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Hello, advice for aspiring writer (1 Viewer)

enrique

Member
Hello,
I'm new to the forum and to writing. I've written blogs before. I'm sending some articles to websites that buy content. I am a software engineer and would like some advice about starting a career writing articles for the web, magazine or newspaper.

Also, I have a second question about these forums. Is it safe to post my writing here for critique? I've seen people do posting their articles here. If so, what worries me sometimes when I write is my English grammar. English is my second language. Would I be able to get feedbackon the grammar here?

Thanks.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
welcome to the forum and to writing!...

I'm new to the forum and to writing. I've written blogs before. I'm sending some articles to websites that buy content.

what kind of websites?... if you mean the kind that charge you to post your work for purchase, i'd say, 'don't!'... if they're sites that actually pay for work, be sure they're not the scam type and check their contracts very carefully, for fine print and loopholes that can bite you later... and check them all out with a google search for horror stories by victims, before sending anything...

I am a software engineer and would like some advice about starting a career writing articles for the web, magazine or newspaper.

...first, it's not easy to make a living [or even pin money] being a freelance writer... for starters, you need to be a better than good writer... competition is fierce and few of the jillions who try it, ever sell anything, so don't give up the day job... basically, you just have to write articles and submit them to whoever will accept unsolicited submissions, till someone buys something... if you have no writing credits, it will be harder to get editors to take your seriously, but if your writing is topnotch, that can overcome lack of experience... get a copy of writers market and/or check out www.duotrope.com for potential markets and tips on how to go about it...

Also, I have a second question about these forums. Is it safe to post my writing here for critique? I've seen people do posting their articles here.

...it's safe enough, but if you post the entire article, you then won't be able to sell 'first rights' which is what publishers want to buy... supposedly, posting in the locked section will avoid that problem, but i'm not convinced... it's best to just not post entire articles and only put up an excerpt, if you want feedback on writing quality...

If so, what worries me sometimes when I write is my English grammar. English is my second language. Would I be able to get feedbackon the grammar here?

...there's always some who'll be happy to correct your english!... and i work with many writers whose native tongue is not english, so if you need more help in that area, feel free to email me... best of luck with your new career choice...

love and hugs, maia
[email protected]
 

americanwriter

Senior Member
We'll give what feedback we can, but you must realize that content, even rough drafts, you publish here for critique may not be accepted by some publications who consider posting to the web as "previously published." It's a new loophole that's gaining popularity with regard to justifying rejection of otherwise decent works deserving a print outlet.

If you're seeking reputable work for your writing with regard to your profession, perhaps you should consider Elance. You can pick up freelance work there, technical writing jobs and some sites needing content. You're bidding for the jobs on an individual basis, you must bill for the project through Elance's site, and they get a % of the total project cost as a fee for maintaining their site through which you get hooked up to potential clients. They have different membership levels that give you access to different types of projects. You need to go and explore the site, read the FAQs, ask some questions of your own, and browse around.

There are some other things such as Elance out there, but us poor starving independents can't afford multiple subscription fees so browse several before you choose. You may wish to go to your local newstand or library, buy copies of the publications you'd like to write for and read them to get a sense of their style and content, query them about an article idea you have and see what kind of a response you get. The worse that will happen is they may so "No thanks," or "Not interested at this time." FYI, most of them have their writer's guidelines updated and online at their sites, which you can access for free, and sometimes it's a chore to find the right page link buried in the site content, but don't give up. Once you've found it, bookmark it for future access as you may wish to use it again. I have a folder in Favorites in my browser, for Publishers, that I send the bookmarks to so I can check back from time to time.

There are some good articles online and in magazines like Writer's Digest and others that provide information on querying publication editors about article ideas you have. Develop your idea, write a good summary (less than a page and a half, preferably,) and send it off. If they accept it, get busy and get your research done, interviews done, and your article written. Meet the deadline. Don't take suggestions for editing and revision from the editor personally. You're both supposed to have the best interest and profitability of the publication in mind. It's job security for you both. Good luck writer.
 
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captdallas2

There is one site I know that will accept previously posted content. So I feel that you are on the right path. Writing for the web is different. Searchable content is the key and can be tricky. Working three to six percent keyword density into an article without killing the flow can be difficult.
 

penforhire

Senior Member
It's math time!

Good writing = good money

bad writing + more bad writing + even more bad writing = good writing.

Formula? Quantity > Quality or Write, write and write some more.
 
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