by Catherine L. Tully
I know a lot of people who are really good writers, but they aren’t all getting paid good money. I remember one writer that frequented a forum that I visited frequently. She was a better writer than I am, and she was frittering her time away writing for publications that paid five or ten dollars an article. She finally had to give up and return to the corporate world. The sad part is…if she just would have upped her markets a bit, she may have realized that she was underselling herself.
You see, good writers don’t always get paid what they are worth just because they have talent. They also have to have some drive and a willingness to take chances. Part of being a writer is taking risks. By stretching yourself, you will begin to learn your limitations…but more importantly…you will grow. Every time I got a gig at a magazine that was “out of my league” at the time, I had to work harder to make the piece shine. And I improved every time.
Now I’m not saying that you don’t have to know what you are doing. Learn your grammar. Study punctuation. Get the basics polished and ready. You have to have that stuff down before you can really compete. But once you have a good handle on it, get in the game. For every ten queries you send out, make one a flyer and go for a bigger market. Eventually you’ll hit one. Then come back and let everyone here know that it really works!