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January, 2008

Losing Patience

Freelancing And The Art Of Promotion
Need to feed your basic needs? Get aggressive
By  Karen Braynard

Aggressive promotion, not a muse, earns you income in a crowded writing market.
ho’s kidding whom? As creative artists and artisans, fiction-writers or not, we all want to write what we want to write. 

Writers hold an idealistic standard for where our printed words fall. We covet that moment when we see our byline in print above our hard work. 

The reality is that getting published and getting paid can sometimes be two very separate things. We may dream of our articles in the glossies, but while we’re anxiously awaiting a response from editors, we still have to put food on the table, heat the house and pay off the Christmas bills. 

They say that writing is a lonely business, that writers are introverts, that writing is all about the muse. At times I think “they” are right. But if we want to be successful and prolific, we have to set those nostalgic images aside. We need to change our own mindset of who and what we are. And if we want an income, we must aggressively pursue markets for our work.  

If new to trying to live by the pen, you may have overlooked the obvious. If you’re not committed to expanding your opportunities then don’t bother reading any further. Some writers are self-sufficient and income might not matter to them.

In the real world there are potential clients all around you. There are the small business owners and our communities.  Local business owners are a great source of work and revenue. Many might even be exited to learn about your services and how you can help them. 

If you do anything different this year, make it a resolution to attend a local chamber of commerce or business-networking meeting. Business owners are busy people, but they understand the value of networking to market their skills, products or services and to meet others who can help them achieve their goals.

Freelance writers are small business owners too, although it’s often hard for us to see ourselves in that light. Unfortunately, like most business owners, marketing our product is the hardest part of the job. But it’s necessary and not so hard once you make the commitment to get started.

When you attend a meeting, write your profession in big letters on your nametag and be amazed at how many people are interested in meeting a writer. Remember, they’re looking for others whose services can help their business grow. Their gears are definitely turning as they learn more about what you do. 

Think ahead of time about how your writing can help a business and develop a 30 second “speech” about what you do and how you do it. “I enjoy providing an avenue for experts to share their knowledge within their industry via ghostwriting articles for them.” Or, “One of the things I do is to connect employers with their workers by providing interesting and informative articles for company newsletters.”  

You can be vague or specific depending on the type of writing you’d like to do. Can you ghostwrite articles in their industry, using them as the expert? Can you improve content on their website? Can you write or edit training manuals and newsletters?

If the answer is yes, and you’re interested in doing any of these things, you have a ready-made market surrounding you in these meetings. You just need to let them know you exist and how you can help. Don’t forget to hand them a business card while you’re telling them about your writing services.

The great thing about networking meetings is that they’re all about meeting people. So even if you are that proverbial introvert, someone will talk with you and introduce you to someone else. You will be amazed at how many business owners can use your services.  And even if you don’t land a paying job immediately following a meeting, know that your name and profession will have been filed in many address books for future reference or to pass on to another business that might need your services. 

And, while you’re working on promoting your business through the local community, don’t forget that you’ll have made your own contacts that might have very interesting stories to write about in the future. IN Icon

Karen Braynard is a contributing correspondent to a small handful of local weekly newspapers, a feature writer for The Senior Guide and aspiring full-time freelance magazine writer with a few clips under her belt. email:

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
Part III: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
Part II: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
Part I: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
The Delusional Is No Longer Marginal
Part II: Researching Nonfiction
Part I: Researching Nonfiction
Rediscover Your Passion
Pet Prose
Successful Influence
There's Money In That Junk Mail!

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Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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