Today, I am going to share a few different avenues I have utilized over the past few years to create cashflow while I waited for my books to sell.
I started off through an invite to teach a writing course to homeschool students. There were five, fifteen year olds, and we had such a great time. The course included a workbook and directional guides to what I should teach each week. From there, I branched out to local homeschool groups, via Facebook, and found several students who I now teach in their homes each week. I charge an hourly rate for one student, and half it if for groups of two or more.
I approached the various local newspapers and magazines with my resume and some writing samples. I currently write for three of the local periodicals in my county. I also work on short stories and submit those to publications via duotrope, which is a site where multiple publishers post listings and submission requirements. Between both of these, the pay isn’t fantastic, but combined with everything else it makes a nice payday.
After some time of working with other authors, I heard more than once that I had a great eye for editing. I started off with one client, found that my suggestions worked, and have since taken on three more projects. This is not only a wonderful opportunity for me to help other writers one-on-one, but it also shows me ways to improve my own writing, as I see many of my own mistakes in the work of others.
I know this isn’t a money making suggestion, but by volunteering you are able to give back and build relationships with potential customers for the day when you do have a product to sell. I started at my kid’s elementary school by teaching some simple writing techniques on a weekly basis, which grew to helping out with the after school program Future Problem Solvers. This group writes topic-related 1500 word stories that take a problem from today, predict its affect in 30 years, and create a solution. It’s so amazing to work with these talented kids and teach them writing tools they will use for the rest of their lives.
Over the years, I have developed a reputation of honest work ethics in my area, and each semester I find more students, more writers, and more opportunities to give back to others while making a buck or two along the way. I hope some of these suggestions inspire you to think outside the box as you navigate through your writing career.