Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm a writer - sold my first story

I just sold my first story. Woohoo! I guess that officially makes me an Arkansas writer.

Writing was my intention when my husband and I moved to Arkansas, more than four years ago. I had intended to continue writing to supplement our income. My path to success continues to be as hilly and curvy as Arkansas' roads. But that makes for fun travel and beautiful scenery along the way.

Mine is a meager success, but nonetheless will serve as the impetus for future progress.

Getting established as an Arkansas writer, instead of an Illinois reporter, began with hours of reading about writing. That was helpful, even if not very productive. With no desire to work full time for a daily newspaper again, I settled for a little correspondent work for our local paper, the Baxter Bulletin. It resulted, unbeknownst to me, in an award from the Arkansas Press Association.

After living here about six months, I was invited to resume writing for the papers in Peotone, IL where I used to work. It was comfortable to write for the audience I knew about the issues of which I was so familiar. Interestingly, many readers were unaware that my work now originated from 600 miles away. But due to financial concerns, I was cut to just one story per month. I decided it was time to move on -- thus my first blog post, (see below New blog launched).

I continue reading about writing. And although I plan to pursue more traditional avenues, I am pleased with my first success in on-line writing.

I have tried several writing sites, just to get a feel for what is available. I settled on one -- Helium.com. This is probably one of the best sites I've found, in terms of earnings. My first story was sold to the 'marketplace,' a feature of Helium that allows publishers to buy stories from Helium's thousands of writers of all skill levels. My stories there can be viewed here. The support from staff is excellent. There are wonderful people there. And Helium offers the potential to earn money based on a complex set of criteria. While the potential for earnings for this type of writing pales in comparison to direct contact with publishers, I would certainly recommend it as taking those first steps when crawling will no longer will suffice.