Baby Steps For A Freelance Writer

5 Aug

003Welcome back y’all. I hope your weekend was restful and trouble free.  Shall we begin a new week of writing?

Today’s topic is….making it as a freelance writer.

Two tips for you today.  Follow them…don’t follow them…I’m just tossing this stuff out there in hopes that some of it will help you.

#1  As a freelancer, nonfiction pays better than fiction.  Even if you are a fiction writer, you might want to consider turning to nonfiction for a regular paycheck.  The reason is simple:  people want to know things before they want to be entertained, and those who publish magazines understand this truth.  Check out magazines online or in a bookstore and you will see the truth in this….most articles are nonfiction and they answer a question.

#2  Gain some credentials by getting published somewhere, and the easiest market to get established in is the online magazine market.  You may not get paid for a lot of these gigs, but you will get a byline, and bylines are incredibly important as you build your writing platform.  You may all want to be published in Ladies Home Journal, or Cosmopolitan, but the reality is that when you are starting out the odds are against you.  Your odds increase greatly if you are a published writer….so start small and work your way up the ladder of success.


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.
C. S. Lewis

Making it as a freelancer takes a lot of work, determination, and a willingness to learn…and that means learning from your mistakes and miscues as well as from your victories.  Freelance writing is a numbers game; for every article you get published you will be rejected dozens of times.  The good news is you will get better at the process.  The bad news is that experiencing failure is a must.


a foggy old pic 001

Have fun with the picture.  A little writing exercise if you will. What do you see?  Write a quick paragraph about it and maybe inspiration will come your way.


Family Circle Fiction Contest is accepting submissions now and it is absolutely free. It runs through September 16th and three submissions per person max.  You can find it here.


Writers Village has an online fourteen week course to improve your writing and increase your chances of being published and…..IT IS FREE.  Follow the link here to enroll…what do you have to lose?


Hey, I’ve got tons to do, so that’s all I have for you today.  Remember what I said at the outset of this posting….start small…start online….and most importantly, never give up.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

28 Responses to “Baby Steps For A Freelance Writer”

  1. Janine Huldie August 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Great tips and know when you give advice to take it, because Bill you know your stuff and are on your game. Thank you for always being willing to share with us your knowledge and enjoy hope you are enjoying your day now!!

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Janine, I don’t understand people who are not willing to share….they don’t hang for long in my neighborhood. 🙂 You have a lifetime membership by the way.

  2. ruchira August 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I agree non-fiction would show case better. You always inspire me to walk another quarter of a mile with the promise to see sunshine 🙂

    Happy Monday, Bill

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Ruchira, the sun is shining brightly this morning….do you see it? 🙂 Thank you my friend and have a great day.

  3. Karen Hellier August 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Well Bill, that’s excellent news for me because I have recently determined that I am a “Creative Non-Fiction Writer.” I just can’t seem to get into writing fiction so I am happy to hear I have a better shot at getting published! Now to find someone who will publish my writing because you are right, a lot of magazines won’t even look at your work unless you have already been published. Frustrating for us beginners. Thanks for the great tips.

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      Karen, start small…local newspapers, online mags, local newsletters….start searching the internet for opportunities in your area, and good luck.

  4. Liz August 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    You are way too Northwest to say “y’all”. 😀

    • Shauna August 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Ha ha! I was thinking the same thing, Liz!

      • Liz August 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

        Great minds think alike!

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Lizzy, there’s a little bit of country in all of us. 🙂

  5. Shauna August 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Thanx, Bill. I’ve just signed up for the writing course. I also am considering entering Timeless Love in the Family Circle contest. I need to check out their website first to make sure it fits their style. Unfortunately, their site is down right now for maintenance. 😦

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Sha, let me know what you think of it..I’ll sign up for it soon. 🙂

      • Shauna August 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

        So far, I’ve received the bonus ebook called “How to Win Writing Contests for Profit”. Also, the first class module is available right away when you sign up. It is “Use ‘character signatures’ to make minor characters memorable”. The balance of the modules will be sent weekly via email. So far, I’m impressed by the guy offering the course. In the opening paragraph of the free ebook he invites you to copy/paste the link to his ebook into blogs and websites as long as it links back to him. He seems to be as much of a giving writer as you! He offers over 40 years of experience and tips. That’s pretty awesome!

      • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

        Sha, that is very awesome indeed and I love your enthusiasm about it and writing. You go, girl!

  6. Kelly Umphenour August 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Bill I just want to know what Bev is feeding you. I mean do you even sleep? Ever? Maybe I need more lavender around here!

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

      Kelly….LOL…best laugh I’ve had today. Don’t start talking to Bev about my eating habits. I’ll get another lecture. 🙂 I don’t know what to tell you, Kelly. I am driven!

  7. pictimilitude August 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Yup, yup. Eh…it’s always work, perseverance, patience….lol

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Cyndi, I sure know a lot of people who don’t understand those simple truths. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my busy friend.

  8. Melanie Chisnall August 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Even though I’m not freelancing full-time anymore, I still have to come here to read your blog because I find it so inspiring. It’s almost bed time and now I feel like writing something about that photo, lol!

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      Mel, a writer’s mind never rests. 🙂 I’m always happy having you visit my friend. Thank you!

  9. mommyincolor August 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    I just signed up for the Writer’s Village!!!

    • Billybuc August 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

      Very cool mommy…I hope you like it.

  10. i'mkarn August 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Bill, you give us something to gnaw on everyday! And – we KNOW you’re busy! Most of us are quite convinced you have 4 computers and 8 hands!
    You are amazing, dedicated, goal-oriented, transparent – and you have a deep need to help others!
    You should be a zillionaire, but – i don’t think that’s in the cards for people like us (not that i’m comparing myself to you..)
    just the kind of folks who put principles before cash…
    have an awesome week, my friend – try not to work too hard!

    • Billybuc August 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

      Shoot, Leslie, my secret is now out…I do have eight hands. Born to some circus freaks many years ago…do you think there is a hub in that story? LOL

      Thanks Sis….you are right…the good people are never zillionaires….sigh!

      Have a great day my delightful friend.

  11. Deb Neyens August 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    Thanks, Bill. I just signed up for the Writers Village course. I am trying to find a way to jump-start my fiction writing. This can’t hurt!

    • Billybuc August 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      Deb, I have big hopes for that site; I hope I’m right. Good luck!

  12. prairierprincess August 25, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    Bill, I love that picture! I feel inspired just looking at it, and think it would make a good student writing prompt for L.A., too.

    Hope you are doing well!

    • Billybuc August 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Thank you Sharilee; I appreciate you stopping by and I love that you love that picture. I’m sure you are getting ready for the new school year so I hope the preparations are going well.

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