Thursday, September 29, 2016
Since moving out to Arizona I've discovered that there are really a LOT of local magazines that look really great to do my type of writing for and I've sent them ALL my bio, links, etc.-many of them are very interested in having me write for them. However most of them seem to think that I should be able to pay bills with nothing more than a byline and listing my personal blog's URL!
Some of these publications even expect me to drive to venues that may be as far as 50 miles away!
Maybe I'm expecting too much on the subject of pay-but even though gas is approximately $2 a gallon out here, at 100 miles round trip I'm using upwards of 4 gallons of gas, two hours of drive time, wear and tear on my car and then there's the time involved in the actual work of putting the article together.
So no, I'm sorry, but a byline is really not going to help.
There's a magazine who said their top pay is $75. I not only supply the article but any appropriate photos/artwork as well. If I could do it from the comfort of my office-I'm all in as the issues are high quality, people are very nice and the stories are always interesting. However, once I start the engine up and spend the time on the highway-well, I've calculated the government allowed $.50 a mile-making it $50 off the top for the my vehicle. Not included the two hours driving and the work involved.
If I can't do it from home, I just can't justify doing it.
It's a sad commentary on journalism today. A dear friend who has written for top publications for over 20 years said that at this point she's writing three times as many stories for a quarter of the income-and glad to find it wherever she is able!
For the second bugaboo on my opening paragraph-I use a wonderful source to help get subjects to interview. It's called HARO (Helping a Reporter Out). Basically, I put in what/who I'm in need of, from location, to age group, specifics, etc. and hopefully I get replies.
This last shout out garnered me three interesting people. Except one of them didn't actually read the paragraph past needing to be over 55. Sigh-wonderful personality, great subject, made the chat time and then, well, at the last moment it fell through because the part about having to live in a certain county of a certain state eluded her! We were both very disappointed! Plus it left me short by that one subject for the rest of this year!
Maybe it's my age showing, I don't mean to sound bitter or burnt out-but sometimes it's just not fun anymore to plead with a lot of people who have no idea who I am (except for the sent queries and accompanying bios) for work.
I'm at the stage where I send in ideas when I can, hope for the best and in the meantime, just enjoy my life-after all, I can't let a little thing like the state of journalism today spoil my good times!