story ideas

Freelance Writer Fairy Tales: Do You Believe These 3 Myths?

Freelance writer fairy tales: Do you believe in these 3 myths? Makealivingwriting.com

When you’re a freelance writer, it’s easy to go on for years clinging to magical thinking about how your career will work.

It’s like believing in fairy tales. Usually, when you grow up, you realize there is no enchanted frog or beast that turns into a prince.

But with a lot of writers, these myths persist for years and years, leading to lots of wasted time and low earnings.

What are the big fairy tales freelance writers tell themselves? Here are my top three:

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Need Story Ideas? 20 Free Online Tools to Fire Up Your Brain

Find Story Ideas With These 20 Online Tools. Makealivingwriting.com

If you want to write for magazines, story ideas are your bread and butter.

The days when big editorial staffs thought up most of the ideas and simply assigned them out to freelance writers are over. Instead, these days overworked editors are looking to their writers to tell them what’s fresh and interesting out there.

You want to be the writer with a million story ideas, to earn well.

Despite this, I often hear from writers that they’re stymied because they have no ideas.

Let’s fix this! Once you know how to troll for ideas, it becomes a fun hobby. Get out your favorite tracking software, whether it’s an app like Pocket, an Excel spreadsheet, or (like me) just a plain ol’ Word doc, and start developing your idea-finding skills.

These days, you don’t even have to leave the house to come up with a lot of great ideas, because so many online tools can help stimulate your brain.

Ready to fire up your computer and find some great ideas? Here’s my list of creative idea-finding tools (in alphabetical order):

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

How to Be Original: 18 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Creativity

How to Be Original: 18 Tips for Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

Do you feel like everything has already been said? That it’s impossible to be original, in an age where everyone has instant access to everything?

Well, I disagree.

Fresh, original writers and bloggers emerge every day. Each of us is an utterly unique human being.

Yet originality remains a struggle for many writers. Here’s a typical comment I recently got on one of my blog posts:

“I run a blog and I’ve been trying to be original in my content. The more I try, the more I get less original.

“What’s your advice on this?” –Ifeanyi

When you feel like you have nothing fresh to contribute, it’s time to take a step back and shake up your creative process.

I put together this list of 18 originality-enhancing ideas because in Hebrew, the word for life, chai, has the numerical value of 18. Pump some new life into your writing with these!

Tagged with: , , ,

Do You Have Story Idea Constipation? How to Break the Logjam

Waiting to use the bathroomEver had a great idea for an article?

The moment you think of it, everything comes to a halt. You are entranced. You love this idea!

You’re sure you know the ideal publication for it, too. A big, important, great-paying magazine.

This is the idea that’s going to transform your portfolio and make your career take off. You can hardly sleep at night, thinking about how great this is going to be.

And there, your troubles begin.

Tagged with: , , ,

17 Super-Useful Posts About Story Ideas, Article Writing, Interviews, and Editors

story ideas equal moneyEver wondered why article writers often get paid more than bloggers?

Well, here’s something interesting that just happened to me that explains why I keep encouraging writers to learn reporting: I did a Google search on a term, and got some results…and then a section of results labeled “In-depth Articles.”

Article writing is the future. More businesses will be paying for it, online magazines are springing up — the lucrative opportunities for writers who can develop a great idea, do a sharp interview, and weave it into a compelling story are growing like mad.

We’ve also got article writing on the brain around here because of an upcoming writing class I’ll be teaching with Linda Formichelli — we’re giving out some free article-writing trainings to celebrate that right now, if you haven’t seen.

For more article-writing help, I thought I’d help you ring in the New Year with a roundup of the most useful posts ever seen on this blog about article writing. Enjoy!

Tagged with: , , , , ,

3 Proven Strategies Professional Writers Use to Avoid Creative Bankruptcy

Freelance writer with no ideas

I’m afraid of bankruptcy.

I don’t mean the financial kind. I mean the kind where you get an exciting writing commission, and then you can’t deliver.

Creative bankruptcy happens when you have a pressing writing project — and you know you’ve got nothing.

Don’t put yourself in that position.

Here are three ways you can avoid creative bankruptcy and become a more productive professional writer.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,