Archive for July 15th, 2008

Ask Wendy: Your Writing & Publishing Questions Answered

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy Wendy Burt Thomas

Q: Queries seem to be hit or miss. What’s the best way to keep a steady income as a writer?

A: There’s a difference between gigs and clients. By my definition, gigs are one-time assignments –such as an article that you write for a magazine. Although you can certainly get repeat assignments from editors, they can still be sporadic, and therefore you can’t always count on that income. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t continue sending queries. You should. But consider any assignments you land as supplemental income.

Build your security by obtaining clients. These are people for whom you do regular work–weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually. Here are a few examples from my own clients:

  • Weekly: I do 10 hours of PR a week for a national company. I write and send press releases and articles and do one-on-one media consulting with the franchisees.
  • Monthly: I write a regular column for a women’s business magazine.
  • Quarterly: I write and edit articles and ad copy for two quarterly magazines.
  • Annually: I write and edit articles three to four months out of the year for a national magazine that comes out once a year.

I still send occasional queries and write greeting cards, but I don’t count on that income to pay my bills.


Wendy Burt-Thomas is a full-time freelance writer, editor, copywriter and PR consultant. Her more than 1,000 published articles, essays and stories have appeared in such varied publications as Family Circle, American Fitness, ePregnancy,,, Woman’s World and Home Cooking. Wendy’s columns – on business, marketing, parenting, writing and healthy living – have appeared in countless newspapers and magazines. Wendy’s first two books for McGraw-Hill include Oh, Solo Mia! The Hip Chick’s Guide to Fun for One and Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick. Her third book, The Writer’s Digest Guide to Queries; Landing articles, agents and book deals comes out December 2008. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband Aaron, toddler Gracie, baby Ben and two black labs.


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