In episode 1 of The Professional Writer podcast, “Do You Have to Write Books to be a REAL Writer?” I talked about the day I had lunch with a group of fellow writers following a writers conference.
Some of us knew each other slightly, but most of us were being introduced for the first time. We went around the table and told about the type of writing we do. After everyone had introduced themselves, one writer announced, “Well, everyone here writes … except Laura.”
(If you listen to that episode, you’ll hear my reaction to that pronouncement.)
Reflecting back on that conversation, I think this person intended to say, “Everyone here writes books, except Laura.”
And they would have been correct. I have written books, but during the book writing and publishing process, I re-discovered my first writing love: short-form writing.
In other words, article writing. Blog post writing. Writing that nets me a steady income of several thousand dollars per month, every month, year after year.
‘Field of Dreams’ Mentality
Many writers I meet, particularly those who are working toward getting a book published, have the “Field of Dreams” mentality: “If you build it, they will come.”
If you get your book published, throngs of people will magically appear and eagerly snap it up.
While the “Field of Dreams” occasionally comes true, only a small percentage of authors earn a full-time income through writing books. Most authors write books as a passion project, or as a way to build an audience, or as a means to supplement their income.
That’s why I decided to regularly feature writers who supplement their income through writing projects other than writing books, or in addition to writing books.
Today, I’m pleased to welcome Tracie Heskett, a freelance writer who has written:
- Teacher resource books (books on specific topics with activities and lesson plans for a teacher to use in a classroom).
- Work-for-hire assignments from educational publishers.
- Ghost-writing (adapting oral presentations into book form).
- Guest blogging.
- Bible study lessons.
Tracie and I – both long-time freelance writers – will reveal our best tips for breaking into freelancing.
We’ll explain how we developed the confidence to write about a variety of topics and for many types of clients.
And we’ll share how we network so word-of-mouth referrals keep the income flowing in.
About Tracie Heskett
Tracie is a freelance author whose work-for-hire contracts include best-selling teacher resource books, fiction and nonfiction leveled readers, ghostwriting, conducting research for a nonprofit organization, and writing Bible study materials.
She has written more than 50 teacher resource books, a textbook, and other curriculum materials for national Christian and secular educational publishers.
Visit Tracie at TracieHeskett.com
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