Writing Update 2

Standard

A post in a fellow writer’s blog inspired me to list the things I’m going to focus on in the coming months with regard to my writing:

  • Submit at least one query a day.
  • Submit at least two queries each week to a high-paying market.
  • Write at least two pages a day in The Novel.
  • Update blogs at least every other day, if not every day.
  • Join a writing group.
  • Re-vamp Web site.

I’ve already submitted one query today, albeit a very short one. I may try and crank out another this afternoon. I also have been very guilty of targeting the lower-paying markets ($50 here, $25 there), which does wonders for the portfolio but little for the bank account. I need to strike a balance between the two ends of the writing business spectrum so that I can build both my portfolio and my income!

I’ve been dabbling in some copywriting lately, specifically doing advertorials both for local businesses as well as for the local paper. It can be lucrative work, although as it’s still a small market, the pay is very small compared to what I could make elsewhere. I tentatively checked out this site where you can sign up to bid on freelance writing projects posted by various companies. I won’t even mention the name of the site, not just because I can’t remember it (natch), but also because the rates the companies offer are positively abusive. The only people who can afford to bid on them are those who live in places like India, where $20 can go a long way. Otherwise, fuggeddaboutit. The vast majority of projects I saw up for bid quoted ridiculous rates like $1-2 per 500-word article. Nope, that’s not a typo. And most companies required at least 10-15 articles a day.

Which means that I could bust my ass writing for 5-6 hours (most of the articles would require a bit of research on the part of the writer) and get a whopping $30 at the most. Uh-huh. Right.

So no, I’m steering clear of those kinds of projects for now and am focusing on magazine and newspaper writing instead. So far, things are humming along, but I don’t plan on taking anything for granted, as the work could disappear at any time.

The Novel has been stagnant of late, but I’ll be returning to it this afternoon. I hear my characters screaming at me (“Good God, why have you abandoned me in this freakin’ limbo??? Get me out of here and start the damn war already!”), and it doesn’t help that my self-imposed deadline of finishing the first draft by December 31, 2007, is looming ahead. So far I’m at about 100 pages, but with the way this is going it’s liable to be a monster epic to rival The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Oh well. Deep breath.

And yes, I have more than one blog. The other one, Pinay Journal, I mentioned earlier, but I’ve two others that I write under a pseudonym for a variety of reasons. They’re not difficult to write, as they’re about subjects I’m passionate about, but they still take time.

I had a Web site for a few years that I designed using Microsoft Publisher, which was a mistake. The software can be used for Web design, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than simple desktop publishing like newsletters and flyers. In any case, I took the site down last year and have yet to do anything about it. Of course, my business card still has the URL listed, so I try to remember to tell people I give the cards to that the Web site is still Under Construction. Otherwise, they visit and discover this rather ominous-sounding page screaming: “Bad Request (Invalid Hostname).” Eek. Must. Get. Site. Up.

MRA

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