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Your Way

by Jenifer Paros

Recently I was listening to a radio program in which Marc Allen was being interviewed. Marc Allen is one of the founders of New World Library–a very successful publishing house—and has written a book entitled Type- Z Guide to Success: A Lazy Person's Manifesto to Wealth and Fulfillment. On the show he talked about how years ago, when he had just turned thirty and was unemployed with no money, he decided to do an exercise he had heard of called “Ideal Scene.” In “Ideal Scene” you write down the best life scenario (or where you’d like to be in five years) you can imagine for yourself. To his surprise he wrote of starting a successful publishing company and writing books. He’d had no experience with either, and as he considered his newly-focused goals and dreams he heard the voice in his head question him vehemently. The voice claimed he was too lazy and undisciplined, that the way he liked to do things was antithetical to achieving what he wanted; it would be impossible. 

Marc Allen decided to give himself a year of doing things His Way–his lazy, sleep-until-11:00, take-a-couple-hours-to-acclimate-before- attempting-anything way. He made a deal with that voice–the voice of doubt and fear–that he would only do things in the way that he preferred and which came natural to him, and if it didn’t work in a year, well . . . then the experiment was over. In a year’s time, he had started his publishing house. more...

The Genie

by Kevin Lauderdale

After decades of trying I’ve sold four short stories in three years to professional venues, and so far this year I’ve sold two. So, while I am now someone from whom an unpublished writer might be willing to take advice, I’m still close enough to having no credits to list on my cover letter that I remember what it’s like. 

The Question is, How Do I Become A Writer? And The Answer (indeed, the only answer) is, You Write. Seems simple. Almost flippant. And yet you would be surprised at how many people are unwilling to take even that first step. 

“Oh, I just don’t have the time,” they say. “I want to be a writer. If only I weren’t so busy with the kids and school and . . .” 

“Do you ever watch television?” I ask. 

“Oh, sure.” more...


Travel Writing on the Cheap

by Allen Cox

Veteran travel journalist Judie Fein once told me that a new writer must never worry about the pay. "Just get some published clips," she said. "Begin to build a portfolio of the best travel writing you can do and the pay will come in time."

When Judie gave me that advice I was in the Yucatan attending her travel writing workshop, and was paying out-of-pocket for my airline ticket, hotel, meals, entrance fees, cab fare (and the list goes on), all the while calculating how many dozens of articles I'd have to sell to recoup the cost of the trip. I had already dug myself into a hole before my first query ever landed in an editor's inbox. Unfortunately, Judie was correct about the pay–I had already learned that editors with a budget of $25 for a 2,000 word travel feature are all too common for an aspiring writer. At that rate, I'd have to sell 100 articles to recoup the cost of the trip.

Travel is expensive. How would I ever break even? Would the math work itself out? I began to puzzle over how a travel writer begins to build a portfolio of published clips without breaking the bank, and eventually turns a costly hobby into a sustainable career.  more...




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