11 December 2010

The Fussy Writer's Guide to Making Time to Write, part 3

This post is part 3 of a 3-part series. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

It's not just about the writing, you know. It's about having time to dream. It's about a sense of spaciousness. It's about having room to breathe.


Without these things, I personally think we're not fully human. We need time. You need time.

For me, the answer to getting a dribble of income going has been turning (again) to freelancing. For a while I worked for a charitable organization, writing web copy. That was an okay gig. Eventually, I discovered the world of online content writing. I write for a large studio that offers up front pay, and my goal for 2011 is to get more into writing for revenue share. I've barely begun putting ads on my own websites, mostly because my track record in writing consistently for those is crap (obviously), but it's something to consider. There are people out there who offer great and free advice on how to get into online writing. Start with No Job for Mom, and if that turns your crank, try The Freelancer Today's Make Money Writing a Blog series.

Let me be clear about this: online writing is not your key to instant wealth, and I don't recommend it for everyone. Most sites pay a scanty amount. You have to write very well, very fast, in order to make an okay amount. If you're going for revenue share / ad revenue, you have to be persistent and you have to not have a pile of bills or debt waiting for immediate payment. Many people have a fantasy that writers make a ton of money, and that there's some magical online source that will pour cash into your bank account if you can only get there.

This fantasy is false, at least for me. (Of course, if any of you have reached the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, feel free to comment!) My experience is that online writing is okay part time work that pays an okay part time wage, most of the time.

But remember how you just spent some time paring down your expenses? It doesn't matter if your income is a dribble. Your outflow is also a dribble. And you'll have the luxury of time.

It doesn't have to be freelance writing. Try dogwalking. Or part-time receptionist work. Or anything that doesn't make you feel like hell all the time.

If you're a fussy writer, like me, it will be worth it.

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