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.
decided to give himself a year of doing things His Way–his lazy,
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.
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someone from whom an unpublished writer might be willing to take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
“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.
Travel Writing on the Cheap
by Allen Cox
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.
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...