It was a big surprise-the above number was one day of hits
for this blog on the subject of writer’s block.
At first I thought I read it wrong-510 for one day? It’s not as if my blog is on the same
stratosphere as a gossip columnist or celebrity. Honestly, I was amazed.
Evidently lots of writers are stumped for ideas on how to
get out of the doldrums and get back to getting some work done!
Maybe part of the problem lies in the fact that actual
publishers are not really hiring us for reasonable salaries? Since the demise of numerous print
publications and many of the ones that are left are mainly using staff writers
or even unpaid interns-getting paid is a huge issue.
One dear close friend who has had a great career writing for
magazines ranging from Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day says she now finds
herself writing three times the amount of articles and receiving half the pay.
When I moved from Orange County, CA I lost my contract with the Orange County
Register-they only wanted to use local talent.
I understood, really. But the
publications I still wrote for have also gone through huge changes.
One magazine decided that they wanted to write the
publication for those under 25. There’s
a decision. Because so many millennials
are into print editions. The editor went
to another start-up and is now finding herself writing everything until the
start-up can support paying others.
Another long-time publisher was actually bought out by the same company
that owns the Register.
Can you guess who no longer needs freelance writers?
When I got here to Arizona, I tried really, really hard to
introduce myself to all the various local magazines and the one regional
newspaper. Not a good experience.
My son said, “Maybe you need to get out of what you usually
write and try something new.” That might
work IF there was a magazine or paper that would even acknowledge that I sent
them queries and letters of introduction.
I was encouraged by one editor who somehow found me-she
e-mailed, she called and said she was so impressed with my work and wanted to
have me as a regular contributor. By
that point I knew the going rate here and told her my fee.
That didn’t seem to matter as long as she could work with
me. Great. Thrilling.
Then she said she’d send me the names of people she wanted me to
profile. Two weeks went by and I heard
I dutifully sent her a reminder note. She apologized and said she’d send them right
over. Two weeks went by and I sent
another note. At that point I got a
terse note saying things were changing at the magazine and to please understand
that she would get back to me by the beginning of the coming month.
That didn’t happen. I
sent one more note-this time I said that I thanked her for considering me and
that I didn’t want to bug her-but that I did want her to be honest and say that
this was not going to work out or to explain what was happening so I knew how
to proceed with accepting other assignments.
This woman who found me didn’t have the courtesy to respond!
And with this rant, you can now understand why I hit over
510 hits on just one day on the subject of writer’s block. It’s not only the writing that’s in
question-it seems to be a wall that’s ever rising that many of us can’t seem to
reach the top of in order to find a reason to keep on doing what we love.