Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let's start a Feature-A-Month Club!

I scribbled down a quote from Mikki Halpin, book author and former editor for Seventeen , contributing editor for Glamour. She was speaking about the freelance writer's dilemma:

I realized that even if I had a feature every month, I couldn't make a living.

The quote was from a New York Observer article in March or April.

How do we survive? Because, let's face it, most of us can't complain that we sell a feature a month, and it's not enough.

I'm pinning my hopes on the novel. No one will pay for it till it's written, agented, and out of three for me. These steps can take years. Meanwhile, we either work at other jobs or scramble for writing gigs and send our best article ideas to $1-a-word or $2-a-word markets (for the record, I've never sold to the latter but I know they're there) and hope that the savings can be stretched out a l-i-t-t-l-e bit longer.

On the plus side, there are no more debtors' prisons, and stretching is good for the muscles, right?


mikki said...

Hi--to clarify that quote, I was talking specifically about the teen market. I was referring to a point in time when a lot of titles (YM, etc.) were closing and those that weren't were cutting features to 1,000 words if they were really running any at all. I mean, what do advertisers want, a story about cutting, or one about hair? So I realized that if I had a feature in every teen magazine every month, I wouldn't make a living. So I started writing for other outlets.
Thanks--and yes, I found this when I couldn't sleep and googled myself!

Vix said...

Thank you for posting and expanding on the quote. I see your point, but I think most freelancers hunger for a decently-placed feature a month, even if it's under 1000 words.
Best of luck to all--