Friday, January 21, 2011

The Freelance Writing Report

I wrote yesterday that I had a good day of writing, being at home due to the snow storm. That continued into the evening, as I completed the research on the next chapter of Documenting America, and wrote most of it. I also did the work I needed to do on Life Group class teaching prep. I haven't quite finished typing the handouts yet, but I'll get that done after work. So the day started well and finished well.

I thought it was time to make an overall report on my freelancing activities. Here it is.
  • I'm up to 120 articles there, having posted 4 so far in January. I'm working on a series of genealogy articles right now. After that I may get back to stock trading articles. Beginning with the month of December, we now receive data on which articles actually earn money. I'll watch these new stats for a few months to see if there's any pattern, then maybe change up my article mix. The month of January is on track to be my biggest revenue month there, though I'm earning a paltry $0.14 per article per month. I do it because I enjoy it, seem to be somewhat good at it, and, well, I just want to.
  • I had another article posted there today. I'm not quite sure how many this is, somewhere around 15 I think. I need to get my records up to date for them. Yesterday I sent the editor an e-mail, pitching 5 more articles. He's interested, and we'll talk next week. I'd like to do an average of two articles a month for them. They pay pretty good, and I think the exposure I get there is excellent. They also seem to be growing, which can't hurt. I'm also getting articles by assignment for them, which is nice. The whole query-go-round for freelancing is not particularly enjoyable for me.
  • I reported yesterday that I had been approached by an editor about writing an article. The publication is "Safe Highway Matters". Today the editor and I agreed via e-mails that I will write the article. I'm waiting for the exact assignment details. This may well be a one time gig, but having an editor come to me, based on writing of mine she saw on-line, is sweet. And maybe in the future she'll need another article. Or maybe some editor will see my writing in that publication, and....
  • I have given up trying to find print publications to write for. I won't say I'll never go back to seeking that publishing outlet, but for right now, no. The pay wasn't much better, the query process stinks, and my limited experience shows they don't pay on time. For now, I'll stick with on-line publications. It has been a good, professional experience for me.
One other thing I should mention. The article I did for Buildipedia on the Crystal Bridges Museum, which posted there on January 6, 2011, was new ground for me in that I had to interview someone I didn't know. That was a definite first. It made me feel like a journalist. Not that I really know what that's like. I have absolutely no journalist training, took no classes on it in college or in writers conferences. But the editors I work with seem to like my writing, and other editors are taking notice, so maybe in a sense I am a journalist. That wasn't planned. I just want to be a writer when I grow up.

I originally shifted to freelancing as one plank in a "platform" to present to editors or agents to whom I would shop my books. Now that I'm considering e-self-publishing my books, as I have discussed in recent blog posts, the platform doesn't count for as much. My freelancing doesn't generate fans of my writing. Yet, I think I'll keep with it for a while. It never hurts to learn to write to deadlines, to figure out when something is done rather than to endlessly revise, to learn how to please an editor, and to make more and more contacts.

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