Saturday, 24 July 2010

I know there's a recession .......

........and everything, and we writers, along with every other profession/job/occupation in the country can expect things to slow down, but has anyone else got the article writing heebiegeebies? You know what I mean: you take a look on the newsagent's shelves, as every budding good writer should, searching desperately for inspiration and a few new outlets to try your luck with but you draw a blank. You clamp your hands over your ears and shout LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA  every time you hear about magazines folding, publishers going bust and editors not taking any new commissions this side of Christmas - perhaps longer (gulp). What is a writer to do?

Regular visitors to this blog will know that I am, by nature, an upbeat, positive writer, bursting with enthusiasm and motivation. But I am worried about what the future holds for we freelance article writers and for those yet to be published. How is it all going to pan out I wonder? We can try and comfort ourselves with the knowledge that people will always read and editors will always need  writers to provide them with stuff for their readers to read, and there will always be topics to write about. But with many magazines limiting their writing to in-house ( GASP - that's a swearword for freelancers!) just what can we do to 'recession proof' our writing?

The answer to this is not easy. But giving into our fears and thoughts that the markets for our writing are diminishing by the day and so it's not worth us bothering to write or send our articles off to editor, is not an option - or it shouldn't be. In the words of Corporal Jones 'Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!' That should be our mantra I think. Keep pitching, keep writing and keep sending our work out there. If one editor says no, try another one and another one until you've exhausted all your options. Keep searching the magazine racks for new outlets - they are out there if you look hard enough. Don't be afraid to approach the editor of a magazine you haven't heard of or considered before. Be brave and take a shot at it - you've got nothing to lose. New titles will spring up from time to time too. All is not lost. Only those who give in to their apathy and belief that this recession spells the end of their writing career will see it happen  - a self professed prophecy?

It isn't going to be easy but I believe that perseverance is part of the key as is being doubly thorough in your market research and keeping your writing standards and presentation high. This will increase your chances of success. If an editor is presented with umpteen different manuscripts to choose from ,they will most likely go for the one that is well written and well presented. So don't let that slide - even though your enthusiasm and hopes for your chances of being published are half way down that slide with your knuckles white from  clinging on to the safety handles for dear life.

Have some faith in your writing and your ability to adapt your writing skills to whatever writing opportunities are out there and you may be surprised!

Happy adapting your writing

Julie xx

4 comments:

  1. I had an article accepted a few months back that may take 3 years to publish! Hope the recession is over by then! Yes, we have to adapt all the time with our writing and there are no quick wins, we just have to keep on until someone says yes.

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  2. Actually, a recession can be good news for a freelancer and bad news for staff writers. A freelancer is cheaper (no tax and national insurance for the publication to worry about, nor all that kerfuffle of having to give them a desk, car parking space and water cooler either). Some publications will begin to cut back by cutting staff, thus increasing the freelancing opportunities. Then when times continue to be tough, then they start cutting the freelance rate they pay!

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  3. 3 years, Di!! Some of these magazine's times they take to publish something is amazing! Hopefully you got paid on acceptance and not on publication.

    Julie xx

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  4. I never thought of it like that, Simon. But then doesn't the pool of 'freelance' writers just get bigger because all the newly laid off staff writers are trying to get in to the magazines too?!

    Anyway - not to be put off I've pitched a couple of ideas to magazines so we'll see how it goes!

    Julie xx

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