Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Diversify Your Writing Business

I was sitting in a grant writing seminar today, thinking about how far I have come in the past year since I got serious about my business. I now do much more than write novels and articles for print. I have expanded to corporate writing, writing for the web, blogging – you name it. If it involves writing, I am probably doing it.

My adventures away from latest novel began when a) I needed to earn in order to write my next novel, and b) I attended a workshop all about making money as a freelance writer. The key is diversification. Now, I know some writers who will do many other things within the confines of their freelance writing business, such as running errands, but I find it taxing enough to stay within the realm of writing as a business.

Don’t get me wrong, I am always finding ways to diversify, but if I keep it to writing and anything to do with writing – teaching writing, reviewing other people’s manuscripts, press releases and such – then I find myself with more than enough to do with never enough time to do it all. That is not a complaint by any means! I love being busy and I love to write. The combination is perfect.

Why not diversify? I started with some of those low-paying freelance bidding sites such as, proposing courses to my local continuing education departments, and finding an area on which to concentrate. Since I am a military spouse, this community made sense to me. I learned more about it by surfing the internet, attending spouse-related events such as SpouseBUZZ, and developing my blog with information that related to the needs of the military spouse. As more people visit, word gets around that I may just know a little about being a milspouse, and then the writing gigs come.

Another trick that has helped me has been job search sites such as Career Builder where I frequently responded to ads for writers as a freelancer. I figured if the company is looking for a writer, they might be able to use a freelance writer (ME!) in the interim. I have also learned a lot from the articles on’s Military Spouse Career Center . Here I read about how to package myself, my skills and my business as a military spouse. It is a discriminatory practice, but some companies do not want to hire the milspouse because they think you are going to leave all too soon. I also learned that we are a trustworthy, hardworking bunch and are assets to any company smart enough to hire us.

The moral of this story is to diversify your business. Write articles, but rather than just writing for print, write for the web or for corporations. If you write novels, why not teach one night each semester for a local library or adult education department? Teaching clarifies your view of whatever you teach because you need to boil it down for those who do not do what you do. Capisce?

Above all, enjoy whichever path you follow.


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