By Tiffani Hill-Patterson
Before taking inventory of my writing success in 2008, it didn’t seem like much. However, looking back, I realize that each small step pushed me a little closer to my goal of national publication.
First, I became a regular contributor to Birmingham Parent magazine with articles in nine of 12 issues. Because my editor likes my work, she passed along my name to another regional editor and I scored a reprint client.
Then, I took Christina’s class on targeting markets, which helped me zone in on my specialties. I also wrote for The Writer Mama e-zine for the first half of 2008 and learned so much about how other writers market their work. Also, through Christina and Jennifer Applin, another Writer Mama contributor, I learned about Brette Sember’s Regional Parenting Publication list.
Through these connections, I’ve published and been paid for 17 reprints, and I am awaiting checks for four more. That may not sound like much, but it adds up to a nice chunk and in today’s economy every bit helps.
Also, I’m a full-time copy editor at my local newspaper and an occasional columnist. My piece on my daughter’s hearing loss and cochlear implants was picked up by a couple of local magazines, giving my writing even more exposure. I also write for the newspaper’s parenting magazine, earning comp time for each story, which means more time for writing.
Next, I updated my professional Web site and started a blog about one of my specialties – hearing loss and cochlear implants. It’s about my family’s experiences, from surgery to therapy to everyday life with a 7-year-old who is deaf and hears with CIs.
In addition to print work, I’m getting paid to blog about health, fitness and beauty for Prevention.com. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s fun, interesting and easy, and I’m learning a lot about promoting my work.
Finally, my biggest assignment yet came near the end of November. A $1-per-word job writing about sports for a national special-interest publication was listed at FreelanceWritingGigs.com. After I e-mailed my cover letter and clips, I put it out of my mind.
About a month later, I got an e-mail saying, “After looking through your resume and samples, we think you may be a good fit …” One day and a conference call later, I got the assignment, due in less than two weeks.
I’m proud to say I turned it in a day before the deadline, and I am now awaiting approval and payment. If this one works out, I could gain a regular client and a great clip, a great national clip.
When I look back at my accomplishments laid out like this, I realize I did more than I thought to advance my writing career … one step at a time.
Tiffani Hill-Patterson writes about parenting, health and fitness. She also blogs about her family’s experience with deafness and cochlear implants at http://soundcheckmama.blogspot.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://tiffanihillpatterson.com.