The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My internship continues

This is the time of year that we Phoenicians remember why we live here. It's such a nice day that it causes me physical pain to sit inside and work.

I'm working on another HTDT article, this one on infant cognitive development. These don't pay that well but that's not why I'm doing them. I'm trying to get into the rhythm of writing, particularly writing on a schedule. My original goal was one article a day (except on the two days I take care of my niece). I haven't met that goal, but at least I have a little money coming in. Since I took so long to jump on the HTDT train, most of the subjects have been picked over and the ones that are left are either 5-point articles (not worth my time unless I can write without any research), or really boring subjects. Yeah, I know, as a writer I have to be prepared to write about boring things sometimes. Up to now I have had the luxury of being able to find subjects I have a personal interest in, but those are running out fast.

HTDT is sort of like an internship for me. A few clips, a little money, and (most important) experience being a writer rather than just writing as part of another job. I should hunt down a few other similar sites where there is a pre-approved list of assignments that I can crank out like this.

Remember that book I'm working on? Yeah, that hasn't gone anywhere. The neurology support forums where we all met shut down a while back and may or may not ever return, so that killed a lot of the project momentum. I haven't done any writing on it, and only some very superficial research on publishers to start the query process. In one of the refugee forums someone did a project roll call, and no one else has done much either. When this project started out I was reminded of those old Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland "Hey, kids, let's put on a show" movies. I figured a lot of the people involved would have great intentions but never accomplish anything. I never figured I'd be one of those people :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006


They fixed my article pretty quickly. The correct url is now How To Recognize Sleep Disorders in Babies. Yeah, the old link works (redirects to the correct one) but this way the search spiders have the correct url and I get 0.00000001% more famous on Google.

I know this blog has been pretty boring lately. I have a couple of entries I want to make just based on my HTDT experience but haven't found the time. I try and focus my writing each day some paying gig and by the time I'm done I'm all written out. I hope to have something more interesting soon, though.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

That was fast!

It took HTDT only about 1/2 hour to approve my article. I guess they fixed the backlog problem they were having when the first started out. The new article is How To Regonize Sleep Disorders in Babies[sic]. Yes there is a typo in the title which I noticed when I accepted the article. Since I have no control over the title I've sent a note to HTDT asking them to fix it.

Fellow freelancers

Recently I was interviewed by a reporter doing an article for a small alternative newspaper. It wasn't about me, but rather about changes in Arizona's benefits to disabled children and how that will affect my niece.

She asked me about how I arrange my work schedule around caring for her and I told her I was a freelance writer like she is. And I didn't even stutter as I said it, so I'm making progress. I told her of my usual complaint that it is hard to stay motivated, and she of course has the same problem. It's quite interesting how every freelancer struggles with motivation, even those who have been doing this for many years. It is both comforting and disturbing at the same time.

I had meant to print up new business cards and give her one just because you must always be networking. I don't know if a fellow writer would sympathize with my plight and try to help or see me as competition and throw the card away. Either way, it costs me a few pennies for the card. But I never got around to making the new cards, but maybe I'll do that this afternoon just for future opportunities.

The good news is that I just submitted a new article to How To Do Things that I figure should be approved in a day or two.

Monday, September 11, 2006

More articles published

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I've been in a real do nothing mode for quite a while now with some legitimate reasons and some lazy excuses. I've whined about motivation before so I won't do it again. However I'm breaking out of it. I've submitted two more articles to How To Do Things that I hope to be up soon, so maybe I'm back on track.