Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Make a REAL LIVING as a Freelance Writer by Jenna Glatzer

My eventual goal is to write full time. Currently I have a 40+ hour a week gig as a baker. While I enjoy my day job, writing allows me to pursue all my passions. I can explore food, nature, travel, art, animals and more instead of being confined to one subject. My biggest problem is that I have always had too many goals for my life, and not enough time.

I know that fiction is probably never going to pay my bills, so I began to explore the world of freelance writing. I have done some Internet writing but I had no idea where to begin. The pitching process can be intimidating, so I needed to learn.

I had been a member of the writing forum at Absolute Write, but wasn't active. When I started surfing the site for information I discovered several references to the book Make a REAL LIVING as a Freelance Writer by Jenna Glatzer, who owned Absolute Write for over seven years. The recommendations were so positive that I lifted my self-imposed ban on buying books and purchased my own copy.

Besides her experience at Absolute Write, Glatzer has written quite a few books and literally hundreds of magazine articles. I prefer buying writing books by people who have extensive professional experience, especially when I look for books about the business end of things. Glatzer easily filled that.

Make a REAL LIVING is laid out logically, following the process from generating ideas to billing. Glatzer didn't leave out any steps. The chapter about queries eliminated almost all my fear of the process. She dissected two sample queries -- one good, one bad. These "don'ts" helped me rewrite my letters and emails, and they are so much better now!

My copy is already showing signs of wear, and is highlighted extensively. My favorite part is the sidebar boxes. Glatzer filled them with tips, tricks, and websites that I never would have discovered otherwise. Sometimes it seemed that she answered my questions as soon as I came up with them. For instance, I was wondering about how my last of a fax machine would affect me, and then she recommended the online service eFax, where you can get a fax number and have incoming faxes forwarded to your email account. Perfect!

This book is my number one recommendation to writers looking to break into magazines and major online markets. I really couldn't have asked for more.