Creativity or Cash?

It is fascinating how this big old world of ours works. Last week I was reeling from a harsh rejection and this week I am on cloud nine! I have had four stories accepted this week…that is a huge personal record! I am also on deadline for three others…busy, busy, but all good!

I really appreciated all of your comments last week encouraging me to keep my head up and continue down this path I have chosen for myself. About a year ago, when we moved to Providence, I told my husband that I wanted to try to make it as a freelance writer. I had no experience and no idea what I was doing. I checked out a ton of books on freelance magazine writing and began querying. I have published seven articles as of this month, and I have contracts for about 7 more coming up. When I type those numbers, I can hardly believe it. I am proud of how far I have come. But freelance writing is a difficult beast to conquer. Rejections far out way acceptances, and when you are beginning your career, you are often working for pennies. Which brings me to the title of this post- Creativity or Cash?

Here is a little example of the freelance writing cycle-
January: submit query
February: after following up, you hear back, if accepted a due date will be assigned
April: article due
July: article published
August: check received

I think you see where I am going with this…it is very difficult to make money as a freelance writer, especially if you are trying to write for magazines (grant writing and copy writing are completely different). I am INCREDIBLY lucky to have a supportive husband, who didn’t even bat an eye when I told him I would be starting a career I knew nothing about! But I am at the point now where I would like to be contributing a bit more. I am looking at teaching some magazine writing classes, possibly taking on some grant writing (ughh), but I would love to hear from all of you. Many of you are working artists, stay-at-home moms and entrepreneurs…so I ask you: what do you do to bring in a little extra income?

I don’t want to give up this unbelievably creative, fulfilling job, but I would like to find a way to bring home a bit of bacon! I know that it is possible for creativity and cash to co-exist…or is it?

4 thoughts on “Creativity or Cash?

  1. Sarah

    Keep doing what you love and the cash will follow. The past year has been horrible for freelancers, but things will get better. Eventually you'll be getting paid every month, even if it's for jobs you started 8 months ago.

    Reply
  2. t-shirtsbymarilyn

    Aloha Bentley girl, I like your blog. Just joined you on twitter. Lavendar & limes caught my eye.
    I created three books in Hawaii. and self-published. Have you thought of going that route?
    Marilyn
    @jamarilyn on twitter

    Reply
  3. Hanna Otero

    I admire your bravery. I am a full-time editor and hate every second of my working life. I am seriously contemplating making a leap into freelance but have been afraid for exactly the reasons you state. I have two kids and a mortgage, so to walk away from a very good paycheck seems crazy. But perhaps it's crazier still to spend your life doing something that makes you miserable. So I think you should see this thing out, take the occasional grant-writing job when you have to (and maybe drop me a note letting me know how to get into THAT game!) and stick with your dreams. You clearly have talent. Good things will happen.

    Reply
  4. Hanna Otero

    I admire your bravery. I am a full-time editor and hate every second of my working life. I am seriously contemplating making a leap into freelance but have been afraid for exactly the reasons you state. I have two kids and a mortgage, so to walk away from a very good paycheck seems crazy. But perhaps it's crazier still to spend your life doing something that makes you miserable. So I think you should see this thing out, take the occasional grant-writing job when you have to (and maybe drop me a note letting me know how to get into THAT game!) and stick with your dreams. You clearly have talent. Good things will happen.

    Reply

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