December Sell-a-bration #17: Becoming Proactive

By Abbey McGee

When I first started writing, I quickly discovered that assignments weren’t going to arrive in my inbox without any effort (wouldn’t it be nice if they did?!). Knowing this, I focused my time and energy on figuring out how to catch the attention of an editor. I read many books on querying, getting published, and marketing. After I felt relatively comfortable with the process, I started sending out my ideas and immediately found success.

By pitching my ideas, I’ve landed many assignments with our regional parenting publication, as well as a group of monthly community newspapers. After writing a few articles, the publications started approaching me with assignments. The hard work paid off! I’ve met many of the goals I set out to accomplish this year by being proactive and marketing myself and my ideas.

With a four-year old and two-and-a-half-year old underfoot, I have yet to run out of ideas! Having a conversation with another mommy friend or watching kids play dangerously at the beach spark ideas that turn into articles. I look at my world a little differently now – finding inspiration in my fears, concerns, inconveniences, and frustrations. There is a potential article in almost every situation I encounter during the day.

I recently completed Christina’s Platform 101 course and I’m enjoying the ongoing process of defining my specialty and writing on focused topics.

I’m thrilled and encouraged by the progress I have made in just sixteen months of professionally freelancing. I have developed relationships with editors and found consistent work. I’m also extremely happy that I’ve gotten paid for every article I’ve written – a most welcome benefit! I’m excited to see what the future holds when I have more time to dedicate to my writing. In 2009, I plan to step up my pitching efforts by querying more frequently and submitting to new markets.

Abbey McGee is a mom of two preschoolers, certified personal trainer, and a Navy wife. She enjoys the diversity of writing for her local paper and regional parenting publication, but really loves when she can share her expertise on post-partum health and fitness and parenting. You can reach her at


7 Responses to “December Sell-a-bration #17: Becoming Proactive”

  1. 1 Sarah December 17, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Thank you, Abbey! Your story is very helpful and encouraging! Keep up the good work!

  2. 2 Erin Goodman December 17, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Congratulations!! I am just beginning to work up the nerve to send query letters and I am SO inspired by your success! Thank you!!

  3. 3 Jennifer December 17, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Way to go, Mama! It is good to hear of other moms who can find success amidst the chaos of young children.

  4. 4 The Writer Mama December 17, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Abbey!

    And happy holidays!

  5. 5 Mary Jo C. December 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Abbey, I’m still impressed by all of your success while mothering preschoolers and having a spouse that is gone a lot. Did you ever make it into the MOPS publ you were targeting?

  6. 6 Donna McDine December 17, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Abbey…being proactive is definitely key…best wishes for continued success in 2009!

  7. 7 writethejourney December 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Abbey, Thanks for sharing your year with us…and the fact that you’re doing this with 2 young children AND a military spouse?? Amazing. Keep up the inspiring good work!

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