I use this blog to recommend print books and ebooks I love. Many of them cost just a few dollars in Kindle format. So I feel I should give you a heads up that today’s ebook is more than that, both in substance and in cost. It’s one of the few ebooks I’ve spent more than $20 on and I don’t regret it.
In fact I re-read it near the beginning of each new year to help clarify my goals and spark some new ideas to explore over the next 12 months.
I’ve just finished my 2014 re-read of 25 Ways To Write for Money by David Goldsmith. It’s a book I go through once a year because by the time I’ve taken the author’s advice and produced, say, 10 very different pieces of work, I tend to forget about the next 15 types of writing I could be doing. This is especially true when the first ten pieces find favor with editors who then ask for another (similar) piece of work.
Here are some reasons this ebook is a regular re-read for me:
I like to diversify.
I write a lot of non-fiction articles on a range of topics. I write about travel and parenting and lifestyle issues and book marketing. I also write non-fiction ebooks about the writing process. Sometimes I almost forget how much I like to write short stories, and humor, and opinion pieces. I sideline my desire to write more personal essays or try my hand at a screenplay. I abandon my plans for YA novels and children’s stories.
This ebook reminds me of all the different writing I could be doing and inspires me to diversify, which is personally and creatively satisfying.
I like a challenge.
I’ve read this book a handful of times now, and each time I decide to try a completely new type of writing. Something I’ve never done before. I love the challenge of learning more about a particular genre and trying it out. Sometimes I produce a saleable piece of writing. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I create something that I can work on in the future and I put it to one side for a while.
Whatever happens I enjoy the challenge, the learning process and the break from my normal writing routine. Often I discover a new income stream that can be implemented either now or in the future.
I like a step-by-step guide
Each of the 25 chapters in this book covers a specific type of writing, and while it’s impossible for a single chapter to be a comprehensive guide to a whole new area, each section does provide simple easy-to-follow steps to get you started.
Depending on the type of writing highlighted, you’ll find definitions, FAQs (eloquently answered), exercises, “What you’ll need” lists, necessary skills, tips, techniques and markets to sell your writing to.
I like a range of easily accessible resources
Each chapter ends with a list of additional resources such as websites, training courses, books and market databases. Each chapter, in short, ends at a point where, if you’d like to explore this type of writing further, the next steps are made easy for you.
Admittedly, some of the additional resources are ebooks, books and courses that you will have to pay for. I’m all for investing in your writing, but I also encourage you to build your freelance writing business slowly, investing in one resource at a time and using those resources wisely to make money that can then be re-invested in your writing career.
Having said that, I have a few shelves and a whole Kindle full of writing books, and I’ve invested money in taking several writing courses over the past decade or so. I do believe in spending money to make money. I just encourage you to take your time and invest in the right resources as and when you can afford to do so.
I like to mix it up.
The great thing about this book is that it encourages me to vary my writing routine. It reminds me that when I want to take a break from a big, heavy-on-the-research project I can write a filler, or poem, or humorous opinion piece. It encourages me to indulge my playful side by writing for children, or my competitive side by writing for contests, or my frankly quite weird side by writing some quirky sci-fi or fantasy based fiction.
Most importantly, as a professional freelance writer who does, after all, have to make a living here, this ebook gives me a way to make money from each and every piece I write. The combination of ‘how-to’ advice combined with solid information regarding editors and publishers willing to pay for each type of writing means I always have a plan to get the writing done and sold.
Buy your copy of 25 Ways To Write for Money here.
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