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How to Make a Living Wage as a Writer
by Beth Erickson
Making a living as a writer can be difficult
something Im sure youve already discovered. I remember applying for a position
as a staff writer at my local newspaper office... the secretary handed me the
application and proceeded to tell me where I could apply to be included in the
Federal Food Stamp Program.
"Why would I want to do that?" I
"Most of our new reporters need to do it to
supplement their wage," she replied.
I walked out the door and tossed the application
on the back seat of my car. I didnt touch it again until a couple weeks later
when I threw it into the trashcan.
I spent the next few months querying
publications and enduring those pesky rejection letters. Id occasionally make
$25 here, another $15 there, but nothing that would support my family of three.
I simply couldnt figure out why it would have
to be so difficult to make a living wage as a writer.
A short time later I was perusing the business
books at the local Barnes and Noble and ran across Bob Blys The
Copywriters Handbook. It introduced me to "copywriting," a branch of
writing Id read about but never given much thought to.
In case you dont know, copywriting is simply
writing for businesses. Copywriters write sales letters, direct mail packages,
web sites, public relations materials, and press releases just to name a few.
And the wages they earn can be truly astounding.
I studied Blys book, purchased a few more
copywriting manuals, took a couple courses to make sure my writing skills were
razor sharp, and hung out my shingle. Before I knew it, I was a professional
copywriter making my living wage.
But learning the secrets of copywriting did more
for my writing career than generate a good wage.
When I applied copywriting techniques to my
queries, magazine articles, and manuscripts something interesting
I suddenly started receiving far more acceptance
letters than rejections.
Because of the copywriting skills I developed,
today I have two published books, a thriving e-mag, my own web site
http://filbertpublishing.com), and have articles published in e-mags,
web sites, and magazines on a regular basis. And writing copy for businesses
finances all these endeavors.
I wish I had started writing copy earlier in my
career. Its an absolutely enriching endeavor. I meet interesting people, I get
to stretch my writing skills on a regular basis, but most of all Im a writer
living my dream.
And it doesnt get any better than
© Copyright 2002, Beth Erickson
Beth Ann Erickson is the author of Jumpstart Your Writing Career and The Almach both available at http://booklocker.com. Shes also a busy copywriter, speaker, and publisher of Writing Etc., the free e-mag for writers. Check it out plus receive the free e-booklet "Power Queries" at http://filbertpublishing.com.
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