One of the hardest parts about trying to make a living as a writer is figuring out how to find ways to get paid for what you're already doing: writing. I had a bit of an epiphany about this lately, and I'm going to see how it pans out.
See, I think many of us have ideas and random projects going on all the time. Just side stuff, but still. If you're like me, you like to go from poetry to flash fiction to magazine article to blog post to one-act-play to comic strip. I'm not sure how good I am at any of it, but I get a thrill trying my hand at all sorts of fun different things.
Here's how I've sort of been thinking up till now. I've been looking at these as what I just called them: "side" projects. Which in many ways they are, except not really. I've been focusing on selling myself, or my services maybe, finding people who want to hire a sort of week end freelancer. Which is great, don't get me wrong, but honestly it can be a little tedious and defeating a lot of times.
So now I'm sort of looking at it a little differently. Because if I'm doing all those random projects in my free time anyway, then in a lot of ways it doesn't make sense to try and get people to hire me for their random projects. I'm already working and creating, so why not focus instead on finding good homes for the work I'm already doing? I mean, I've been sort of doing that up till now as well, but I think that should be the main focus.
And that includes pitching non-fiction articles to magazines in topics I find interesting. And selling all the poems and stories and scripts and things I'm working on anyway. And maybe finding other talented artists to collaborate with.
In other words, I think its wise to take a book from the inimitable Hank Green, and create our own careers. To really be our own artists and make a career out of what we do best, rather than being someone elses artist. Does that make sense? And of course, that doesn't mean not taking opportunities when they come, and searching out new and interesting teams to join. To do otherwise is foolish, I think. But we should also give ourselves credit and fight the good/hard fight until we do place our work in a good home, even though that can be really difficult sometimes. Because if we keep fighting, and are willing to continually learn and grow, we will find homes for our best work, and eventually lots of people will want to start paying us for it. At least that's what I'm telling myself :D
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