My very first freelanced article was published right here at Military Spouse magazine—a place that holds special real estate inside my writer’s heart. Really, freelance writing was where I discovered my love for the written word and my skill in storytelling began to take shape.
I was connected to this publication through another military spouse who had been featured. She added me to a Facebook group of writers, gave me a few pointers on pitching, and wished me luck. Ultimately, her encouragement and intentional actions changed the trajectory of my writing career. Now, I’ve written tons of articles, two manuscripts, and my first book just released this year.
I’m often asked “Where do I start?” Well, I want to share the same encouragement that was given to me so many years ago and a few practical tips to start your journey into freelancing.
I know it sounds oversimplified, but write anywhere and write often. Keep a journal, compose a blog, or beef up your social media captions. Just write. Writing regularly not only keeps you sharp, but it helps you stretch your skill in communicating what you want your readers to know.
Perfect your pitch.
The pitch is really where it’s at. This is the writing craft that allows editors to get a real picture of what kind of communicator you are and how well you share your particular story. A complete pitch has a compelling title, a unique hook, and a well communicated message. It should be perfect—grammatically correct and concise.
That’s right. Freelancing is selling your work. Research submission guidelines, pitch processes, and start sending in your ideas to different publications. For me, as a Christian writer, a great resource to check out is the Christian Writers Market Guide by Steve Laube. Every year, he releases a guide of publications that are looking for new writers. Find the right resource for your niche!
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a little encouragement. When you start any new adventure, there are bound to be obstacles, letdowns, and outright rejections. Pay no heed to these things and focus on your goals. Ultimately, obstacles give you the opportunity for growth. Letdowns will toughen you up. Rejections are just part of the process. Learn to navigate these waters with grace and consistency and you will do just fine. If you feel in your heart that you are called to write, grab your favorite warm beverage and start putting the pen to paper. Who knows, maybe one day you will be reading your own words in a magazine just like this!