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Pen IN Hand
January, 2008

Cover Script

Flowing Like Water
Explore, get paid
By  Peggy Bechko

Hereís one of the stickiest points many writers face. Whither goest my writing career? Or, what the heck am I doing?
Good question.
No one can really answer that but you, but I can give a few suggestions to help things along. Most people automatically associate writing with fiction and the wildly known names in that field like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, etc.
Writing, though, is a much larger arena. And hereís where my philosophy comes in. Let your writing career flow like water over the rocks. You may have one particular area of love or expertise or both, but donít let that prevent you from exploring others Ė nor from getting paid in the process.
In my career Iíve written and published novels, optioned screenplays, won an award for a short story, and I am currently writing this column for IN. Iíve also written, unsung behind the scenes, resumes, grant proposals, business literature, newsletters, copy, rewrote into a readable form material translated from a foreign language, and created fundraising materials for a non-profit (check out How I Spent My SummerÖ). When youíre a writer these things come along. Someone knows you write and asks if you can do whatever it is they need done. Unless itís something you hate or is so wildly out of your confidence area that you feel youíd really blow it, the answer is "YES!"
All writing is good exercise for you. All income from said writing is also good for you! Figure out how to quote a cost. Determine your hourly rate and multiply it times the amount of time you believe it would take to complete the project. You may get stung a couple of times in the beginning if, in your eagerness to grab a project you estimate too low, but that, too, is a lesson learned. And remember, it isnít always the lowest bid that gets a job, itís value: what you can offer for the amount you charge. And thatís when you have an employer.
Perhaps you have a terrific idea for a nonfiction book. Write those sample chapters, get your proposal together and send it out to publishers. Work in areas other than that of your love will increase your writing abilities, and may even result in breaks in the area of your first interest. It will no doubt also result in published clips for your file.
I donít necessarily recommend the shotgun approach Iíve taken on many occasions with my career though it certainly has worked for me. With a little thinking and tinkering you can nail down two or three areas of writing where you feel you have strong abilities. Then you need only to remain open to opportunities in those areas and eagerly pursue them.
And how will this benefit my writing love, you ask. Youíll be writing, youíll be making money, so you donít have to do the starving artist thing, and doors will be opening where youíll least expect them. And, if your love is in another area, youíll actually find in the long run that you have more time to pursue that as well. If you can create income from your writing, you may be able to get rid of that pesky day job or at least cut to part time freeing you to dedicate more time to your writing.
Give it a try. You may surprise yourself.  
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Author of Doubleday western novels, Harlequin romances, Fictionworks' fantasies (eBook format), Peggy Bechko has also optioned screenplays domestically and abroad, written for an animated series and for variety of other venues. She's working on a new novel and collaborating on a animated series.

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Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís 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;
Itís 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
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís 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 ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís 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.

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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 youíll 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 poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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