Do you want to make money with your writing?
Writerly Witterings for June will offer you ten suggestions of how you can do this. Be warned though, this blog post will seriously inspire you…
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Once a month I post a ‘ten ways to…’ blog post, and this month is an exciting one. Well, they all are exciting, but this post has the bonus of also being able to affect your bank balance… in a brilliant way!
Make sure you read to the end as I’ll be giving details of my latest prize draw – one I’m certain you’ll want to enter - it will help you along the way with this month's topic if you win it!
10 Ways to Make Money with Your Writing
So here we go, ten ways to make money with your writing, and there’ll be a task for you to do when I’ve gone through them:
- Writing competitions can be a real biggie – and many offer substantial prize money. These can be for stories or poems – and an online search will reveal the current ones. Just search for short story competitions in the UK, or wherever you are. Or poetry competitions, or novel competitions. Autobiography competitions are less frequent. Many of these writing competitions are free to enter, but you stand a better chance of winning or being shortlisted with the ones that require an entry fee, as they will attract fewer entries. Entering these competitions has many other benefits too one of which is building your ‘writing CV’, which makes you a more attractive proposition for prospective publishing deals.
- Along similar lines is writing short stories for magazines. Here, I’m thinking of women’s publications such as Prima and Woman’s Weekly in the UK, though there are lots which welcome submissions of standalone short stories, usually around a thousand words, or series which may run over several issues. These often pay well.
- Then there are the letters pages in newspapers and magazines. The ‘star letter’ often pays a substantial fee. For the poets out there, if you can make what you say into a rhyming poem, this can make your letter stand out amongst the others. Regular publications often have lots of white space to fill so may also welcome submissions of special features that are individual to their niche.
- This next one is also for the poets - you could ‘gift’ poems for special occasions. Perhaps by offering a service whereby a customer answers some questions prior to you writing, say a 20-line poem for a special birthday, an anniversary or a wedding speech – you could provide them in frames. Of course you don’t even need to charge for this – I’ve written poems as gifts for loved ones, saving money on what I might have paid for a bought gift. What could be more cherished than a personalised poem?
- As a writer, you will have an extensive array of skills, amongst which are editing and proofreading. Both are extremely sought after. A stream of income for you could be providing an editing and/or a proof reading service for other writers. You might charge by blocks of a thousand words and maybe look at how other services charge first.
- Returning to this extensive array of skills – you could teach. This is how I earn supplemental income from my writing – I offer online writing courses which used to be taught face to face. Wherever you are on your writing journey, you can offer creative writing workshops to writers who are not as far along the journey as you are. Or English as a second language, or writing – there’s so many people who’d welcome input on the rules of English for spelling, grammar and punctuation. We writers are also pretty proficient on the computer, another skill which others might welcome some teaching on.
- If you’re a poet or a short story writer, you could pool your formatting and marketing skills, (and audiences,) with other writers to produce a saleable anthology. Or if you're a novelist, there's scope to do the same thing on a larger scale by being involved in a saleable box set or bundle of books.
- Use your creativity, (particularly if you’re good at art or photography as well as writing,) by producing items such as calendars or greetings cards with a verse or sentiment you have created. This sort of thing is really popular nowadays.
- You could get your work published in the traditional way. Monetary advances aren’t what they used to be for authors starting out, but the advantage of having a publisher behind you for marketing and the contacts they have can be very lucrative. I’ll be talking more about getting published in next month’s Writerly Witterings.
- And I’ve saved what I think is the best until last. Indie Publishing. Yes, there’s a huge learning curve, but I earn my living from being an indie writer and publisher. Not only can you publish a full novel or life story, but there is scope for poetry collections, pamphlets and now Kindle Vella, which allows for shorter stories. I’ll talk more about indie publishing in a future video.
Next, I’m going to give you a task. Take one of those items and thoroughly investigate it. Just one – I don’t want you to become overwhelmed, so let me quickly run through them again. You could:
- Identify a writing competition to enter.
- Find a magazine to submit a short story to.
- Find a publication which accepts features or items for its letters page.
- Consider writing poetry as a gift.
- Look at how other writers price their editing and proofreading services.
- Decide what you could teach, who and where.
- Think about what you could contribute to a collaboration with other writers.
- Give some thought to how you could produce something creative for sale.
- Identify a publisher you could submit to.
- Look more into Indie Publishing – I recommend Kindle Direct Publishing.
Phew! There’s no such thing as the ‘starving artist’ after this lot! Once you’ve chosen what your stream of income is going to be, go ahead and make it happen. And don’t forget to drop into the comments to tell me all about it!
This Month's Giveaway
Now, as promised, let me tell you about my latest prize draw. This time, it’s to win a copy of Write a Collection of Short Stories in a Year, along with its companion notebook. Click here to enter.
This is a book that will push you right out of your comfort zone as a writer, and you’ll finish with ten lovely short stories that, like I’ve been talking about, have the potential to win you lots of lovely prize money in short story competitions.
Whilst we’re on the subject of the prize draw, I’d like to say a massive well done to Marie Gordon, who last month won a copy of Write a Collection of Poetry in a Year – the book she chose from the four how-to books for writers I have available.
So thank you for joining me this month – don’t forget to join my keep in touch list. Next time, I’m going to be giving you ten ways to get your writing published. Until then, enjoy the rest of your writing month and I’ll see you in the next blog post. Bye for now.
With best wishes, Maria
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