Selling Your Writing for Pennies

Starting somewhere hurts the heart a little bit

Let’s face it; Writers do NOT get paid their worth.

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In light of my current health situation, I have not been working for the past few years. I rely on peddling craft items occasionally, and mostly on selling myself as a writer…for pennies.

But we have to start somewhere. Getting a freelance writing career off the ground is a bit like rolling a giant boulder uphill, while wearing roller skates.

I joined Upwork. Yes, I know there is some controversy over that. I have seen other writers condemn the site, saying that it lowers the bar–regarding the PAY that writer’s receive–and makes things worse for writers across the board.

But–as I sit here, back aching like fire, pain in three of my back teeth causing my jaw to swell (which is causing a nerve problem in my face), and out my opened front door what do I see? CORN FIELDS. Trees. Rural life. I search all kinds of jobs for writers in my area…either a great big NOTHING, or a scam, or it pays 10.00 or less an hour.

At least Upworks has JOBS. SO, I bit my pride and joined. You have to have reviews to get the “good jobs” that might actually pay me enough to get my tooth pulled, get my car fixed that’s been hovering in the “check engine” zone for two years, or pay at least A payment toward my debt mountain.

My first job will pay me $7.00. Seven Hundred Pennies. But, at the end of that job I will get a review. Then take a higher paying job…another review…then a higher paying job. After some work, it will pay off.

Another site I am working on is Medium. I invite you to check this site out, join for $5.00 a month if you love reading quality articles, and follow me here: @fnfwriter

Medium pays writers when readers : clap” for the articles. The more claps, the more pay. My first week on medium I made $0.09. The second week $0.79. The third week $3.39. And this, my fourth week $ 8.32. So, with only 64 followers thus far, and a few publications that accept me as a writer, this number will continue to climb with my popularity.

And get this: my POETRY posts get more claps than my articles!

This is exciting! If you are interested, medium may be a fun place to post some of your best writing and get paid for doing so…just make sure that you join the Medium Partner Program, and get in with some good publications that have lots of followers. Submit to them to get in with them as a writer and you will be on your way! MAYBE pennies will turn into quarters…then dollars.

A third way my writing is starting to pay off is by writing for my local paper: Observer News Enterprise. who has given me a weekly column that pays me …get this…$0.00 dollars. Yes, nothing. But it gets my name “out there” and if they ask me to do an article or if an article I write gets front page, there’s a pay of $25.00.

You can bet when those checks come in, I am doing a freak-show happy dance at my mailbox.

I AM ALSO SUBMITTING POETRY TO A HOST OF LITERARY MAGAZINES AND CONTESTS–THESE TAKE MONTHS TO REPLY–BUT MY FINGERS ARE AS CROSSED AS THEY CAN GET. THIS WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE PAYOUT FOR ME, EVEN IF IT DOESN’T PAY CASH.

MY ULTIMATE GOAL IN ALL OF THIS IS: TO BE RECOGNIZED AS A POET AND HAVE A LOYAL FOLLOWING WHEN MY BOOK GETS PUBLISHED–AND IT WILL GET PUBLISHED!

WHY am I writing this article? Because perhaps you are out there hustling your writing, the same as I am. I want to encourage you not to give up. And to take pennies ONLY TO GET STARTED. Then use that resource as a reference, a STEPPING STONE. The ultimate goal should be to get paid your worth. While you work for pennies, hone your skills, learn all you can, and collect as many references as you can that will speak to your value as a writer.

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Give it all you got…I invite you to share your story, and by all means share your link so others may support you in your venture. Best of luck to you!

(My book is in self-edit phase of the first draft…wish me luck!!)

I am Writing a Book!

And it is kicking my butt

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Writing a Book Takes A Lot Out of You!

Some of you all know, who are loyal followers of my blog, that I have been very busy writing a book.

The idea formed when I was fresh out of college in 2007 and has not left my mind since. I wrote a few thousand words on it back in 2008 but had not returned to it due to a lack of computer, writing program, etc.

This year: Got a laptop.

This year: Got Scrivener.

And 2 months ago I was rockin and rollin!!

Now, some 84,000 words later and I am doing my first edit of the rough draft. And whew, what an emotional ride that was wrestling with all of the scenes in my head, fleshing out the characters that whisper to my brain cells and putting them into words, and preparing dynamic scenes. (Writing those intense scenes…was INTENSE.)

Now for the hard part. Editing. Searching for beta readers who will be generous with their time (for free, because, let’s face it…) and their input. Then querying agents.

So a brief introduction to what the book is all about, and if you’d comment please: Would love to read it. Would NEVER read it. Or something to those effects…I’d love to know 🙂 Thanks!

The book is a literary fiction novel (possibly general or mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, or literary-suspense…this depends on how an agent choses to market the book to the publishers. For the sake of ego, I have been calling it literary fiction as that was my original intent. Truthfully, literary fiction is difficult to market, to sell, and I am not convinced the writing measures up to being called “literary.” Hey, I am honest. I think mainstream fiction would suit me just fine. Just don’t call it YA, or my heart might break a little.)

On to the synopsis:

Book Title: Elephant Song

Cassandra Belle is a mess. Her good intentions as a mother have been swept away by haunting memories, trauma, and mental illness. Her parents and family disowning her. Angel’s father leaving her destitute, standing on the broken stoop, baby on her hip. And when her daughter Angel, now 15 and fiercely independent, falls prey to an online madman, Cassie has to call up strength she never knew she had, lean on people she never knew she had. When Angel disappears…everything changes. …click…click…click…click…


Writing a Book IS WORK

It’s not for the faint of heart or the weak of resolve

My father always told me:

To be a success you either need to do something no one else wants to do, or do something everyone else wants to do and do it better than everyone else.


–My Dad

Yikes. Take one look at the picture above and literally everyone gets a fuzzy, heart-happy, nostalgic, dreamers-dream of sitting at a wooden desk at a clickety-click typewriter with a simmering cup of hot coffee sitting next to them, and long leisurely days of plinking out a finely-crafted novel.

OK so not literally everyone, but damned close to it.

Well, as I have just finished plinking out my first draft of my first novel, let me tell you, the nostalgia is malarkey. You may quote me on that.


The nostalgia is malarkey


–Me.

Let me tell you what it is…

*It is a lot of saying to your family, “I am working.”
*It is being harassed 24/7 by the characters living, talking, acting out various scenarios–in your head.
*It is late nights and back aches. Neck aches and headaches.
*It is stressing over whether or not you can tell the story that will honor the characters.
*It is worry that your audience will not love the characters as much as you do.

*It is hoping your readers will be just that–READERS.

*It is a LOT of typing. A LOT.
*It is a LOT of research…and sometimes of VERY weird things. God help, I hope my laptop never gets confiscated.
*It is a dedication you can only tap from within.
*It is a daily commitment, even if you feel tapped out.
*It is EXHILARATING.
*It can give you quite the God-complex.
*It is an honor to tell the story of characters you love.
*It is isolating and somewhat lonely.
*It is an emotional journey.
*It will make you question every aspect of your intelligence, your talent, and your skill.
*It will teach you new things
*You do it knowing the chances are HIGH that you will never be published.

And it is worth every every second.


When I was a child I knew 2 things: I loved nature and all the awesome things in it. And, I wanted to WRITE SOMETHING.
Today: I love nature and all the awesome things in it. And, I want to WRITE SOMETHING.


–Christina Ward


So to those of you who share my dream of becoming a published author, I encourage you to consider this: are you a creator/collector of ideas but lack the stick-it-to-itiveness to follow through on the very hard work of fleshing out, editing and publishing a novel? Hire a ghost writer. Your ideas may have great merit and are still of value even if you’ve started writing 10 times and just can’t get to the finish line. If you are truly committed to the writing process, and love every step your novel takes, even if that wasn’t the plan,

…then GO FOR IT.

Don’t let the dust settle on your dreams. Brush away the cobwebs and the fear, the insecurities and the excuses, and….. apply hope like a verb.


–Christina Ward (Author of a book that WILL be coming to a store near you.)
–stay tuned…