Sunday, May 31, 2009

Why give it away?

Professional writers often wonder why a professional writer would give perfectly good content away in a blog. Why not sell it to a newspaper, a magazine or a web site?

It's not as easy to sell stories to newspapers and magazines as it used to be. I've sold stories to web sites on occasion, too, but I don't know what's normal. There are too many writers out there willing to be a "professional" by writing for $1 a story.

Me? I need to write. I'm kinda like the woman in the Louis L'Amour book Conagher. The woman would write poetry or something short on a piece of paper or petticoat and tie it to a tumbleweed. Conagher or one of the other cowboys might find it miles away.

She needed to talk to someone, but there was no one. Only the wind on the grass.

I prefer to be paid for writing, but I've enjoyed my three blogs. They've kept me sharp as a writer, and they've forced me to edit my own copy. Hey, if you write about being a professional editor/proofreader/writer, you're going to be treated as such. Nearly every time I make a mistake, someone tells me about it. So I need to be careful.

Who knows? I may be able to rewrite, consolidate or morph some of this into a magazine article or even a book. Or, if I can get enough readers, I can make money off the blog directly.

To me, a writer/editor/proofreader gets paid for his work. It's not good enough to be published or praised. Payment makes all the difference.

And I do write and edit for a living. But sometimes I need to be heard, too. That's why I'm here.

Write on.

Contact: I can be reached at or Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie