Friday, September 09, 2005

So I'm a Professional ...

Yesterday was a good day. As planned, I sat down and wrote an article for a gaming magazine that came in at just over 4100 words. Not bad for a single day. I had it written by lunchtime, took a long break for lunch, and then came back and did edits until quitting time. Once I decided it was as good as it could get, I fired it off to the editor (who prefers electronic submission, which is somewhat unusual but darned convenient). If he buys the piece -- and I honestly think he will, but we'll see -- it will net me between $100 and $125, depending on how the edits for publication go. Not bad for a day's work. I read the magazine regularly, so I know the kinds of pieces they buy. This is definitely subject matter that will interest them, and a search of their archives didn't turn up any similar pieces, so I think I've got a good shot with it.

The article is non-fiction, of course. While I did crank most of those four thousand words in one day, the hard part, the time-consuming part, about writing non-fiction is the research that goes before the actual writing. I had already finished all the research for this article before I started writing yesterday, so don't be too impressed (but you can be a little impressed :) ). I have a good dozen articles in the same starting state as this one, so I can put together a solid six months or so of articles. I'm not naive enough to believe that the editor will buy one of my articles for every issue (but hey, you never know!), so this will probably last me a lot more than six months. That's good because it gives me more time to work on other markets.

So, according to my definitions based on Heinlein's rules of writing (see more on that in the earlier entry), I'm now a professional freelance writer. It remains to be seen if, according to the other definitions, I'm a successful professional freelance writer. The magazine's writers' guidelines say that they usually have a two to three week turn-around, so hopefully I'll know fairly soon. In the meantime, I'll keep cranking out the articles.

Oh, by the way, in non-writing news, I just got another offer to do a speaking engagement in Virginia (that's the second one this semester), so the educational consulting business seems to be doing well also. They're going to pay my travel and speaker fee (so I guess I need to decide what that will be) -- I can't complain!

No comments: