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B U S Y F R E E L A N C E R
Monthly Writers E-zine For Freelancing Parents
February 1, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 2
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, Kim Wilson
>>>> Article: Surviving Snow Days by Gayle Trent
>>>> Write From Home Site Updates
>>>> Reciprocal Relationships <<<<
Your Alter-Editor: Living with a Nonwriter
by Carolyn Burch
>>>> Tips, Hints & Resources
>>>> Business of Freelance <<<<
How to Prioritize Your Way to Success
by Donna Snow
>>>> Success Spotlight
>>>> Paying Markets
>>>> Article: Editorial Theft by Kyle Looby
>>>> List of the Month: Book-In-A-Week
>>>> Site of the Month: Organized Writer
>>>> Humor <<<<
Don't Quit Your Day Job by Sheri Waldrop
░░░░░ LETTER FROM THE EDITOR, KIM WILSON ░░░░░
Hello and welcome to the February issue. As you've probably
noticed this issue is larger than last month's. We've
grown, not only with subscribers but also with content.
This month you'll find three new columns.
"Reciprocal Relationships" written by Carolyn Burch will
focus on the ups and downs of living with or being married
to a nonwriter.
Sheri Waldrop will be writing a monthly humor column titled
"Notes From a Freelancing Mother." Many of you freelancing
moms and dads will be able to relate to her humorous outlook
of trying to manage kids and a writing business.
"The Business of Freelance" written by Donna Snow will
focus on the business end of your freelance career.
You'll also notice more articles in this issue. I'm happy
and proud to say all the content in Busy Freelancer is
Here's wishing you a Happy Valentines Day and a productive
Kim Wilson, editor
Surviving Snow Days
by Gayle Trent
You have your day planned out. You wake up ready to get the
kids off to school and realize it has snowed four inches
overnight. School is cancelled. Now what? Do you take a
much-needed day off? Do you try to work around your
children? Below are some "do's" and "don'ts" for
surviving snow days, because remember, they usually are
not one-day events.
DON'T think you can proceed to work as usual. Even if
you're able to concentrate amid the bickering or the
playing or the "MAMA!'s" you won't do your best work with
so many distractions.
DO work in short spurts. If you can make a phone call or
pen a query letter while your children are eating lunch or
watching a video, do that. Make the most of any time you
DO wear two hats. Put on your "Mom" hat while surfing the
Internet for simple craft projects and other boredom
busters. But while you're doing that, take note of the
types of articles these sites have and jot down a few
query ideas of your own.
DON'T expect your output to be the same as on days
when you're alone. If you have deadlines you must meet,
enlist the aid of a trusted neighbor. Call and see if your
children can go over to her house to play for awhile. Offer
to reciprocate by ordering the kids a pizza and letting
them watch a video at your house later that evening or the
next day. No neighbors handy? If your roads are in good
shape, you might want to load the children up and take them
to the library. (You might want to call the library to make
certain they are open and the roads are clear there, too.)
That way, you can work while your children look at
magazines, listen to audio books, play computer games or
check out books and videos.
DO find ways to benefit from this experience both as a
parent and as a writer, and help your children enjoy the
day as well. For example, give your children writing
prompts to encourage them to write their own stories. You
might ultimately sell those same prompts to an educational
periodical (such as "Class Act"), or you might sell the
idea to a family or parenting publication ("Family Fun" or
"Parents"). Take notes regarding your creative play so you
can remember all the details later. You might decide to
make cookies using whatever ingredients you have on hand.
If the result is a flop, you have a humorous essay; if it's
a success, you have a new recipe and an article on
DO take note of what your children decide to watch on
television. Their reactions to issues or your discussions
with them about certain shows or themes might spark ideas
for articles, short stories or book premises.
DON'T scrap work on a long project simply because you can't
spare the time you usually allot to that project. Besides
freelance work, I'm a novelist. If I'm trying to work on my
novel while my children are underfoot, I either read what
I've already written and edit or revise, or I play the
"now what?" game to propel the plot. I look at where I am
in the book and determine what needs to be done next. I
list a few viable options, and when I go back to the actual
writing, I determine which one is best and have a good
DO take time to pay attention to and play with your
children. This day is different from weekend days in that
it's just you and them and this is a break from the
normal routine. This gives you an opportunity to not only
nurture your children but to find out what's happening
with them; and if you write for children, it provides you
with ample material and believable dialog.
Your ten-year-old wants to wear lip gloss and mascara,
prompting you to wonder about age-appropriateness for
makeup (Has it changed since your generation?), self-esteem
issues facing children, and whether or not children are
growing up too fast and being exposed to too much. There
you have three article ideas, short story or children's
DO bundle up and go out and play in the snow. If nothing
else, the cold air and the time away from your computer
will get your creative juices flowing; and you'll be making
memories with your children that will last a lifetime.
Gayle Trent is a freelance writer and author residing in
Virginia. She is the author of "Photo Finish" (Oct. 1999),
"Mama Liked Blue" and "Anything For A BUCK." Her essay
"Byline" will appear in "Chocolate for the Teen's Spirit"
(2002). You may reach Gayle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
░░░░░ WRITE FROM HOME SITE UPDATES ░░░░░
==>>New Monthly Column Added To Write From Home<==
"Life of a Writer Mom" written by Carla Charter offers
insight into the daily struggles writing parents face. Read
her first column, "Time For A Sick Day" at
==>>Articles added to Write From Home<==
Direct links to these articles can be found at
* Making Good Use of all Your Time by Shelley Wake
* Add 24 Hours to your Writing Week by Lauri Jean Crowe
* In The Meantime: Paying the Bills by Carolyn Burch
* Writing Exercises? Just Ducky! by Janis Butler Holm
* But Maybe Someday I'll Use This by Linda Oatman High
* New Years Resolution 2002: Goal Setting by Carolyn Burch
* When What You Know, Says "No" by Mary Dixon Weidler
* How Not To Procrastinate by Shirley Kawa Jump
* Mission Impossible: The Real Work of Writing by
--> Featured Book of the Month
"You Can Write A Column" by Monica McCabe Cardoza
Learn how to write, sell and syndicate a column.
Your Alter-Editor: Living with a Nonwriter
by Carolyn Burch
It is an undeniable fact that living with a nonwriter is
difficult, time and effort consuming, at times even
For the nonwriter, that is.
Oh, I know we love 'em, but that doesn't make it any
easier, now does it?
In my house, I've been living with a nonwriter for almost
16 years. For me, that is almost half my life on this earth,
starting when we were just high school sweethearts. But I
can tell you that having grown up with him really hasn't
made it easier for either of us to accustom ourselves to
each other's unusual habits. Habits in particular that have
deepened with age.
They say that opposites attract, and I think that's true.
We all seek that which we instinctively know in a moment's
glance--they have what we lack--, whether or not in fact we
really need it. In our case, we've come to understand that
my eccentricities, mood swings and regular wifely absence
when the muses attack are a part of my unique brand of art.
And that his regimented desire to get places on time, his
slightly under motivated (IMHO) desire to read, and
inability to communicate as clearly and succinctly as I
sometimes wish are a part of his more left-brained style.
And we'll leave the discussion about the toothpaste cap and
socks on the floor out of it altogether.
Suffice to say, we have two very different styles of
living, learning, and especially doing things. And such is
probably the case with you if you also live with your
I have heard rumors and tall tales about couples who merge
their creative abilities and both become successful writers
together, but frankly I cannot imagine that. Have him help
me proof my work? HA. I would really hate that. Share a
dictionary: Hmm. Go to literary club together and not be
the exclusive center of attention? Oh, I think not.
Or heaven help us, both of us be candidates for an
assignment at the same time? Oh dear, please no. We find
ourselves so competitive with each other that we can hardly
jog down the street without turning it into a race. I
distinctly recall passing him in such a race one time and
being pushed into a puddle. "Did I do that? I'm sorry!" He
mused, Family-Matters-Erkle-like in tone.
And playing Monopoly, well, as our kids will tell you,
that's simply out. In the end after we have bankrupted all
our children and sent them to the poorhouse, it becomes
this ugly challenge of two capitalistic conglomerates
playing last man standing, who want nothing more than to
bankrupt each other and hoot their own praises when they
There might even be a dance of sorts, if I remember right.
But then, I usually lose, and waste no time taking my
leave, and then a hot bath while pouting. Oh, don't worry,
he gets his; every time we play Upwords.
We do however work out of the home together and have on a
part-time basis for about five years now. Before that we ran
several offices and businesses together day after day to
our friends' apt amusement. We do, it is a fact, make an
excellent team as long as each of us has our own job
description and neither is boss. In most of them, I simply
did the creative and tactical work, and he did the computer
guru and analytical stuff. I worked with the people and he
worked with the money. It worked out well.
Last year, however, we made working together closely
official. We built an office onto our home. It would have
to be, we decided early on, large enough to accommodate two
custom desks, an entire printing area complete with cutters
and four printers, two faxes, and three workstations, and
all the clutter we would likely accumulate. We should also
be able to see, talk to, and if need be, in moments of
extreme urgency, zing paper clips at each other.
We made a joint venture of it, and to seal the deal we
networked the computers.
And in the end we argued far less than I thought we would
about where my desk would go. When I recall fondly the
fights with throwing of chalk until we both giggled at our
aim as we drew it out and battled for position on the bare
concrete floor, it dawns on me now what the neighbors must
We were working out how to fit a highly creative and
persnickety writer in the same time and space as a computer
oriented technical guy who also happened to be a busy
contractor. And, just like connecting network computers,
our two basic operating systems didn't always want to talk.
Separate faxes were a must, we agreed, and slowly came to
agree on the essentials.
The neighbors, however, had different ideas about what we
were up to.
You see, we put the whole thing in where our two-car
garage used to be. We couldn't get our tremendous family-
hauling suburban in there anyway, and the space we needed
just wouldn't fit anywhere else.
One neighbor joked that he thought I was building my
husband an apartment. My husband's friends asked him why he
didn't get a pumpkin shell for me. Another neighbor, who
apparently doesn't appreciate color like I do, asked my
husband how long he was going to be on strike in our
garage. When he asked what he meant, the neighbor mentioned
our picket fence, which I recently painted a lovely sage
green, about which admittedly we'd had some discussion.
In Arizona, where the Saguaro cactus is king, and gravel
front yards a mainstay; I'll admit the Victorian look of
ivy-colored arches, roses, grass lawns and picket fences
don't exactly match the neighborhood. But darn it, it is
our yard! But then, clarifying the point with, "It feeds
the muse," probably is lost on most people. My husband
included, who when I first told him about the muse, thought
he was about to discover that he'd married the woman
straight out of "Three Faces of Eve." Seeing the look on
his face, my protestations of, "But, but, dear, mine is
more like a narrator than a voice in my head....!" didn't
seem to bring him much consolation.
A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SPECIES
Or at least that's how it feels sometimes. Artistic people
have, for hundreds of years, been known for their oddities
and habits that are often counter to the general
population, and most of the time that's just on the street.
I have great sympathy for any nonwriter who takes on a
writer to live with, dwell with, or otherwise share space
with. I know we cannot be easy to take. Memories of the Odd
Couple come to mind.
But that said, as noted authority on writerhood, and author
of "The Artists Way", Julia Cameron mentions in her book,
often nonwriters are really shadow artists, who seek us
writers and artists out because a part of them wants, deep
down somewhere, to be more like us.
"Maybe I should write an article sometime..." my husband
muses out loud one day just after I had sat, extremely
self-satisfied and gloating at my newfound success after
having gotten a new acceptance letter for a particularly
large magazine on the very first day of the New Year.
"Oh, yes you should. I think you'd make a great writer."
I answer truthfully. And he would. I've seen the contracts
and proposals he writes for his business, and he does have
a flow and way with words not at all unlike mine.
And then, as he sits over there clicking and thinking, as
much as I wish to support him in his goals and desires, I
also vow to get out ten more queries this week. "I mustn't
let him catch up to me...ever...I just mustn't...!" I think
Carolyn Burch is a freelance writer, columnist and
contributing editor to several sites on the Web in the
areas of parenting and family, home, writing, marketing,
and Human Resources. She is the editor of the new
WriteAngles E-zine, and the lead instructor for 2001-2002
at Cornerstone Creative Writing's One Month Intensive
Workshop series. She is also a mother of four, and the wife
of an extremely talented husband who she hopes doesn't turn
out to be a better writer than she is.
WRITING FOR MAGAZINES JUST BECAME EASIER WITH NEW WEB SITE
Freelance article writers will find it easier to make money
with the help of a Web site designed just for them.
Located at http://www.woodenhorsepub.com, the Wooden Horse
Publishing site offers news and resources not found
anywhere else. "Writers need reliable news, up-to-date
contact information and the latest marketing tools," says
owner Meg Weaver, a long-time writer herself. "Today's
magazine industry is complex and constantly changing. But
writers want to concentrate on writing and that doesn't
leave much time for marketing their work. That's where we
The site features continually updated industry news,
articles and books about making money writing, a free
newsletter with numerous new paying markets every week and
trade magazines with full contact information, writer's
guidelines, and--unique to writers' sites--reader
demographics and editorial calendars.
Wooden Horse can be found at http://www.woodenhorsepub.com.
TIPS, HINTS & RESOURCES
~ If you're seeking tips and information about e-mail
management go to http://www.email911.com. This site is
loaded with free tips and information from how to deal with
spam, to organizing your over-flowing inbox. You'll also
find a newsletter and discussion list. Well worth your time
to visit and subscribe.
~ When sending SASE's use a #9 envelope. #9's are a tad
smaller and fit into #10 business envelopes without needing
to be folded. They also hold standard letter size papers in
the same manner as #10's.
~ Looking to connect with other freelancing parents? Join
the Write From Home discussion list by sending a blank
~ For a detailed list of links to job boards and guideline
databases go to
BUSINESS OF FREELANCE
How to Prioritize Your Way to Success
by Donna Snow
The husband and kids are rushed out the door. Your favorite
soaps are over. You've resolved a major neighborhood crisis
via a two-hour phone discussion with your best friend. As
you look over your business to-do list you glance at the
clock and realize that half the day has come and gone. You
realize you have one more hour until the first child
arrives home from school. Where has the day gone?
We multi-tasking gods or goddesses of the domestic type
often find ourselves deep in the midst of "deadline" frenzy
and it really isn't our fault. Or is it? It takes strength
and conviction and the ability to tell friends and family
that you need to forgo the socializing during your work
hours. It's not always easy.
We as a fast paced, overburdened society live by the to-do
list. Have we developed a true understanding of what is
most important to us in the long run? Goals established and
a constant eye on our vision we must train ourselves in
saying no to those things that fall out of line with our
current activity at that point and time.
The following are ways you can enhance the use of to-do or
action lists and increase your daily productivity:
SEPARATE PERSONAL ACTIVITIES FROM BUSINESS ACTIVITIES
Working at home makes it easy for us to mix business with
our family lives. Unlike the work-away-from-home job we
find ourselves dealing with demanding stimulus from
clients, our spouse and our children simultaneously. How
many times have you found yourself changing a diaper and
talking to a possible client on the phone as the washer
repairman stands impatiently waiting for your signature?
Make two lists, one for personal activities one for
business activities. Set your work hours and do only those
things on your business list during that time. If a friend
calls during your work hours, ask them to call during your
non-work hours (or let them leave a message). It may seem
simple but one of the biggest concerns for the work-at-home
professional is the lack of respect for their at-home
status. Remember you are working towards a larger goal and
to meet that goal you need to establish when you are "at
work" and when you are not "at work". Letting those two
distinctions blend into each other is not only confusing it
BREAK DOWN THE BIG PROJECTS INTO SMALL BITES AND TACKLE
THEM OVER A LONGER TIME PERIOD
This is a basic principle of organizing and time
management. Break it down. Whenever you start a project
analyze all of the components. Create deadlines for each
component and as you meet each one you are one step closer
to meeting the overall project deadline.
DO THE SAME THINGS AT THE SAME TIME EVERYDAY AND FOR THE
SAME AMOUNT OF TIME
Checking e-mail, responding to e-mail and writing e-mail
should be delegated to a certain time each day.
Unfortunately, many of us get wrapped up in the process and
check e-mail all day long. You'd be surprised how much time
passes while reading and responding to e-mail. If you set a
certain time to check e-mail and stick to it, you'll find
that a sudden wealth of valuable work time is presented to
you. Create a business opening routine and a business
closing routine. Routines will create a sense of separation
from your work responsibilities and your home
Your success as a freelance professional is dependent upon
your ability to separate work from home when they're both
under the same roof. Focus on one aspect at a time and you
will find that you can accomplish more each day and reach
the success you desire in record time.
Donna M. Snow is a single mom to six children, freelance
writer/editor, small business coach and Editor-in-Chief of
http://www.hersmallbusiness.com. You can e-mail Donna at
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:email@example.com with the subject
'success spotlight'. I'll print your news item in the next
issue. (Hint: this a great area to do a little shameless
Gayle Trent on the release of her romantic comedy book
"Anything For A Buck." Trent states, "It's about a woman
who finds an injured deer on the roadside and calls a
bachelor veterinarian." Written from a true-life experience
Trent says, "The idea for the novel was born when I was
traveling on a four-lane road in Washington County, VA.
It's not uncommon to see deer lying by the wayside there,
but I came upon one that was still kicking. I served onto
the side of the road but knew there was really nothing I
could do. Crying, I drove up the road until I spotted a
State Trooper. He was pulled over giving someone other than
me a ticket. I interrupted the citation process to tell the
Trooper of the deer's plight. He offered to send an animal
control officer to shoot it. When I shouted "No" and
started into a Lucy Ricardo wail, he promised to see if
there was anything else that could be done." For more
information about this book contact Gayle at
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
ATTENTION PUBLISHERS! If you are a paying market send your
guidelines to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and
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 standard postal mail.
New Writer eMagazine (http://www.kt-p.net)
Literary e-mag seeking:
Fiction: General short fiction, mainstream, literary,
genre, children; up to 1,000 words. Good writing is the
main criterion. No explicit sex or violence. Payment is up
to $20 on acceptance.
Articles/Features-Instructive or motivational articles that
could be of genuine help to writers; writing/selling to
specific market areas, interviews with established authors,
techniques you use or have seen used (good or bad). Length
up to 1,000 words. Payment is up to $20 on acceptance.
My First Sale-carries a 750 word count of a writer's first
sale. Payment is up to $15 on acceptance.
Tid Bit-A strong, thoughtful, first-person essay of 250-500
words, related to writing. May be humorous, philosophical,
or motivational. Payment is up to $10 on acceptance.
Poetry-Humorous slant on writing life especially welcomed.
Free verse, light verse and traditional. Submit maximum
2 poems. Length 8-20 lines. Payment on acceptance: $5 per
See complete writer's guidelines at http://www.kt-p.net.
Marriage Partnership http://www.marriagepartnership.com
Seeks book excerpts, essays, how-to's, humor, inspirational,
interviews, opinions, personal experience and religious
articles. Readership is primarily married Christians.
Article length: 1,200-2,300 words. columns 1,000 words.
Payment: Pays on acceptance 15-30б/word for
assigned articles & columns,15б for unsolicited
articles. Buys First North American serial rights.
Diabetes Interview http://www.diabetesinterview.com
Seeks essays, how-to, humor, inspirational, interview,
new product, opinion and personal experience articles
focused on diabetes care, medications and patient advocacy.
Payment: Pays on publication 20б/word. Buys all rights.
Conscious Choice http://www.consciouschoice.com
Seeks general interest, inspirational, interviews, new
product, personal experience and technical articles
pertaining to the environment, natural foods and natural
Article length: 1,500 words
Payment: Pays on publication $75-150. Buys First North
American rights and electronic rights. Accepts
Smart Computing http://www.smartcomputing.com
Seeks how-to's, new product and technical articles
pertaining to the improvement of software and hardware
Article length: 800-3,200 words.
Payment: Pays on acceptance $240-960. Buys all rights.
Accepts simultaneous submissions and offers 25% kill fee.
Not interested in humor, opinion or personal experience.
Seeks general interest articles and how-to's pertaining to
teens ranging in age from 13-18.
Length: 1,200-1,500 words. Query with SASE.
Payment: Pays on acceptance; rate not mentioned. Buys First
North American serial rights. Accepts simultaneous
submissions and reprints.
Sample copies available for 65б & 8 1/2 x 11 SAE.
Key Club International
3636 Woodview Trace
Indianapolis, IN 46268-3196
The Romantic http://www.theromantic.com
Seeks inspirational and personal experience articles
focusing on the art of romance.
Length: 500 words maximum
Payment: Pays on publication 2б/word. Buys First
North American Serial rights. Accepts simultaneous
submissions and reprints.
Not interested in sex, erotica or romance novels.
Lifestyle magazine for adults 45 and older. Focuses on
health, money, food and travel.
Length: 500-2,000 words.
Payment: $1/word negotiable.
Request complete guidelines by sending a SASE to:
Readers Digest Publications, Inc.
Reader's Digest Rd.
Plesantville, NY 10570
Home Cooking http://www.whitebirches.com
Seeks articles relating to food and cooking including
how-to's, humor, new product, personal experience,
recipes and book reviews.
Length: 250-750 words plus 6-8 recipes.
Payment: Various rates depending on article, columns
and departments. Pays within 45 days of acceptance. Buys
all or first rights. Accepts simultaneous submissions and
reprints. Not interested in health, fitness or travel
Would you like to be a mentor to an aspiring writer? I'm in
the process of developing a 'Mentor' section on the Write
From Home site. Ideally, writers with questions can e-mail
a mentor for answers or advice. If interested send your
name, area of expertise (nonfiction, fiction, children's,
copywriting, etc.) and e-mail address to
mailto:email@example.com. Once received, your
information will be placed on the site. Thank you in
advance for helping other writers.
by Kyle Looby
Imagine this scenario: you pitch what you think is a great
idea to a national publication. Apparently the editor
thinks it's a great idea, too, because she calls you asking
for more information on the article you want to write. She
wants to know who your sources will be and where you'll be
getting your information. Thrilled that you're getting an
assignment with a big-name magazine, you tell her what she
wants to know. In the days that follow, you expect a
contract in the mail, but what you receive instead is a
message on your answering machine telling you that the
publication is going to use your idea, but with another
writer at the helm. You receive a finder's fee of $250,
when you could have received $2500 for writing the article.
"Editorial theft" has been getting a lot of attention
lately since word has gotten out that "Family Circle" and
"Rosie", two high-paying publications, have offered writers
who have queried them a finder's fee for ideas. While some
writers would be thrilled to get any money at all, others
don't feel that way. Since ideas aren't copyrightable, this
issue isn't a legal case of copyright infringement, and it
would seem that writers have no recourse if their ideas are
"stolen." But there are a few things writers can do to
protect themselves and to fight back if they are victims of
Stay on top
The editorial theft policies of Gruner + Jahr, publisher of
both "Rosie" and "Family Circle", have been discussed on
Inside.com, "Writers Digest", and in the National Writers
Union's newsletter "American Writer." From there the word
trickled down to the various e-mail discussion groups for
writers. What writers know about a publication's business
practices may influence whether or not they query that
publication. Some writers will choose to stay away from
publications that practice business this way; some writers
will be happy to receive any money at all. Writers should
have a choice, and they won't if they aren't aware of
what's going on. Stay on top of news in the writing world
so you can make informed choices.
Watch What You Say
When pitching an idea, writers are supposed to let editors
know what the article will be about and what points are
going to be covered. That's all well and good, but you
don't want to give away so much information that someone
else can write your article. Veteran freelance writer
Jack Ewing agrees, "Unless you're certain of the loyalty of
your sources, it's a good idea to indicate only that you
have access to sources that will only be divulged once the
article has been assigned and a contract signed; queries
should only outline an approach to an article, and a source
should be referred to only as 'a nationally known expert in
this field,' or something similar." Give out just enough
information to make the editor want to know more, but keep
the meat of the article to yourself until you have a signed
contract in hand.
There is a legal way that writers can protect their ideas
from being developed by another writer: a confidentiality
clause or nondisclosure agreement. According to Frank Fee,
National Writers Union Contract Advisor, as said in
"American Writer", "There's a fairly obscure civil wrong
called 'breach of confidentiality', which involves the
writer's getting a potential buyer to promise that the
story can't be developed by any other writer." Up to now,
this doctrine has only been applied to movies, but that
doesn't mean freelance writers can't use this in pitching
article ideas. Jeff Gordon, intellectual property attorney,
says that writers can include a line in their query stating
that reading the query constitutes agreement to a
nondisclosure agreement and that should hold up in court.
"However," Gordon cautions, "Someone who is low enough to
steal your ideas is also crafty enough to find a convincing
argument as to why your little one or two sentence
agreement didn't cover THEIR specific activity." Just
because freelancers have never used confidentiality clauses
before doesn't mean we can't. If enough writers do it,
publications won't have much choice but to accept them.
Run to the Competition
If you find out that a publication is going to use your
idea and assign it to another writer, one thing you can do
is run straight to their competition. Tell them
Publication 1 is going to run a story on your topic and
pitch the idea to them. If you have the article written,
you can let Publication 2 know so they can run the story
first. Ewing says, "I would have no qualms attempting to
sell the idea or article to a competing publication, and I
would try to do it as quickly as possible, in order to beat
the first publication to the punch, and perhaps teach them
a lesson that they can't treat writers who supply them with
vital content in such a cavalier manner."
Spread the Word
Angela Adair-Hoy has suggested having everyone you know
send a letter or e-mail to someone who owes you money
for writing. Why not do this to a publisher who has taken
your idea? If you are offended by a publication taking your
ideas, spread the word. Tell every writer you know. Get
your discussion lists involved. Freelancer Anna Morvee
suggests setting up a Web site where writers can sign
online petitions protesting unfair treatment. If every
writer sends a protest letter to these offending
publications, we can affect the quality of submissions
these publications receive and force them to change their
"Rosie continues to report that they are seeking freelance
submissions, although Gruner + Jahr adds that any idea sent
to them is "fair game." Freelance writer Peg Louden says,
"I can see a nonwriter being thrilled to get a "finders
fee" for coming up with an idea, but what would this do to
freelancers?" Don't let it do anything to writers; fight
back. We can, if we do it together.
Kyle Looby hails from Springfield, IL, and writes when her
three children let her. She has been published in "Writer
Online", "Papyrus", "The Canadian Writers' Journal", "The
Writing Parent", "Inscriptions", "Writers-Exchange", and
other nonwriting publications. She is the former
contributing editor of Suite 101's Writing For Online
Venues, and the author of "How to Write For Web sites,
E-zines, and Newsletters: 500 online markets for your
LIST OF THE MONTH
Sponsored by Painted Rock Writers & Readers Colony this
list is designed to keep writers focused and moving forward
on their manuscripts. Each day you will write as much as
you can in rough draft form and post your page totals
at the end of the day to the list. The idea is not to
polish or edit your work, but rather get your ideas down on
paper and write free-form. At the end of the week the
writer with the most pages' wins a small prize. If you
don't feel like utilizing this list as a contest,
this forum serves as great motivation to keep you on track.
To subscribe send a blank
Note: This is a high volume list. If you don't want a lot
of e-mail, consider subscribing to the digest version.
SITE OF THE MONTH
Organized Writer http://organizedwriter.com/
If you're needing tips, methods and resources to become
better organized then this site is for you. Julie Hood,
author of "The Organized Writer: 30 Days To More Time,
More Money and Less Frustration" has done an excellent job
tailoring this site specifically for writers. While there,
make sure and sign up for the Writer-Reminders e-zine.
If you'd like your site to be considered as a Busy
Freelancer "Site of the Month" please send your URL to:
Don't Quit Your Day Job Yet (Just Go Crazy Working Two)
by Sheri Waldrop
We have all heard this sage advice: If you want to start
freelance writing, don't quit your day job. Instead,
carefully save up until you have six month's income...
Ha ha ha ha ha. Ooops. I couldn't help myself. At this
point, I have something called "teenagers" that eat
voraciously and need things in constant supply such as:
Cosmetics, body lotions, clothing and food (lot of it for
them and their friends.)
I also have a car payment on a car that faithfully breaks
down at poorly timed intervals, and medical bills (guess
how much flu medicine costs even if you HAVE insurance?).
On a good month, after all my bills are paid, I have enough
to buy cat food. Cheap cat food that probably contains bits
of fish bones chopped up in it (hey, it's fiber and
calcium, it's good for her. She still purrs and comes when
I call, so it can't be that bad).
And this is while I'm working my "day job". So, like many
of you, I am combining freelance writing with working a
full-time job doing something else.
But what does the busy freelancer do when their freelance
business starts taking off? When the commitments to writing
increase, but you still aren't making enough to quit your
day job (you like your cat too much to risk its starvation,
not to mention your kids).
I call this the "writing cusp"; too busy or too poor to
quit your day job, but busy enough with writing that it is
making it hard to find time to do both well. Where do you
find time to rewrite that Web site, get that article to an
editor, finish the other article that needs rewriting, set
up a conference call with your client in Europe, get that
newsletter done for another client, and they are all due by
next week? And still come into your day job cheerful and
I came up with a simple answer the other day. Give up
sleep. If I can learn to go without those eight hours, I
will free up enough time for my second career. Granted, I
may get grumpy, but I have heard that after two or three
days, you start hallucinating and don't care how tired you
are anymore. But work quality can suffer under those
conditions, so it's risky.
I am also looking at another and probably better option;
easing out of my day job slowly. I may approach my boss,
who is a kind-hearted person, about leaving the office
early a few days a week. My co-worker is doing a great job
and can handle it alone by now. I trained him well for this
very underhanded purpose.
I can start slow, the "Instead of staying until five, I
need to leave at 3:30 two days a week..." After all, the
office won't fall apart in one hour, and I will gain
precious uninterrupted writing time. And then, in a month,
I can increase it to three days, then four. By the time I
earn enough freelancing to quit, I will only be working two
hours a week, so they won't miss me at the office anyway.
They say you should have enough clients to equal your day
income before quitting, with plenty lined up and waiting.
But my experience in freelancing so far is drought or
flood; sitting for weeks with just a few active jobs, and
then EVERYONE is calling. "Hey, you did a good job for my
brother, so can you rewrite my Web page for me?" or "I saw
your Web site and liked your stuff. I have ten business
pages that need complete redoing...", and of course every
RFP bid also comes in at once.
So for me, it's best to look at my average over the past
year, divide it by 12, and come up with a rough estimate of
monthly writing income. When that average equals the magic
number, I'll quit my day job, unless I keel over from
exhaustion first (okay, so I went a couple of nights
without enough sleep, but I'm not hallucinating yet). Until
then, I will continue to balance two careers and try to
find time to do it all, and most importantly, write.
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
░░░░░ CLASSIFIEDS ░░░░░
Cornerstone Consortium and One Month Intensive Creative
Writing workshops is pleased to announce the launch of our
new free opt-in only bi-weekly 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:
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:firstname.lastname@example.org with "FW Article
Submission" in the subject line. Thank you for considering
submitting to us, your work is appreciated.
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
or visit our Web site.
**Soul Mate Anthology Seeks Submissions**
The Writer's Life is publishing a new anthology "Romancing
the Soul". Entries must be 5,000 words or less. Deadline is
March 31, 2002. For more information visit
"The Organized Writer is a Selling Writer" is a 62-page
booklet. The hard copy sells for $8. The e-mail version,
sent as a Word attachment or mailed on diskette sells for
$5. For more information contact Kathryn Lay at
Do you have a writing related product or service? For a
limited time you can advertise it here FREE. Send your ad,
to mailto:email@example.com. When sending
your ad, please place "ad" in subject line.
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, editor, send
Kim Wilson, editor
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610