If you are not a member of a cognoscenti of an established media house, in the journalism kingdom (many say), you are just a street writer working for scraps on the streets of hustlers.
However, working for scraps is lucrative once you get it right. I am a freelance writer, and I have never been paid flakes. I am here to give you what (I think) you need to be the much sought-after freelancer. I learnt from the best, The Writers Bureau.
As one who is peddling his/her skills to anyone who pays (like a whore), you have to understand the rules of the game. Editors and publishers are oblivious of who you are (unless you are notorious for scandal or a Hollywood heartthrob). What these judges and juries who determine what the world is told as ‘Not Exactly What’s Said (NEWS)’ are concerned about is the quality of your work. Set the bar high, you would be hot cake. Every media house on the planet would be filling your junk folder with mail.
I read widely, mostly fiction, and analyse the world around me with a keen eye. That’s what you need to do. Cultivate a broad outlook by observing the world around you; examine the attitudes and opinions of people you mingle with.
Events and experiences in your life are the greatest source of inspiration. This is not learning from experience, it’s earning from your expediency. Lessons are best left to students of nurture. Each and every encounter in my life is an article, and guess it sells.
I don’t have a vast wealth of experience, but I have a fast wilt of ideas accumulated in the milieu I live in, or traverse, in my search for cold hard cash. Nevertheless, this would be nothing if you are just a hodgepodge of organized chaos. You must have a strict writing timetable/programme and follow it to the latter.
Editors aggrandise rules. My advice, follow the rules. The gospel is that the rules are simple, because actually there are no rules at all about writing. If you want to be who BBC would rather add an extra pound/dollar before CNN can blink, you must successfully break one or two rules in the book. Experiment with new and different methods.
I hope you find writing for scraps lucrative enough to ditch that job you share salary with the government.