19 Dec Building the Writer’s Platform: (Guest Blog) by Thais Derich
There’s a lot of pressure on me to make money from my writing. Just doing art for the joy of doing it doesn’t mean scheduling time for it during the weekends. Art is something that’s acceptable to do only when all the real work is done. Well the “real” work is never done.
So I make time for my writing in the waiting room of my son’s speech therapy session. A half-hour. I’m always looking for those little time nuggets, when I pull out my purse, take out my notebook and get some work done. I’m not making any money yet but wouldn’t that be nice if I did? Maybe that’s the hope that keeps me going.
The real question is, “If I never make money off of my writing, would that stop me from writing?” Well, my real answer is “No.”
Here’s my compromise: maybe I can find paid work for writing that I like to do. In today’s writing world, I need to build a writer’s platform to help my writing get “out there:” picked up by editors, agents, and publishers. Part of a writer’s platform is Facebook, Twitter, blogs, websites, books, and articles.
Publishing articles is an interesting one and it might be possible to build a platform by getting paid for writing articles. When looking for writing gigs, I focus on the jobs that I might really want to write. If I’m not picked, well, I might just write about the subject on my own blog.
I’m a mommy blogger, and so I look on sites like Elance, MediaBistro, and Craigslist for writing jobs that support my current writing trend: parenting.
Elance doesn’t seem like a promising site because it’s global. I can’t compete with the price bids from freelancers in India, but I do like the daily job listings sent to my inbox. I’m hopeful there’s someone out there who wants a writer living in the U.S.A.
Media Bistro has some great articles on how to pitch to some well-known publications. It also allows you to post your portfolio so editors can seek you out. For example, if an editor is looking for a mommy blogger, he or she might see my resume in his or her search.
And, Craigslist never fails to be an excellent resource. I had a few back-and-forth emails with an editor from a parenting site after I saw their ad on Craigslist.
Maybe the day that I get paid for what I love to do isn’t so far off after all. It just takes some patience, research and realization that I’d be writing either way.
How are you building your writing platform?