Feb 2, 2011

Writing for Free

Like many writers hoping to find the door to 'making a living writing', I write on a daily basis and involve myself in writing sites on the internet to try to refine my skills and grow my audience. This puts some of my writing in an off-limits bucket for many publishers. They only want to publish what no one else has seen before - and I can't blame them, they are trying to build their business and deserve to tell their audience that what they're about to read is original, never before seen material. So they only pay for exclusives.

In the meantime, I write for free, or nearly, since small presses don't exactly have the budgets to make any of us rich.

Back in the days of William Dean Howells who was an editor for The Atlantic Monthly from 1866-1876, a short story sale to that magazine could support a writer for a year or two. Ah, for the good old days. Boo on inflation. Still wouldn't live in those times for any reason, not the least of which being I'm not so sure I could survive.

Today, I'm lucky if a story or poem brings in enough to buy lunch at McDonalds.

So I will continue to write my little rhymes, punch out my scenes and submit for comment and review on various boards - all for free. At least until I win the writer's lottery of writing something that rings the right editor's chime and they decide to send me a fabulous, cashable check for my next year or two.