I started my freelance writing career in 2007 when my personal essay about my daughter’s fast and furious birth was published in Pregnancy magazine.
I was thrilled that my essay got accepted–and I was hooked! Even though I was swamped with parenting two little kids, I kept on writing a little bit every day (or every week) and I started this blog.
Blogging has never made me much money. I’m not Dooce or Scary Mommy from back in the glory days of blogging, nor do I have recipes or crafts that make me a Pinterest juggernaut.
While blogging has been fun and satisfying, I branched out with writing for my local family newspaper. Once a month, I reviewed local family restaurants with my family.
I also started getting my parenting essays published at Scary Mommy, Mamalode, Your Teen for Parents, and more.
While I have a day job (zzzz), I write in my free time and consider myself a part-time freelance writer. Here’s what I want my friends, family and readers to know about my freelance writing and the essays I write and share:
1. Your likes, comments, and shares mean a lot! I appreciate them so much.
Think about it like this: when you get your hair cut and you show up at work or home, do you want people to just stare at you and say nothing? No, you want people to mention they like it.
Also, likes and shares show that people like what I wrote, which might mean the publication thinks, “This gal’s on fire! I’m gonna buy more of her stuff!”
2. I don’t pick my titles. At best, I get to suggest titles. But editors have the final say, and most of them try to make a piece as scintillating or SEO-friendly (i.e., filled with certain keywords) to get the most clicks.
Most of the time, I’m fine with the titles they pick. But every now and then I think, “What the what? That’s NOT what my essay is about.”
3. No, I can’t change my titles. The publication owns my work and can title it what they want.
4. How the publication shares my piece on social media is also out of my control. Will they share it during prime time on a weeknight? Or Sunday at 4am during a long weekend?
I don’t know.
Will they pull out a snippet directly from my piece or write something totally on their own to promote it?
I don’t know.
5. Freelance writing isn’t making me rich (yet!) Some people thought the monthly family restaurant review in my local paper was my full-time job (okay, that was my kids). That gig paid me $65/month.
Most of the essays I sell these days range from $50 to $100.
It’s nice, but not life-changing.
6. I’m hustling. When one publication doesn’t like my pitch or essay, I shop it to another. And so on.
And so on.
And so on.
I wait for yeas or nays or I try to interpret the meaning of two weeks of silence from a publication (Are they passing? Should I nudge them? Bueller? Bueller?)
Then, there’s also tracking who bought what, when it was published, when the publisher wants an invoice (or not) and did they ever pay me. If they don’t pay me on time, I have to start nagging.
7. I get rejected a lot and I just keep swimming, er, writing.
8. All that rejection makes it so sweet when I place a piece with a publication. Yea!
9. Which is why it really, really means a lot when people like my work, comment, or share it. Because it was a long process to get it out there!
10. I can’t stop writing. So I think I’m on to my calling or what I’m good at.
At the very least, I’m having fun sharing my thoughts and I’m having some success getting my thoughts published. And that means a lot to me, as does your support. So, thank you!
kelly McKenzie says
Hola! You’re doing great, Katy. Just great. Keep plugging away. I am so impressed. Those rejections are both so difficult and educational, I find. Once I’ve gotten over the huge disappointment (“ugh, not again”) I gradually revisit the piece and try to pick it apart. “Where did I go off track?” is a delightful question that frequently pops up.
Thank you, friend, and fellow writer! I found the Erma conference very inspiring and helpful, by the way. Currently I’m reworking a piece that had to much telling, not enough showing.
KAty recently posted…Itty Bitty Things I’m Thankful For During This Strange Time