Thursday, November 29, 2012

3 Ways to Support Your Fiction Habit While Working Towards That Big Contract

Many of us are committed fiction writers, yet haven’t been paid for our efforts in years. Sometimes it’s hard to convince family and friends we’re working when we don’t bring home a paycheck. Sometimes it’s even hard to convince ourselves.

So what’s a devoted novelist to do while waiting to land a big contract?

Before the fiction bug bit, I freelanced for several local magazines. But when raising kids, writing fiction, and freelancing became too much to juggle, I hug up my press hat. Unfortunately, I forfeited the little money I was making that “made” me a real writer. Now almost ten years later and one book contract advance spent, I need to make money while I wait to land a bigger contract. Since getting a J.O.B is not an option for me at this point, I’ve decided to go back to my freelancing roots.

At a recent writers conference, Chuck Sambucino offered great insight on freelancing. In class I realized I had years worth of blog content that I could repurpose for different periodicals, and was inspired to send out queries. My first query to the local paper didn’t get a response, but I got a “yes” twenty minutes after I emailed a query to a magazine I used to write for. There might even be an option for writing a column when there’s an opening. Now it’s official, I’m a working freelancer again and all because I decided to send out a query!

Think about how you can repurpose blog posts or articles you've already written, then send out those queries. 
Last summer I taught story telling/plotting to a group of preteens and had a great time teaching what I love, and I got paid for it! This year I’ve added new classes to my creative writing camps and hope to hold one or two this summer. I also plan on pursuing more speaking engagements with local women's and writer's groups.
Think about what you might be able to speak on. Do you have some blog posts that people have really responded to? Maybe you can create a talk from those!

Remember those blog posts and talks you created? Why not consider converting them into ebooks? If you look at your blog content, I bet you'll see various themes running through the posts. Why not organize your posts by themes and publish them as ebooks? You might not get rich from these ideas, but you may just earn a little money to support your fiction habit while you wait for that  big contract and prove to the naysayers that you are a legitimate writer. Unfortunately, the downside to trying to support your fiction habit is that it gives you less time to actually write. But that’s another subject for another day. Til then… keep writing, one word, one project at a time!
Let's talk: How do you financially support your fiction?

Gina Conroy is founder of Writer...Interrupted and is still learning how to balance a career with raising a family. Represented by Chip MacGregor, she writes quirky mysteries full of deep truth. Her first book Cherry Blossom Capers, released from Barbour Publishing in January 2012 and her newest mystery, Digging Up Death  is available November 2012.


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Wow, such great ideas! I really need to look into doing some of these because I need some $$$ to support my fiction writing habit!

Iola said...

At first, I thought you meant finance your fiction buying habit, because to be a good writer, you have to read in the genre.

My advice here is to use your public library, find a friend wtih a good job and a fiction addiction, or start a review blog, to get free review copies.

Gina Conroy said...

LOL! I guess that could work also, Iola!

Gina Conroy said...

Glad I could help, now if only I could implement my own advice more! :)