Ask Wendy: Your Writing & Publishing Questions Answered

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy Wendy Burt

Q: As a full-time freelancer, what essentials do I need to make a living?

Freelance writing has the lowest overhead of any business I know. And with the wonders of technology, it’s even cheaper than when I started 15 years ago. I very rarely spend money on postage, envelopes or paper and even my incoming faxes go right to my email. (I pay $12.95/month for unlimited faxes through I’m saving trees, I can store them on my computer, and there’s no loud fax to wake up my two little kids.)

Obviously, a good computer is your biggest investment. I have two Macs – a desktop and a laptop. They read PC and Mac files and include a new drag-and-drop program that lets users with no experience create websites for themselves.

I highly recommend that you create a website describing your experience and expertise. You can send a link to your site when you apply for gigs (rather than or in addition to sending a whole resume) and you can even post samples of your work, your photo, and links to your articles on the Web.

I also recommend a 3-in-1: printer, copier, fax (for sending). Nowadays, you can get one for less than $100 and it’ll save you trips to Kinko’s.

Spend the money on a comfy chair, as you’ll be sitting in it for many hours a day (and night). Ditto with a good wrist pad.

And finally, I highly recommend investing in high-speed Internet access. You can talk on the phone while you check email or download files, and big files download in seconds rather than minutes.

Wendy Burt is a successful full-time freelance writer and editor who has more than doubled her income since leaving her job as a newspaper editor just four years ago. With two women’s humor books for McGraw-Hill and more than 1,000 published pieces, Wendy’s work has appeared in such varied publications as Family Circle, The Writer,,, Home Cooking Magazine and American Fitness. Wendy teaches “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” and still finds ample time to spend with her beautiful children, Gracie and Ben. Visit to see books by Wendy and her award-winning dad.


1 Response to “Ask Wendy: Your Writing & Publishing Questions Answered”

  1. 1 Daniel Asamota December 21, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Wendy I wanted to ask you myself; okay say you have a book that’s been out for a while and you’re not getting any royalties for it yet it’s being advertised in darn near every book site there is on the net! Now tell me does this mean your book is selling or is there some other reason companies would keep your book on it’s roster though it’s not selling? Your opinion would much be appreciated.

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