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Friday, February 27, 2015



Wow!  510

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 nothing.

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.

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