Writing a novel is playing the long game.
The time and effort gobbled up in the process are immense. Plotting, writing, and editing seem endless, stretching on for eternity. Alpha readers, beta readers, and ARC readers, oh my. If you are looking to publish traditionally, add in querying editors and agents and waiting for responses. If you are heading down the self-publishing route, now there are formatting and creating covers and promoting and waiting for your book baby to be bought and reviewed.
In all of this working and waiting, the cash flow is zero, maybe even negative when hiring out services to help make your work the best it can be. What is a struggling artist to do?
Make income on your shorter pieces
The lovely Shell Sherwood wrote an article on why writing shorter pieces brings success. One of those reasons is short pieces can bring in additional money while you are waiting for your bigger works to get out into the world.
Now, the pay for your short works most likely won’t be life-changing, especially not right away. Though, when you consider the time needed to create these pieces, it’s a no-brainer; why not earn extra cash for your writing to fill up the gas tank, replace the shoes your sprouting child grew out of in two months, or maybe even treat yourself to something fun?
The best part is, once you enter this world of short writing works, if you have the time, they can be a consistent source of supplemental income. The big question is, where does one find these magical money-makers?
Types of paid writing opportunites
Opportunities for earning money on your writing are everywhere. You just have to know where to look.
Writing and Lifestyle Blogs
One of my consistent sources of income has been what most would call the mommy-blogging sites. Popular websites such as Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, and Motherly are great places to start. Her View From Home and Motherly are constantly accepting submissions and Scary Mommy has occasional open submissions. Articles from four hundred to nine hundred words can earn from $10 to $100 each.
Online magazines and genre-specific sites are often underutilized sources of income. Many times these publications have a quick turnaround for acceptance. Do you have a knack for horror or dark fantasy? PseudoPod pays out at $0.08 per word. Since most writers aren’t fond of math, that’s $120 for a 1,500-word story. If humor and satire are more your style, McSweeney’s pays $30 per accepted piece.
Large market anthologies offer another opportunity to create extra cash in your wallet. Chicken Soup for the Soul has been around since 1993. They publish multiple books per year on a variety of topics. If your piece is selected for publication you will receive $200 plus ten free copies of the completed book.
Gaining popularity are serial apps such as Vella and Radish, recently highlighted by our wonderful Allie Gravitt along with a number of other online writing platforms. With Vella, authors will receive half of what readers spend to access their stories. Bonuses are also available based on the activity and likes of your posts.
Weekly Freelance Work
Many of us are fiction writers, but if you can wrangle words together in a cohesive and engaging manner, you most likely are perfectly capable of writing freelance blog pieces. Depending on your level of experience and the length of the desired work, you can charge between $50 to $250 per article or $15 and up per hour. Many smaller and start-up companies need extra bodies to create their online content. A Google search of “part-time freelance content writing jobs” will bring up a variety of options in your area.
Incorporating a few of these revenue streams into your writing practice can add up to some decent extra money for pieces you can create in a matter of a few hours. There are plenty of opportunities for supplemental writing income if you get creative in fitting them into your schedule. Once you are accepted in these spaces you can finally say you are a paid, published author, all while you are working toward your larger body of work.
About The Writer: Jill Robinson is a wife, mother of two, athlete, speech-language pathologist, and lover of all animals. She loves the outdoors and singing off-key in the car. Writing brings her peace. You can follow Jill on her author blog, Instagram, and Twitter.