Writing For Free Pays!

by Douglas Bower - Date: 2006-12-08 - Word Count: 694 Share This!

I am pleased to announce that because of the existence of the American Chronicle, and the kind tolerance of its editorial staff, particularly Peter who has had to endure a lot regarding yours truly, I have been noticed by a travel guide publisher. Because I was permitted to send in article after article to this online publication, I am able to take on some bigger, paid gigs.

The way this works is that you write, a lot, and send your stuff into the American Chronicle for no pay. Hopefully, you write something that people actually want to read and, on occasion, respond to. The guys and gals at the mysterious editorial offices of the Chronicle, if you are lucky, approve your articles and put them on their web page. Though you aren't making money in the traditional sense, you are getting exposure. You can even mention that you have written a book or two and that you would appreciate it if lots of people buy many copies for Christmas presents.

Lo and behold, when I wasn't even looking, a travel guide publisher wrote me and asked for samples of my writing and my resume. Of course, I did what they asked pronto! I also asked which butt-cheek I should kiss. Not really, but I felt like it.

This travel guide publisher responded. After swooning to the floor and picking myself up, I read that not only were they interested in me as a contract writer but they also want to publish one of my articles in an anthology they have coming out later this spring.

After a lot of excitement-caused sleepless nights and a lot of alcoholic beverages, I was finally able to reflect on how this has all come to be. I thought I would offer some words of advice to other aspiring writers.

First, write, write, and write some more. What I mean is, write something publishable every day. Write as though you have a daily column to get out by a deadline. This doesn't mean that you necessarily need to get it published daily. The point here is that you need to produce a lot of material. And, it needs to be publishable. Make sure it is your best stuff.

Second, in this daily writing, be sure to address your niche. I write about Mexico almost exclusively because that is where I live and what I know. I write what I know and what I want to write about-life in Mexico.

Third, find a place like the American Chronicle to file your stories. Make sure, if the online publication allows you to post key words, you choose key words that you think someone will look for within your niche. For example, with almost every story I file, I put the words, "Mexico, Guanajuato, expatriation to Mexico, travel to Mexico, etc…" or some variation as the key words.

Fourth, if you are permitted to post personal info, a bio or your web page, then do so. You want your biographical information out there. You also want to have words in your bio that correspond to the key words in your stories.

Fifth, do not ever offend your editors. Do not be a cry-baby. Do not pitch fits. Do not think of yourself as a prima donna. There are enough of them in the world. Frankly, they are not well loved. In fact, do what your editors say. Always follow their suggestions, especially when they tell you to straighten up your act and fly right. I add, reluctantly, that I know this point from personal experience.

Though none of this is guaranteed to land you a paying gig, it can be the means through which you get discovered. The more stories you can file, with lots and lots of good key words, the better your chances of getting noticed.

I will keep all my readers on the Chronicle informed as to the progress of my new writing venue. I will continue to crank out the stuff that many of you apparently like reading.

I want to thanks the Chronicle, Peter, and all those readers who have actually read my work.

And, be sure to buy my books, lots of them, for Christmas presents this year.

Related Tags: spanish, mexico, guanajuato, live mexico, study spanish, retire mexico, san miguel de allende


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