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Add One More
by David Geer

In order to get more assignments and get paid more, add one more of any of the following.

Add one more expert to queries.

Provide their name, title, affiliation, expertise, and why they are appropriate. I have consistently garnered more work by offering more sources than required. You are only adding a little extra work in order to get an almost certain guarantee of more assignments. I recently got an assignment from a magazine that I hadn't worked for in a while, in part I'm sure by adding more experts.

Turn in work one day earlier.

If you turn in work on time, turn it in a day early. If you turn it in a week early, make it a week and a day. The sooner you're done, the sooner you can start work on another project, maybe from the same, newly impressed editor.

Add one more edit before an editor ever sees it.

By tightening up your work, you'll please your editor even more. I am never as satisfied with any of my work as when I make time to write it four times - that's a first draft and three proofs, edits or rewrites.

Add one more rewrite to queries.

I am finding out that a well crafted query letter with all the elements, that is itself a sample of your writing mastery, is a minimum requirement for getting better paying projects.

Add one more graphic.

If you ask sources for graphical elements, get all you can. You can forward several to your editor as easily as you can forward a few. This will give the editorial department more options during layout. It will also make you more attractive for the next assignment.

Add one more genre.

Take a look at your clip file. Articles cross more than one format or subject area. Pitch to all types of publications. We all do more kinds of writing than we think we do. Do you write letters, make up jokes, console friends with words of wisdom? Bring all your talents to the bargaining table.

Add one more risk.

Add one more beneficial risk that you are willing to take in order to reach your goals and fulfill your writing dreams. The benefit should be clear, the risk should be justifiable, and the only thing that should have any chance of ending up broke at the end is your heart, not you ($).

Add one more way - each day, week, month or year - of improving your writing.

Think workshops, classes and things with interaction first, books and other resources second.

Add one more way to market yourself.

Whether a website facelift, e-zine ads or approaching new markets, sell your talents in some new way. Look around the industry. See what works and decide which methods you'd most enjoy, and which might work best for you.

Add one more way to reward yourself.

An editor or publisher won't always amply reward you. So, save some rewards for yourself. Look around your office. Is it time for a fresh bouquet of flowers, a painting or a coffee mug? Maybe it's time for a vacation. Even a cheap, working vacation can be taken to reward yourself. Take that laptop to a getaway spot that offers broadband in your hotel room along with the room service. Have plenty of work lined up that can be done from your new, temporary paradise. Have your calls forwarded and arrange to check your email remotely. Work all day, play half the night (or vice versa) and return home with more cash than when you left and no guilt.

All these add-ons have one thing in common. You'll have to try them to see that they work.

© Copyright 2003, David Geer

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