In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 7, 2006 / 7 Adar, 5766

Making a living as a writer

By Marty Nemko

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The James Frey fiasco is just the latest tarnish on writers' credibility. Recall, for example, Doris Kearns Goodwin's plagiarism, New York Times reporter Jayson Blair's faked interviews, and 60 Minutes' Mary Mapes' false attacks on George Bush.

Yet the call to make a living as a writer remains loud for many of us. But should you try to make a go of it?

This self-assessment may help. The more yeses, the more optimistic you are justified in being:

Should you be a professional writer?

1. Are you likely to be willing and able to create at least 200 words of professional-quality prose per hour, at least 15 hours a week, year in and year out?

2. Are you an endless source of story ideas?

3. The most valid evidence of your professional potential is not praise from friends or even teachers, but to ask yourself "How easy has it been, so far, to get people to pay you for your writing?"

4. Will you be willing to spend at least ten hours a week marketing your work, during which time, you'll probably, usually get ignored, rejected, or receive offers to write for near minimum wage, if not for free?

5. Are you willing to do business writing: newsletters, business reports, press releases, brochures, catalogs, annual reports, copy for e-commerce sites, and so on? Business writing is the most likely to be remunerative.

Top Ten Ways to Get Paid to Write
Still want to take a shot at being a professional writer? Here are ways to maximize your chances of success: Most are derived from The Freelance Writer's Bible by David Trottier:

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

  • Build a collection of work samples that would impress your target customer. Even if you have to do some writing for free to get published, do it. Employers are more impressed by published work than by Microsoft Word documents.

  • Pitch your work to art directors. They have connections with ad agencies and other employers of writers.

  • Use Writers Market and/or your public library to find the best print prospects for your writing. Before writing an article, send a punchy query letter to a high-level editor in which you explain why the topic is right for that publication, how you'd approach it, and why you're qualified to write it. If possible, sell only the first right to publish it. That way, you can later resell it and thus get paid twice for one article.

  • As in all job searches, pitch everyone you know: "Do you know anyone who could use a good writer?"

  • Cold call small businesses in a niche you'd like to write for. Ask if they need a brochure, a copywriter for their Web site, etc.

  • Try nonprofits. They endlessly need marketing collateral, fundraising letters, and telemarketing scripts.

  • Pitch online training developers. They are writer-dependent because, except for the graphics, all lessons must be conveyed entirely in writing.

  • More money is spent producing business and education videos that on the entire U.S. film industry. Check out your Yellow Pages and Business-to-Business Yellow Pages. Look under "audio-visual," "video producers," "video production", and "film producers."

  • Technical writing. For your first jobs, try fledging firms in manufacturing or software. They often need employee manuals and owners' manuals.

  • Ghostwriting. Know a celebrity, politician, or famous expert? Propose ghostwriting a book. Make an agreement and then approach publishers to assess the concept's viability. Also, professors, scientists, and technical people need help getting into professional journals and magazines. To find them, advertise in publications read by the types of people for whom you'd like to ghostwrite. Similarly, many professional and business executives would like someone to write their one-page autobiography or 300-page version. Some people want their life stories or family histories written with no intent to make money. They just want to give books to friends, families and business associates.

A word about book writing. The odds are at least 1,000:1 against a first-time, non-celebrity novelist earning as much per hour from their novels as they could from flipping burgers at McDonald's. The odds are even worse for children's book authors and, of course, for poets. The Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser, in an NPR interview, asserted that it is impossible to make a living from poetry. I've even soured on how-to books, which is the most likely route to making money in book writing. Although I have had five how-to books published, which have sold over 200,000 copies, I don't plan to write any more books nor do I recommend you do unless you're a celebrity and/or have a major national platform: for example, you're a columnist in the U.S. News and World Report magazine. Today, ever more people get their information free, just-in-time, in bite-sized pieces on the Internet. And if they want a book and are willing to forego the public library, Amazon.com sells used copies at a deep discount. The author doesn't make a dime on any used book sales.

Writers, of course, know that their income potential is minimal, but many of them, perhaps wisely, prefer the writer's life poor than the straight life rich.

For more on how to make a living as a writer, see www.writersdigest.com and www.mediabistro.com.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

400+ of Dr. Nemko's published writings are on www.martynemko.com. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, Dr. Marty Nemko