen)

Everyone has a dark, hidden place in their minds and souls. Everyone wants to read about something dark and horrifying while they are safely tucked away in their beds or on their sofa’s. And Dark Fantasy Press caters to those hidden desires and wants.

So, if you are a writer who has a few manuscripts that are dark in nature, why not visit the site for Dark Fantasy Press and submit a Query. Who knows, you might just turn out to be the next Stephen King.