Friday, December 25, 2009

Going out (with your pen) on a limb

Well here it is Christmas Day and I am stuffed from food and fun with the family. But the real source of my joy is seeing my PayPal account fill up for the very first time, thanks to some new on-line publishing I've fallen into. The funny part is how out of my comfort zone the topics are. That I think is the mistake I made as a new writer, I didn't want to take on projects unless I was an expert in the subject. Didn't leave much.

So with a more open mind, I've been on, a website where you chose your assignments which offer a fixed fee, and away I went into "how much does it cost to build a three stall garage" to "Bird control devices". By being willing to take on topics I'm not familiar with, I'm broadening my knowledge, experience and pay scale.

Now the research is needed, but the word counts - some as small as 50 words, some 400 mean I'm not writing a novel on the topic. So I can brave a topic I know little about, and find something that suits the publisher.

I want to encourage you to try the same thing. If your niche is "sailboat launching for teens" and it's not selling, maybe it's time to change your audience. It's good to write about sailboats to hone your craft, but perhaps you're being called to write about skydiving, even if you've never done it.

Tomorrow after the holiday, I want to get up before the children and continue researching another assignment "Wheelchair accessible hotels in Vilamera" (as in Portugal). If I can find just two more sources I can finish the article and submit it for review, which almost always means payment is just a day or two away. Wish me luck!

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