More Ways to Suck Up Your Time


About 150 links on making money from writing online. Guess I know what I’ll be doing next week, aside from researching and writing the projects I currently do have.

By the way, did anyone read the Poets & Writers column this month by Katherine Dykstra entitled “Literary Laryngitis?” She writes about her struggle to maintain a unique voice in her own work at the same time that she’s required to imitate the “voices” of the different publications for which she freelances. Freelance writers will recognize the conflict, as magazines have their own style and require their stable of writers to adhere to them. It makes it easy to target their specific audience or niche, but it’s hell on the writers who have to don various personas in order to get published (and paid!). I know that when I work on The Novel, I have to be careful not to sound too dry, too chatty, too informal, too formal, too analytical, too distant, etc etc etc. I’ve written for a running magazine, a wedding magazine, a women’s magazine, and various other publications, each of which necessitated switching to a different style, rhythm, and choice of words. By the time I get back to my own, personal writing, I have to switch gears and remember where I left my own voice. Not easy. And I don’t know if it ever will.

I do enjoy freelance writing, much as I sometimes hate the pressure. I like getting paid, and I like working with editors (most of whom are a wonderful bunch). But there’s always the stuff you work on on the side, the manuscript that no one ever sees, and that no one ever will see if I focus too much on the bread-and-butter assignments. How do you balance the two so that one doesn’t completely overwhelm the other, especially when The Other — while it doesn’t feed your mouth for now — is the one that feeds your soul?