If you need motivation, play it like a game of Scattergories. See how many ideas you can jot down before the timer sounds.
Available at any major bookstore, this is an annual compilation of more than 2,000 magazines, 1,000 book publishers, and even specialized markets like greeting cards, script writing, and syndicates. Writing For Dollars has a biweekly newsletter with market guidelines, and a searchable database on the website.
And Writers Weekly lists calls for writers and market guidelines each week.
You can even run a search for “freelance writers” on any major search engine, and you’re likely to come up with tons of listings. Find out if you can get a free or discounted sample copy.
Do your best to read at least one copy of whatever magazine or journal you plan to query.
Check your library for copies if you prefer not to go broke researching. You have your idea, and you’ve found places to submit it? Then you'll need to learn proper protocol for writing and submitting the Killer Query.
You can accomplish the same effect by including a few quirky facts or survey results you’ve found out about your topic.) Considering that their only capital was a computer and a small loan from Strader’s father, the guys feel very successful. So you’ve figured out that you would like to write for magazines, newspapers, and e-zines. What you do need, however, is the IDEA for the great story. What you have to do is sneak your stories into your areas of expertise. In general, you will be expected to write somewhere between 8 words on your topic. Right now.) On the first page, write down a list of any and all topics that interest you. (Article: “What all those touted ingredients—fluoride, peroxide, baking soda—really do for your teeth.”) You take a shower. The most popular sites (and Wired, for example) pay quite well. If you were paying attention, you might notice that this very website is looking for writers!Unfortunately, so have about eight gazillion other people on this planet. You will use this great idea to convince editors to pay you exorbitant amounts of money via a proposal letter (called a “query letter.” But you’ll learn about that in a minute). Well, you’ve heard that wise adage “write what you know.” That’s a wonderful mantra for finding your jumping-off point. Example: let’s say your hobbies and interests include fishing, watching talk shows, and traveling. You couldn’t possibly tell us “all about fishing” in 2000 words. Finding places to submit your work is easy if you know where to look. Freelancing4Money puts out a jam-packed e-zine filled with freelance opportunities. In fact, only bright green novices attempt to write the whole thing before selling it. Never, ever send a letter to the editor suggesting “an article about fishing.” Not even “an article about fishing in Florida.” This vagueness is not appropriate for short writing. Or the optimal number of times to press the “snooze” button.) You brush your teeth. (No printing costs, so “space” isn’t as important an issue for e-zine editors.) Most e-zines don’t pay (except by means of a byline) but this trend is changing. There are tons of ways to find markets that are open to freelancers. It all starts with “The Big Idea.” The first secret you must learn in this funny business is that you don’t actually have to write the whole article to get a job. The biggest mistake you can make in pitching your story is being too general. Or waking up to music versus waking up to that annoying beeping sound. The only major difference is that articles for e-zines can usually run longer than print magazines.