Freelance Writing: A Plea.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do with my life. I obviously dream of being a full time writer, but there's a lot that goes into that. Much of it is outside the aspiring writer's control. (For instance, I don't have complete control over my work and school schedule, I have financial obligations that prevent me from devoting more time to writing, and who knows if anyone will ever buy one of my books?) I don't want to be one of those writers who pins their hopes on a book selling someday (not that there is anything wrong with that) and does nothing else. Even if I never sell a book, I still want to write for a living.

I've come to the conclusion that I'd like to start questing into the world of freelance writing, be it the Community College newspaper, websites, blogs, articles, or what-have-you. I have no illusions that I will have much success, especially to begin with, but I need to get out there. I can't complacently sit by while my life passes in front of me. College is a great plan, but it can't be my only plan, just like my book can't be my only plan.

So the question is this: how the heck does anyone get started in freelancing? What I know about it could be written on the back of a stamp. In 24 pt font. I've heard that most places don't accept unsolicited inquiries, which leaves me... where exactly? How does one find information about writing one-time articles? Are there websites advertising for writers? Are there publications that regularly accept submissions? What about short stories, is anyone taking those? These are all questions I'm hoping some of you might have suggestions or answers to. I'm not too worried about compensation right now (obviously), I mostly want to flex my writing muscles and work with some deadlines and editors, even if it's just on a small scale.

Blow up the comments people, I appreciate anyone's input!

1 comment:

  1. When I was in middle school, one of our projects in English class was to write and submit an article to a magazine. You might just start with that. The college also has a literary journal, I believe, and they will accept entries for that. Just pick a magazine and write an appropriate article for them. I'm sure that there are short story publications out there, too, and they'll definitely take submissions.