Want to write, but have no resume - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-04-2008, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My title pretty much says it all. I love to write, and would really like to start doing some freelance work, but I have NOTHING to put on a resume. I've been a SAHM for nearly six years, and because I had my first DS when I was 20, I don't even have any unrelated work experience to put on a resume.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could get started?

TIA,
Jen

Jen...wife to Shawn...Radically Unschooling Mommy to Connor (4/03), Autumn (1/07) Aiden (1/08) and Ella (10/14/09) Just had the of our dreams!
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#2 of 8 Old 04-04-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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Do you want to write non-fiction articles or are you interested in writing fiction? If you are going to be writing articles, a great place to start is Associated Content. You don't need any experience. Just write what you know. They pay a little and you can start to learn about writing and build a resume. Check them out at associatedcontent.com.
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#3 of 8 Old 04-25-2008, 01:32 AM
 
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my "bread & butter" right now is writers.hotelsbycity.net they're $5 hotel reviews each one takes about 10-15 minutes. I have a house full of kids and a few other writing commitments, so right now I'm doing 10-15 of these a day 7 days a week.

when I applied, it asked me for "travel writing experience"

so I went to www.blogspot.com and started a new travel blog where I actually pasted in some segments of my personal journal related to traveling with kids, and back-dated them so that they'd be in choronological order. I used that 'travel writing experience" to apply for- and get- the job.

The AssociatedContent suggestion is good, too. As far as I know it's the highest paying entry-level website for writers out there.

There's also Suite101.com and their standards are very high, but you learn a lot and after a while it's great pay. I'm at 22 articles and this month I expect almost $30.

Good luck- and have fun.
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#4 of 8 Old 05-09-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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If you're interested in writing for the web, I'd recommend writing up some samples and starting a blog advertising your services - rates, samples, etc. Then you can network for clients in webmaster forums or respond to ads, and simply give them the link to your blog or site. Some people use a free blog, others use a Squidoo lens. It's an easy way to showcase yourself, without needing a lot of prior writing experience.

Sandi - Work at home writer mama to Zoe the monkey girl 9/06 and Luna the zen baby 8/08
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#5 of 8 Old 05-09-2008, 03:07 PM
 
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Try the absolute write forums--they have a freelance section that is very helpful. www.absolutewrite.com

Just focus on getting some clips to start, even if nonpaying (but in good markets).

I've had some luck sending recipes into Dabbling Mum. com.

HTH

V

Happy Momma to DD (almost 3) Fall Coleslaw -- Simple Italian Stuffed Peppers -- - Fall Toddler Activities.- We Made a Play Kitchen Selling gently used books on all topics here.
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#6 of 8 Old 05-12-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenners26 View Post
My title pretty much says it all. I love to write, and would really like to start doing some freelance work, but I have NOTHING to put on a resume. I've been a SAHM for nearly six years, and because I had my first DS when I was 20, I don't even have any unrelated work experience to put on a resume.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could get started?

TIA,
Jen
I'm in the same boat! Thanks for this post and all the advice! I am so excited that I found this topic on this forum!!!
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#7 of 8 Old 05-14-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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Sounds like you're headed for nonfiction? In addition to the other great ideas, try your local small-town newspaper. (If you live in the city, there's usually a big daily but there are still smaller, sometimes local papers as well.) And try the local newsletter for seniors, and the one from the hospital that goes out to all the doctors, and the one for the arts scene . . . whatever you can find. In a smallish operation (5 staff members or less), the editor is almost guarranteed to welcome an appropriate article idea. Steer clear of "hard" news (usually the domain of the journalist) and do features. That would include things like "Eating healthy at the Farmer's Market," an article that talks about how much fresher the produce is and quotes research suggesting fresher food is better for you. Or a profile of a local hero, a business that overcame great odds, a review of the best places to jog . . . .

For local papers, keep your ideas business-friendly. The local businesses are the paper's advertisers and basically give the editor her/his job, so anything celebrating business is usually welcome.

And here's a freebee: editors devour side bars. You know, those boxes next to the article with complimentary content. Look at some newspaper features and any magazine and you'll spot them. Even if your editors do not always use them, the fact you provide them will impress.

Also, if you've got a decent camera and know how to use it, offer some photos to accompany the feature.

Come with a couple clear ideas and why they are timely and interesting for the readership. Just ask for permission to write and submit the feature, with the understanding that if it turns out that you can't write worth beans, it doesn't run. Pay careful attention to what the editor tells you s/he needs and whatever you do, don't act like the finished piece is sent from above and unworthy of the red editor's pen -- that's the ultimate mark of a difficult freelancer and not someone the editor will want to work with in the future.

The smallest town papers (10,000 circulation or less) will not pay, but if you stick around and keep submitting pieces, you'll build up a portfolio you can take to a bigger player. Newspaper work looks great to magazine editors because it implies you can succeed under tight deadlines. Also, once you prove your ability and reliability, eventually newspapers will start sending you to more fun events like charity benefits, etc. You can get clips for your portfolio and free food!

If you stick around long enough, maybe you can eventually ask the editor for more "career" advice. If the editor likes you, s/he is likely to have contacts at bigger (better paying) papers or magazines s/he might share.

I was a freelance writer and journalist for 5 years before my current incarnation as a mama . . . it can be a lot of fun to be connected and feel informed about the community, whether that is through a narrowly focused newsletter or a town paper. Just find a way to get out there!
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#8 of 8 Old 05-20-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annmartina View Post
And here's a freebee: editors devour side bars. You know, those boxes next to the article with complimentary content. Look at some newspaper features and any magazine and you'll spot them. Even if your editors do not always use them, the fact you provide them will impress.
This thread has been full of fabulous ideas; thanks to all who have contributed! I am relatively new to freelance work; though pieces have run in local newspaper/women's magazine, still feel decidedly green format-wise when submitting. Curious about sidebars - how do you generally format when sending in? Right now, I paste article text in the body of an e/m and also send a Word attachment. Is this "standard"? Where would I include sidebars (i.e. following the text, formatted as an actual sidebar in Word, etc.)?

Thanks in advance for your feedback; it is enormously appreciated!

Kim
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