B U S Y F R E E L A N C E R
Monthly Publication For Freelancing Parents
May 1, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 5
Busy Freelancer is a division of Write From Home
Copyright (c) 2002, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
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In This Issue...
>>>> Letter From the Editor
>>>> Article: "Mixing Motherhood and Writing"
by Linda Chiara
>>>> Write From Home Site Updates
>>>> Article: "Do It Anyway"
by Karen J. Gordon
>>>> Tips, Hints & Resources
>>>> Article: "When Someone Beats You To It"
by Andrea L. Mack
>>>> Success Spotlight
>>>> Article: "Essay or Article, What's the Difference?"
by Christine Collier
>>>> Excellent Editors
>>>> Article: "A Book is Born"
by Shirley G. Webb
>>>> Humor Column
"The Healthy Writer"
by Sheri Waldrop
>>>> Paying Markets
░░░░░ LETTER FROM THE EDITOR ░░░░░
I want to begin by wishing all the moms out there a Happy
Mothers Day! I hope you're able to kick back, relax and
have a stress-free day.
Now that spring is upon us and summer is around the corner,
you may find yourself busier than usual. Lawns to mow,
gardens to weed, kids home from school, swimming lessons,
vacations, etc., etc., etc. Even though your schedule may
be hectic, don't forget to stick to some sort of writing
schedule. A little of some writing time is better than a
lot of no writing time. Start now, before summer arrives
and make some type of schedule. By planning ahead you'll
feel like you have more control over your time and how
Until further notice, if you are thinking about submitting
or querying Write From Home or Busy Freelancer, I ask that
you please hold off. I've filled almost all available slots
through the month of December. Because of this, I will have
to decline many submissions, not because they aren't well-
written, but simply because I'm running out of available
slots. Also, I have a large amount of queries and
submissions sitting in my inbox that I must go through and
I don't want to pile more on top of them.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
I hope you have a healthy, happy and productive month.
"Mixing Motherhood and Writing"
by Linda Chiara
As wonderful as children are, they are also very time-
consuming. Babies are notorious for zapping your energy
and high schoolers have been known to drain our mental
strength. We soccer moms drag home from children's
activities, prepare dinner, and then help with homework.
As parents, we put our dreams on hold, year after year,
until one day, the dream dies. We discover too late that
dreams not acted on are worse than no dreams at all.
Should we give up? Never! Refuse to view writing as a
hobby and learn to see it as your other calling. Then make
the time to make it work.
Eliminating time wasters is the key. By the time I became a
professional writer, I had a two-and-a-half-year old, a
20-month-old and a newborn. I've learned from other writing
parents what works and what doesn't. Here are some tried
and true tactics from writers, who also happen to be busy
1. Avoid Time Wasters Like the Plague
Lord Chesterfield said, "Take care of the minutes and the
hours will take care of themselves."
* Stop watching reruns. While we all need some occasional
down time, don't use the TV as an excuse. I love ER, but I
make it a point never to watch the summer reruns. This is
the perfect opportunity to "make time." Decide to watch a
show only once. If you watch just 3 hours of TV a week,
you'll have 36 extra rerun hours in the summer.
* Overlap housework during your regular TV shows. Fold
laundry, iron, make your shopping list, etc.
* Take shortcuts. You can still bring cookies to the PTA
bake sale, but they don't have to be homemade. Store bought
cookies and muffins get eaten just the same.
2. Make a Commitment To Your Chosen Profession
Think, talk and act like writing is your profession. It's
not a hobby. Don't treat it like one. It's so easy for
parents to put everything else in first place.
* Follow the "real job" rule. When something is about to
interfere with your writing, ask yourself this question;
If you were going to your "real job" today, instead of
writing, would you change your schedule to accommodate
this interruption? For example, if a friend asks you to
lunch or you need to run errands, the answer should be no.
You'd find another time to squeeze in the errands or make a
lunch date. If, on the other hand, your child is in a
school play or stays home sick, then feel free to cater to
him and put the writing on hold. This situation holds true
for both the at-home mom, as well as the working parent.
Once you've scheduled your writing time, it becomes your
3. Organize Your Home
It will be worth your time to spend a few weeks
reorganizing your home and setting up a cleaning schedule.
Train everyone to clean the way you like things done. The
long-term benefits outweigh any short-term headaches.
* Set up a schedule to do housework and stick to it.
* Eliminate the mess. Clutter is the number one
housecleaning complaint. Get rid of unused, unnecessary
and unwanted things.
* Overlap tasks. Cut coupons while on the phone. Clean the
kitchen drawers while waiting for dinner to cook. Wipe the
bathroom counters while brushing your teeth.
* Enlist as much help as you can. Each day, I do a quick
mini-clean of the house. On Saturday morning, each family
member picks two rooms to clean. It takes us less than 90
minutes to make the house sparkle.
4. Treat Your Place of Work Like a "Place of Work"
Find a place to call your own. It can be a spare room, a
large closet or a corner in your bedroom. It can be as
elaborate or as simple as space and finances allow. My
particular writing space started out in the corner of my
son's bedroom. I had a computer, lamp, chair, bookshelf and
file cabinet. I also have a corrugated box with a handle,
which holds stamps, business and manila envelopes, post
cards and notepads. It's ready to go at a moment's notice.
5. Find Hidden Minutes
* On the way to the soccer field or dentist's office, I
grab the box with the handles. While waiting, I write out
self-addressed stamped envelopes, jot down ideas, or list
things that need to be followed up on with research. I read
and highlight guidelines and study new magazines for future
* Find your personal best time. Actually, it's "make" your
best time. Professional writers don't find time, they
schedule it. Can you get up one hour earlier? If that's not
realistic, how about swapping baby-sitting with another mom
for a couple of hours per week? Is there a quiet place
where you can sit and work? No? Then leave a note pad on
the kitchen counter. You spend most of your time in the
kitchen anyway. Write ideas, thoughts, etc. while stirring
pasta or mashing potatoes. When you finally do get a chunk
of time, you won't waste it racking your brain for ideas.
* Block out two hours each weekend. Have TV dinners
occasionally. With just two hours a week, you'll have 104
hours of writing time a year. Just writing one page a day
gives you 260 pages, working on a five day a week schedule.
That's almost the length of a novel.
6. Be Flexible When There's a Baby or Toddler Around
* Write when you can in small doses. Since it's almost
impossible to have a clear-cut schedule at this time, grab
any time that opens up. Write what you can, when you can.
Write letters to family and friends. Keep a journal. One
enterprising mom kept index cards handy to record the day's
events. This method forced her to chose highlights of each
day. She learned to write concisely in the small amount of
time and space she had. In addition, it gave her ideas for
* Don't waste babies nursing or feeding time. Read
magazines or study the market. Keep books on writing handy.
They'll inspire you and keep you going.
* Take a writing class. It's wonderful to get out of the
house for a few hours each week and be with people who
share your same interest. Or join a correspondence writing
school. Get training while the babies are little. By the
time they reach preschool age, you'll be ready to go.
7. Leave Nothing to Chance
* Write down every idea. No matter how silly it may seem
now, it may prove useful six months or even six years down
* Be prepared. Besides the pad of paper on your kitchen
counter, place another pad by your nightstand. Keep a mini
tape recorder in your car for ideas on the run. And always
have a notepad in your purse.
8. Let Go of the Guilt
* Don't apologize for needing writing time. You take your
children to baseball games and ballet lessons to give them
something special in their lives. Writing is your special
thing. Explain this to your family and give yourself
permission to believe it. You are a writer. Make the time
to do it. You'll be glad you did.
An advice columnist received a letter once from a woman who
feared going back to school at age 35. She worried that by
the time she got her degree she would be 40. The
columnist's response was that the woman would be 40 either
way, with or without the degree. I think of that frequently
when I'm tempted to let "life" get in the way of my
writing. I know I'll continue aging and time will continue
to pass, whether I write or not. I've made the commitment
to use the time I have following my dream, rather than
frittering away my time "dreaming about writing." With
a little ingenuity so can you.
Linda Chiara is a freelance writer and mother of three
sons, who has managed to mix motherhood and writing from
her home in Bethel, CT.
░░░░░ WRITE FROM HOME SITE UPDATES ░░░░░
==>>"Life of a Writer Mom" Column written by Carla Charter
This month read "Thoughts on Retirement" at
==>>Articles Added to Write From Home
Direct links to these articles can be found at
* "A Day in the Life of a Work-at-Home Writer/Mother
by Elaine Beardsley
* "Children Learn What They Live"
by Terri Mrosko
* "Have You Tried a Writer's Chat Room?"
by Christine Collier
* "The Write Time"
by Jane Seaman
* "Wannabe Writer? Yes! Computer Whiz? Not!"
by Marilyn Freeman
* "Warning: They're Out There!"
by Susan Younan Attiyah
* "The Thrill of the Chase"
by Lisamarie Sanders
* "Five Ways to Think Like a Child"
by Andrea Mack
* "Four Tricks to Timing"
by Tamara Dorris
* "Write Time For Parents"
by Becky Todd
ATTENTION AUTHORS OF WRITING RELATED BOOKS!
If you'd like your book considered for the "Featured Book of
the Month" at Write From Home please send a review copy or
galley to the postal address listed at the end of this
"Do It Anyway"
by Karen J. Gordon
How do you know your child supports your writing efforts? I
found out at my son's 5th grade Mother's Day tea. He stood
in front of the class reading the card he'd written for me.
"I think you're a great cook. I especially like your peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches. I think you should keep
writing because you're a really talented writer, and it
makes you happy."
It did, and I was even happier when after a year's
commitment to taking writing classes, reading how-to books,
perusing writer's guidelines, and sending out queries I was
published and paid for my work.
When you feel like a writer you don't need anyone else's
acknowledgement to make it so. You write because writing
makes you feel like who you are, but it's easy to make
excuses and not do the work. The reasons can range from
ordinary, "I have a pile of laundry staring me in the
face," to a more somber situation such as your child
having a serious illness.
So what is the thing that makes a writer write when it's so
easy to find a thousand other things to do? For me the
answer is inspiration. We can spend a lot of time waiting
for someone else to give us the go ahead, but ultimately
it's our own motivation that allows us to fulfill our
dreams. Though I thought I had to write professionally in
order to use the word, in my heart I thought of myself as a
writer. It was my means of self expression, writing letters
to friends and family, journal entries, and poetry to
soothe my soul.
Bursts of inspiration found their way to the page, but it
was during a difficult time in my life that I found my true
heart as a writer. The day my third child was born with
Down Syndrome and congenital heart defects I was filled
with anxiety about the future. "Who will take care of her
if she outlives me?" and "What if she gets pregnant?" But I
was also filled with a sense of inspiration and confidence
that through this new experience I would have a lifetime of
words to share with others.
During her short life I examined this inspiration, but it
was after her death that I truly explored my passion as a
writer. Perhaps it was my way to fill the space left empty
by her passing. Whatever the reason, I decided I was going
to take myself seriously as a writer, and no matter how
many excuses there were to not write, I was determined to
do it anyway.
It was then that I enrolled in a nonfiction book proposal
course and began writing my story about loving my
daughter through her life and her death. The book isn't
finished, but that's not important. What's significant is
that I found the inspiration to take myself seriously as a
writer, and ultimately my dream of seeing my words in print
came true. I believed that if I set my mind to it and did
the work, someone would find value in what I had to say.
And so I continued the process of "becoming" a writer by
taking an adult education class called, "Writing For
Money." It was there I first heard the word "query" and
learned how to write one. Within the structure and
comradery of that class my momentum grew. I found a "call
for writers" in a woman's quarterly, sent off a sample of
my writing, and got the job as a volunteer contributing
writer. For the first time ever someone else viewed me as
I viewed myself: Karen J. Gordon is a writer!
It was scary at first to be in the world of Internet
research and telephone interviews, but with a little
organization it actually became fun. I shopped for writing
accessories: a recording device for my telephone, a micro-
cassette recorder, and books, books to nurture and inspire
my passion for writing. A writers critique group evolved
from the adult ed class, and once a week we met with
queries in hand.
I developed the habit of carrying a notebook, pencils, and
pens wherever I went--a tiny pad to fit in my jeans pocket
and a larger notebook for when I carried a backpack. And
when inspiration hit while sitting behind the wheel, my
trusty micro-recorder came to the rescue. Over time I
composed and sent out a number of queries, and those
responses were the beginning of my rejection folder. I was
thrilled to have work to put in this file, because it was a
testament to the fact that I was writing and trying. I
couldn't ask any more of myself than that.
One day, while sweeping my kitchen floor, I received a
telephone call from the editor of our newspaper. He liked
my query and requested the essay for the following week.
When it was published with photo and byline, I made ten
copies to send to family and friends! (And I made extras
for my clip file, too.) There I was in pure black and white
for all the world (well, all the subscribers) to see.
Three weeks later I went out to the mailbox and found a
surprise $100 check from the editor. This was my first
payment for writing, and I was thrilled.
It wasn't always comfortable taking time away from my
family to pursue writing, but once I began to fill my clip
file with articles and essays I knew that I was on the
right track for my happiness. It wasn't a matter of
neglecting one thing for another but rather finding a way
to re-prioritize what seemed important. When my son stood
in front of his class and announced to his "world" that he
was proud of his mother, my heart melted, and I knew that
my decision to take myself seriously as a writer and do it
anyway had been good for both of us.
Karen Gordon has been writing nonfiction articles and
essays since 1999. Her publication credits include; Reiki
Magazine International, Western Territory, The American
Feminist, and The Oregonian.
She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her teenage son, and in
addition to writing freelance part-time, Karen is a Reiki
practitioner of the Usui System of Natural Healing. You
can reach Karen at
TIPS, HINTS & RESOURCES
~ Screenwriters may find http://breakingin.net/
~ If you use Outlook as your e-mail client and are
worried about viruses you may want to download a useful
program called Virus Arrest located at
http://virusarrest.com. Anytime your
computer sends an
e-mail containing an attachment the program will alert
you. This program does not alert you to viruses, so
it's imperative that when using this program you still
use your virus checking software. The program sells for
$22.95. (I receive no compensation for any orders. I'm
merely telling you about a program I found useful.)
~ For a detailed list of links to job boards and guideline
databases go to
"When Someone Beats You To It"
by Andrea L. Mack
It happened again. The latest issue of a magazine I'd love
to write for arrived in the mail and inside was a story
based on a great idea I had-with someone else's byline. As
I stared at the unfinished research notes on my desk, my
first impulse was to chuck the magazine in the trash,
unread. And then maybe give up on writing altogether.
It can be really frustrating to spend time thinking about
and working on an idea, only to find that it has "already
been done." But once you recover from the initial shock,
you might find that some positives emerge from the
experience, especially if you didn't throw the offending
article in the trash.
1. Compliment Yourself
The fact that your idea is in the magazine you want to
write for tells you that you are on the right track. You
are able to pinpoint the kinds of things the editor of the
magazine is interested in publishing. You should feel good
about this, because many people have difficulty finding the
right kind of market for their work. Even though someone
else got there before you did this time, at least you know
that your idea was a good one--something that caught the
2. Determine to Learn Something
It might hurt your ego, but reading over the other writer's
article might actually be useful. Look for things you think
were effective. Does anything surprise you? Are there
things you might have done differently? There will probably
be a different slant on the idea than what you would have
given it yourself. You might even find that some of your
thoughts or points weren't covered at all. If so, you might
decide it is worthwhile to write your own take on the idea
anyway, emphasizing your unique points. While you know that
this publication probably won't be interested in another
article on the same topic, another one might be.
3. Be Honest
If getting scooped happens to you all the time, you might
want to take a few moments to stop and think. It could be
that you are very close to making the sale of your dreams
and it's only a matter of getting the timing right. But it
might also be that you are subconsciously throwing
roadblocks in your own path. Do you sit on your ideas for
months before you try to compose a query? Are you waiting
for just the right moment to work on the idea? Now might be
the time to try doing things a different way, to change the
process you follow to reach your writing goal and see where
When you've gotten everything out of the experience that
you can, put it behind you. If it helps to grumble to
yourself about how you were cheated or how terrible the
magazine is, do it. But then move on. Flip through your
idea file and find something else to write about. Now that
you know your ideas are good ones, all you have to do is
get working on them.
Andrea L. Mack is a freelance writer/researcher and the
mother of two avid readers. Her areas of expertise include
writing, child development, parenting, literacy and
gardening. She also writes fiction and nonfiction for
Share your success with others. Regardless of how big or
small, I want to know about your accomplishments. If you
sell an article, receive a book contract, or met a writing
goal send the information to
e-mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject
'success spotlight' and I'll print your news item in the
next issue. (Hint: this a great area to do a little
shameless self promotion.)
* Nadia Ali for a travel article published in the
April 2002 issue of the "Kinetic Travel Network."
* Monique Fox for having her poetry published at Christian
Activities, Gateway Ministries, The Love of Christ Journal,
Wellspring, Eternal Ink E-zine, Light Missions Poets' and
"Essay or Article, What's the Difference?"
by Christine Collier
The other day a friend submitted what she considered a
writing article. When the editor accepted it she described
it as a wonderful essay. This made us examine the
difference between the two. If I had to define each of them
in one word, it would be 'opinion' for essay and 'fact' for
article. That doesn't mean there aren't facts in an essay
or opinions in an article however. It means they have
Remember in high school when every test had an essay
question at the end? We were constantly writing essays but
I never remember writing an article. I guess the closest
thing would have been to write a report on certain
subjects. As writers we usually think of selling articles,
not essays. Why? Many religious, political and women's
magazines ask for essays. Book reviews are one of the most
common usages of essays. They want the writer's opinions
and want more than mere facts. They sometimes want a
flowery piece with lots of emotion. When we listen to a
movie review we don't care how the movie was made or all
the technical things behind the movie set. We want to know
what this movie expert thought of the movie! Is it worth a
box of popcorn?
I think of an article as the main meal that fills you up
(with information) and an essay more like a leisurely
dessert with a cup of coffee (time to think and discuss
Authors have written books of essays with poems and
commentaries throughout civilization. The very thing that
made them a writer makes them want to express their
opinions on many subjects.
░ What's An Essay?
An essay is a piece of writing with the writer's own ideas
on any topic generally addressing one subject or even a
specific aspect of this subject. Think of an essay as
journaling, except you're writing about a certain subject
instead of everyday happenings. After reading an essay you
should see a glimpse inside the writer's soul. You may
learn something about the subject or the view of the writer
you never thought of before. Essays can cause strong
emotion if they express an opinion that doesn't agree with
the reader's own viewpoint.
░ How To Write An Essay
Choose your topic, is it assigned or not? Do you want a
general overview, or a specific analysis of the topic?
Outline your ideas in an organized format.
Compose a thesis statement which tells what the essay is
about and what your point is about.
Write your thesis statement in the body paragraphs. The
topic you have chosen must now be explained or described.
Each main idea that you wrote down in your outline will
now become part of the body paragraphs. If you had three
ideas you will have three paragraphs, etc. Place your
thesis with the pieces of evidence in order of strength
(least to most) at the end of the paragraph. Write the
first paragraph and restate your thesis focusing on the
support of your first piece of evidence. Then end with a
transitional sentence that leads to paragraph two. End your
concluding paragraph with a statement which will cause the
reader to look beyond what you've written. Do not include
new evidence in your last paragraph.
Now you need to write an introduction and the conclusion.
You now have a point of entry and an exit. Your intro
should grab the reader's attention. The conclusion should
Finally add the finishing touches. Check all your
paragraphs. Make sure they make sense and if you have steps
make sure they are in order. Read and reread your paper,
run spell and grammar checker on your computer.
░ What's An Article?
An article is a piece of nonfiction writing for a
newspaper, Web site, magazine or book. An article stresses
facts about the subject usually without a noticeable
opinion. With most articles you should come away with
knowledge of the subject, hopefully up to date information
that you didn't know before you read it.
░ How To Write An Article
Identify and develop your topic. Asking in question form
is one way to approach an article. Tell the main concepts
or key words in your question. Make the title something
that will grab the reader's attention. Although it's
packed with information, try finding very unusual and
fascinating facts. So much so that after reading it the
reader will want to share what they just found out about.
Find background information, research your topic
thoroughly. Make sure your info is up to date and study
many versions. Don't take an opinion on the subject; make
sure it's correct by several sources. Treat your subject
matter in an open matter, not trying to sway anyone's
List any relevant facts in your bibliography.
Check the Internet for resources, with search engines and
subject direction. Don't forget audio and video sources.
Now is the time to evaluate all your information. Does
your article have a word limit? You may have to increase
or decrease what you have accumulated. List all your
sources in a standard format.
No matter what you're writing, essay or article, give it
your very best writing skills.
Christine Collier began her writing career as an "empty
nester Mom" after Amy, Adam and Andrew flew the nest. She
became a first time grandmother of Emma this past fall.
Collier completed a writing course at the Institute of
Children's Literature, and presently is taking the advanced
writing course at ICL. She enjoys writing middle grade
fiction, especially mysteries. Recently she wrote a short
adult "cozy" mystery. Her work has appeared in Holiday &
Seasonal Celebrations, WeeOnes, Once Upon A Time and the
Institute of Children's Literature. She writes a chat news
column for the newsletter for children's writers, From
mailto:email@example.com telling of
sales, markets and good news about her fellow writers.
She can be reached by sending
Over the years I've had the opportunity to work with many
wonderful editors; and I know you have too. I want to use
this space to call attention to editors you feel are worthy
of praise. Please send me the editors name and the
publication they are affiliated with. Once received, I'll
post the information in the following issue of Busy
Freelancer. You may send your submission to:
Here's your chance to publicly thank and acknowledge an
editor that you feel deserves recognition.
Betty Winslow submitted the following editors:
Nancy L. Hesch at Christian Library Journal
http://www.christianlibrary.org/ is the best! I've worked
with her for almost five years and have not had one single
problem. She gave me my start in book reviewing and has
been helpful and understanding every step of the way.
Carolyn Schultz-Rathbun at Spring Hill Review
(contact info at
is a joy to work with, friendly and quick to answer her
mail (and prompt to pay!).
I've just started working with Jean Ann Duckworth at
Simple Joy (http://www.simplejoy.org/), but I am really
excited to be one of her writers and my experience so far
has been good. I look forward to working with her a lot in
Susan Bono at Tiny Lights
(http://www.tiny-lights.com/index.html) is very friendly,
is prompt to answer her e-mail, and is one of the few
editors I've ever met that gives you further input on
Jenna Glatzer at Absolute Write
(http://www.absolutewrite.com) is a lot of fun to work with
and very helpful. I'm having a blast moderating one of her
Pat Broderick at Teaching K-8 (http://www.teachingk-8.com)
is a lovely lady and was full of helpful suggestions for
writers at the conference at which I met her in 2000. My
only complaint is that she doesn't use e-mail, she prefers
to write letters, which is rare due to her schedule, but
long and filled with interesting information when they do
"A Book is Born"
by Shirley G. Webb
It was a beautiful summer day and a letter from a
publishing house arrived. I knew they had not returned my
manuscript because it was a business size envelope and
their name was printed boldly in the left-hand corner. My
hands shook. I placed the envelope on the kitchen table,
took a deep breath then ripped it open. "Wow, I am now a
published author," my voice cracked as I said the words out
It was all happening so fast. Revisions to make, position
for illustrations, agreements to be signed. It's very
hectic but inside you feel a rush of joy.
August 11, 2000. "This letter is to query if you would have
an interest in reviewing my manuscript, Nokomis and The
Enchanted Lake, etc. etc."
October 22, 2000. "Please visit our Web site...for
publishing guidelines and our mission statement, etc.,
etc., then send your complete manuscript.
November 1, 2000. "Enclosed is my manuscript, Nokomis and
The Enchanted Lake, written for young readers 8-12 for your
consideration, etc., etc."
January 13, 2001. "Your excellent manuscript was received
yesterday and is being evaluated. I will get back to you
in a week or so."
January 29, 2001. "We liked your story line and it was
well-written. You integrated spirituality/metaphysics in
your story very well. Only a few minor corrections were
noted, etc., etc. We are returning your manuscript with our
suggestions for your approval as soon as possible."
February 2, 2001. "Your revised manuscript arrived
yesterday afternoon. It looks good though we haven't had
time to evaluate it as yet."
February 24, 2001. "Our editor likes your revised
manuscript as is. Congratulations! Our agreement is
enclosed. Please send a short bio of yourself."
June 30, 2001. "Sales of Nokomis are brisk. We would like
for you to submit a brief synopsis of your other manuscript
along with a few pages of text for evaluation."
If you're discouraged and write day after day only to
receive rejection letters, take heart. I wrote for three
years and received 35 non-replies/rejections before I got
my first acceptance letter. Write what you love and write
the best that you can. If in your "heart of hearts" there
is a burning passion to write for children, you will get
Once a story line comes to mind, you will ponder on it.
It's just like expecting a baby. You think about it
driving the kids to school, washing the dishes, folding the
clothes and watching TV. You find yourself purchasing
how-to books and attend classes and conferences. It
consumes you, and finally you sit down and start typing.
Your thoughts may not be completely collected and perhaps
you still have no outline. Your hands can't type fast
enough to keep up with words that are coming (you feel the
baby moving). You don't take time to watch for typos. You
see a plot evolving. Your heart is pounding very fast. You
see the protagonist, the characters. You give them names.
At last the first draft of your manuscript is on paper. You
have only just begun!
Many revisions later, you seek out those with the same
passion. You attend another SCBWI writer's conference, then
revise again. You seek critique groups and learn from
published authors, and revise again. You look over the list
of publishers and their guidelines very carefully. You find
one that you are certain will love your story. You write a
query letter to see if there is an interest. You enclose
your manuscript with a SASE and say a little prayer as it
falls into the mail drop...you wait...and you wait!
Your SASE finally comes in the mail with a rejection
notice. Maybe you cry. "How could they not like my story?"
you will say to yourself, feeling sick. Then you roll over,
pull yourself up and look over the manuscript, again more
revisions. They are good ones and they made the story even
better! You start the whole process over again (false
Then one day you experience a new joy, that of your story
being published (giving birth). Everyone sees this
beautiful thing that you have created. They will dress it
up (illustrations and packaging). Family and friends shower
you with praise. Your husband says, "Hey, great job, Hon."
You get respect from your peers. They ask you questions,
you gladly respond. Then you read your first press release
and think, "Is that me they are talking about?" It is an
overwhelming experience when you hold your first book or
published article in your hands. You hug it...you kiss it.
You feel joy, and you created it!
Then, fear of responsibility sets in when they ask to see
another story. Can you write another story as good as the
first? Then it comes, a thought for another story or
revisions to a story that had been put on the back burner.
You head for your computer.
You will always feel the same emotion whenever a manuscript
is finished and your attachment for each will be the same.
However, the first acceptance was and always will be extra
special. By the time your third manuscript is accepted you
will feel like a pro, but the rush of joy at being
published (giving birth) will always be there.
Reach down and help other struggling writers. Encourage,
as you needed to be encouraged. Keep writing what you
love--don't let anything keep you from it.
Shirley is a retired TV ad writer. She lives with her
family in Connecticut. She is of Cherokee heritage and has
a great love for the culture and traditions of the
Cherokee, having learned them firsthand from her
grandmother when she was a young child. She is a member of
the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
and has written eight stories for young readers. "Nokomis
and The Enchanted Lake", book one in a series of five, has
been published electronically for interactive learning in
the classroom. Her historical novel for Young Adults,
"Cherokee Love" is now complete and will be offered to
publishers shortly. She is now working on the sequel to
"Cherokee Love" which is titled, "Love Is A Promise."
"The Healthy Writer"
by Sheri Waldrop
Okay, I have a confession to make (shhhh, don't tell
anyone...). When I'm not writing hilarious articles, or
doing ad copy and rewrites of tired-looking Web sites, I do
So now, I'm going to share with you, my fellow writers, the
secret of a healthy lifestyle for writers. Based on my
extensive experience in the health writing field, you too,
can learn these simple basics that are based on real life,
and not the rarified perfect world that glossy magazines
░ The Writer's Diet (aka Potato Chips are NOT a vegetable.)
I know what you really eat when you sit down at your
computer to start typing. I do it myself. That hot cup of
black coffee with its dose of caffeine to jump-start your
system doesn't taste quite as good without a Crispy Creme
donut to go down with it.
Mid-morning, a few potato chips sound good, or even better
yet, the writer's favorite: wheat crackers with smoked
cheddar artificial flavoring and coloring mixed with lard.
And then there's chocolate. Easter has just passed, and
small bunnies with missing ears or heads are lying around
like the remnants of a strange version of "Bunny Wars"
next to keyboards. And round, gooey Cadbury eggs pop up
in strange places such as underneath couch cushions.
Okay, you get the idea. It's all too easy to snack on
favorite foods while trying to jumpstart the creative
juices. It's almost as if the creativity inducing
potential is completely related to the food's unhealthy
quotient. Late at night, thick syrupy coffee and cookies
have helped many a project to a brilliant completion (must
be all the sugar and caffeine firing up the creative
centers in the brain, or else the sugar buzz and lack of
sleep turn off the inner critic so that writing flows).
But these foods aren't necessarily the best or healthiest.
Now, if you, like me, cannot stand the thought of working
without having snack foods nearby, there are alternatives.
Low fat foods. Vegetables, carrot sticks, celery...or
again, if like me you have an inborn aversion to these
substances, then low fat cheesecake, low fat chocolate chip
cookies, and low fat potato chips (you know, the ones that
cause, um, "digestive problems" if you eat too many). You
can even buy lower fat Cheesits, and my understanding is
that Frito's Wow chips aren't doing very well, so the
market price should drop soon and become affordable at a
You can supplement this healthy, or at least lower fat
diet, with whole wheat products such as the crumbs left on
your writing desk by small "helpers." And there is usually
at least part of a cheese or peanut butter and jelly
sandwich somewhere to be found.
No healthy regime is complete without a discussion of
fitness, so now, for the first time, I unveil:
░ Real Life Exercises for the Writer
No writer wants to get, "Writer's Butt" from sitting at the
computer for too many hours. Instead, there are creative
exercises that any writer can learn to perform. And in
fact, in most houses, they WILL perform these, over and
over and over, until they become second nature. Just
remember, repetition is key, and for many, these come
naturally and can be learned with minimal effort.
1. "The Reach"--this is done at regular intervals to
prevent young siblings from hurting one another, or from
destroying your precious possessions. Lean back, turn
sideways, and extend your arm 20 feet into the room to
separate fighting children, or to rescue your favorite lamp
before the cat knocks it over. This should be done fifty
times a day, minimum, to maintain family harmony (and your
sanity). You will be amazed over time how quickly your
reach extends as you become more and more flexible.
2. The "Up and Down"--this is done in response to requests
from family members for: food, drink, laundry, attention,
or to relieve their boredom. This one is done a minimum
of 500 times a day, and goes like this: You settle down
comfortably into your seat, boot up your computer, open up
your file to start working on it. Just as you start typing,
the request will come, and your exercise will start. After
several weeks of this, you will have thighs of steel (but
probably paper thin patience).
3. "The Twist"--this is done in the following manner: once
again, seated at the computer, you start working on that
project that is due. Suddenly, the strains of "The
Exorcist" or "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" sound on your
television screen. You twist around quickly, to see what on
earth your elementary school-aged children are watching,
and to quickly change the channel.
A variation of this can occur with young teens. You are
typing away, when suddenly the harsh sounds of gangsta rap
and cuss words issue from his or her room. You twist
around, and then do the "up and down" as you visit your
teen's room to see what music he bought when he thought
you weren't looking at the store.
4. "Arm and Neck Workouts (the "back and forth")--this is
accomplished by holding the telephone in one hand while you
type with the other. As soon as you hang up, the phone
rings again, and you hold it in your other arm. This is
especially good for biceps and triceps, and can create
flexible neck muscles as an added benefit as you grip the
phone tightly between your shoulder and your ear as you
finish typing a paragraph.
5. "The Wahooo!"--this is a special exercise reserved for
those times when query letters are accepted, promotions and
raises are offered, or the novel is completed. It is an
excellent aerobic and strength builder, and consists of the
following: take your hands and raise them above your head,
then begin waving them back and forth. Now rush through the
entire house, screaming "Wahooo!" at the top of your lungs.
Small children may be picked up and twirled around as part
of the exercise, interspersed with hugs and kisses.
By following the above diet and exercise recommendations,
you, too, can join the ranks of thousands of underpaid,
overworked, highly motivated and healthy writers the world
Sheri Waldrop is a registered nurse and certified diabetes
educator with over 20 years experience as a critical care
nurse and health educator. Currently, she is the owner of
Proscribe Writing Service, and has written on topics for
clients such as: About, Inc., Women's International
Network, Advance Nursing Magazine, French Cove
Magazine, Discover Belly Dance, and others. She also
manages an Internet company that provides dial-up
services, and teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) to
Hispanic adults. She has developed and written monthly
newsletters on Women's Health issues, created patient
education brochures, developed the Hispanic diabetes
curriculum for a major teaching hospital, and created
content for Web sites on topics ranging from fitness and
health to corporate communications. She is married with two
teenaged children, and is an avid gardener in her spare
time. You can view samples of her writing and learn more
about her writing service at
Writers Unite in Support of Women
More than seventy-five women authors from around the world
share their courageous true-to-life stories of juggling
life and writing in this special book dedicated to the
support of women everywhere and to the education and
awareness of domestic abuse.
The seeds of the "Crumbs" Project, a two year labor of
love, were planted when Pamela Johnson posted to her
writer's list, "How do you people juggle 'it' all and
still find the time and sanity to write?" The response was
delightful. Everything from humor to heartfelt stories came
flooding in and that served to inspire her at a low ebb in
her writing. About the same time, gifted author, Nancy
Richards Akers lost her life in a senseless act of domestic
violence. She wasn't the first and unfortunately won't be
the last. "But her spirit lives on in each one of us who,
as women, pursue this journey called writing," Johnson
says. Pamela began to consider how authors could encourage
one another and band together to help fight this insanity
of violence and abuse.
"Crumbs in the Keyboard: Women Juggling Life and Writing"
organized by Pamela Johnson and Sheryl Hames Torres, is a
compilation of some of the writing industries most
dedicated writers. This book will make its publishing
debut, in paper and electronic format, at the World Romance
Writers Conference, June 4-7, 2002 in French Lick Springs,
Indiana. A special presentation of charitable intent will
be made at the writers' conference to The Center For Women
and Families (located in Louisville, Kentucky) as well as a
show of financial and emotional support from National Best
Selling author, Fern Michaels.
All contributors have pledged to donate 100% of their
royalties to the center for the cause. Crowley, Texas
based publisher, Echelon Press will match the royalties
in donations for the duration of publication.
Authors will be hosting and participating in independent
book signing events to promote the Crumbs project.
For press information, speaking engagements, author
events, signings and interviews with any Crumbs
contributor, Echelon Press author, or staff member, please
contact Karen Syed at Echelon Press.
ATTENTION PUBLISHERS! If you are a paying market send your
they'll be printed in this publication.
Reminder About Paying Markets:
Make sure and read the complete writer's guidelines by
either visiting the Web site or requesting them via e-mail
or postal mail.
Seeks true stories for the Web site and an anthology about
how teachers have inspired you and touched your life in a
Pays upon publication $5 for Web site material and $100 for
Length: 500-1,200 words
Buys one-time non-exclusive rights. Reprints are welcome,
as long as the author owns the rights to the piece.
Visit the Web site for detailed guidelines.
General interest monthly publication serving seven Western
Pays on acceptance $30 for short features and up to $400
for major features. Buys one-time rights. Not interested in
poetry or short fiction.
Caters to Colorado business owners and managers.
Pays from $50 for department items up to $400 for features.
Length: 650 to 1,200 words
Not interested in general business articles, humor, poetry,
general how-to's, book reviews and commentaries. Articles
must focus on Colorado business.
Accepts e-mail, phone and written queries.
Paint Horse Journal
Monthly publication of the American Paint Horse
Pays $35-150 for fillers and short articles. Pays $150-500
for feature articles of 1,000-2,000 words.
Query first either by e-mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org (freelance
editor) or postal mail:
Paint Horse Journal
P.O. Box 961023
Fort Worth, TX 76161-0023
Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures
Publication focused on exploring the steps to a humane,
sustainable culture. Publishes essays, reports, interviews,
and personal narratives.
Pays upon publication $20 per printed page + one year
subscription and an additional copy of the mag.
Length: Features 1,500-2,500 words, sidebars 100-250 words.
Does not accept submissions or queries by e-mail.
Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures
P.O. Box 10818
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Publishes science fiction, fantasy and horror.
Pays $10 for a max of 5,000 words. You may submit your
story at any time, but they only read submissions during
October 1-31. They only review electronic submissions,
do not send hard copies!
Publishes articles related to competitive swimming.
Pays on publication $75-400 for essays, general interest,
how-to, humor, inspirational, and travel. Buys all rights.
Length: 300-3,000 words.
Pays $75-200 for column/department material.
Request writer's guidelines by sending a SASE to:
90 Bell Rock Plaza
Sedona, AZ 86351
Accepts queries via e-mail, postal mail, phone and fax.
People, Places & Plants
Gardening publication focused on New England.
Pays $50-500 for nonfiction. Purchases first rights.
Request writer's guidelines by sending
or by sending a SASE to:
People, Places & Plants
P.O. Box 6131
Falmouth, ME 04105
Bimonthly magazine focused on homeschooling.
Publishes book excerpts, how-to, inspirational, interviews
and profiles. Does not publish fiction or poetry.
Pays on publication 8б/word. Buys first rights.
Length: 500-2,500 words. Accepts queries via e-mail,
postal mail and fax. Accepts simultaneous submissions.
For a free sample copy and writer's guidelines write to:
P.O. Box 1608
Ft. Collins, CO 80524
░░░░░ CLASSIFIEDS ░░░░░
Cornerstone Consortium and One Month Intensive Creative
Writing workshops is pleased to announce the launch of our
new free opt-in only biweekly e-zine, "Write Angles" that
debuted on January 7th, 2002. "Write Angles" is an e-zine
devoted to all kinds of writers, by writers, for writers,
with a zero irrelevant content policy. No more ads for
pantyhose, trash cans, or shoe organization systems in a
writer's newsletter. Something for everyone, including
"Find the Typo" Contest, sections on product reviews for
writers, recommendations on writing equipment and software
top ten lists, article sections specifically for fiction
writers, nonfiction writers, authors, newbies and
Webmasters, Write Recipes: A Writer food section, Right
brain/Left Brain writing, links, and so much more.
"Write Angles", the Zero BS newsletter for Writers.
subscribe by sending any e-mail to:
REALIZE YOUR BOOK DREAMS NOW!
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short book Online--fast! Free articles, tips and resources
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Coach Says..." and two free bonus eBooks (Web and eBook).
Freelancewriter's Group eZine needs articles and useful
tips for freelance writers. Articles to sharpen the
writer's skills and organize his thoughts and time, are
especially welcome. Currently, this is not a paying market
but we do offer a generous resource box, and, of course,
your byline. If you would like to submit an article to us,
please do so in the body of an e-mail only--no attachments
permitted--mailto:email@example.com with "FW Article
Submission" in the subject line. Thank you for considering
submitting to us, your work is appreciated.
SELL REPRINTS TO OVER 130 MAGS WITH ONE E-MAIL. "Successful
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book, E-BOOK and SPREADSHEETS. From a writer successful in
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For only $2 an issue you can have our magazine delivered
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download writing software and ebooks (some with resell
rights), all FREE just for being a subscriber. For more
info visit http://www.kt-p.net
BREAK WRITER'S BLOCK FOREVER! Jerry Mundis, author of 40+
books, Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Guild, One Spirit
Book Club selections, will show you how. End paralysis,
avoidance behavior, last-minute crisis writing, and
inability to finish. Praised and endorsed by bestselling
authors Lawrence Block, Judith McNaught, Suzannah Lessard,
and others. **GUARANTEED**
Women Writers ------> http://www.naww.org
National Association of Women Writers - NAWW
Subscribe to NAWW WEEKLY, the FREE inspirational/how-to
e-mag for women writers. Send blank
e-mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
our Web site.
Have you considered the wealth of UK markets available to
overseas writers? Our resource, thewriteUKmarket.com lists
hundreds of markets and guidelines all waiting for your
BellaOnline's Writing Zine
is a free monthly e-mail newsletter to help you find the
best resources for writers online and learn how to improve
To start your FREE E-mail subscription to BellaOnline's
Writing Zine, either send a blank
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Thank you for reading this issue of Busy Freelancer. C-ya
next month and remember:
"Take action and make no excuses!"---Kim Wilson
Copyright (c) 2002, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
All Rights Reserved.
To contact Kim Wilson:
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610