Most writing mamas will know how tough it can be to fit writing around work, motherhood and other family commitments, particularly when you are taking on big projects such as novel writing. If you are using your writing as a source of income, then the inevitable delays you will incur as you take time out to watch soccer games or enjoy family days out are going to impact on your finances. In fact the irregular pay associated with a career in writing, particularly freelance writing, is thought to be one of the main reasons why writing is amongst one of the highest risk professions for anxiety and depression. But fear not, in the midst of your mammoth projects there are quick, flexible and enjoyable ways for you to earn a little extra income while still honing your craft. Here are a few:
Blogging has taken off in a big way over the last five years and now with an estimated 152 million blogs on the internet, you could turn your personal website into a money spinner. The beauty of blogging is that you can write about whatever you want with fashion, travel, cookery and parenting being just a few of the most popular genres in the blogosphere. If you can gain a strong readership and large following then you may find that companies or other bloggers will pay to advertise on your blog. You may also find that companies in line with your chosen genre will send you free products to review or ask to be affiliated with your blog. And you can also use your blog as a platform for selling or promoting your own writing or indeed, anything you like. Of course you need to blog regularly and have a good knowledge of SEO writing in order to keep traffic coming to your blog, but any extra income you can earn from what is essentially a hobby has to be a bonus, right?
Freelancing is a great way to take on as much or as little extra work as you can manage. It also gives you the chance to write for a variety of outlets and adapt your writing style from the comfort of your own home. Many content providers, such as wait.co.uk, will employ writers to provide well researched content for websites or blogs or you could try and submit articles, interviews, reviews or opinion pieces to newspapers or magazines on a freelance basis. Before you submit anything make sure you check if the publications you plan write for accept submissions from unsolicited contributors and remember that with the decline of printed publications there are many opportunities to write for online magazines – you just need to do your research thoroughly beforehand. Freelancing won't just enable you to make a little extra cash at your own pace, but it also gives you the chance to build a portfolio of your work and if you have a regular client they may be willing to provide references for your resume.
Enter literary competitions
If you are someone who enjoys writing poetry or fiction then why not enter some of your work into a literary competition? Thousands of writing competitions take place each year with Readers Digest holding and advertising many of them. Often winners can expect to receive a cash prize and/or have their writing published or critiqued by a professional writer. It is a good way to make money from your hobby and keep your creative (and competitive) juices flowing.
Ghost write or proof read
Make money by helping fellow writers by proof reading and editing manuscripts. You will find that this will also help you to improve your proof reading skills for your own work. You could also consider becoming a ghost writer for someone who has all of the elements for a project or piece but doesn't necessarily have the writing skills. Look on online forums and noticeboards such as Craigslist where you will find people advertising for ghost writers or proof readers.
Think outside of the box
There are several ways that you can make money from writing without going down the route of traditional fiction or non-fiction writing. Think about all of the ways writing appears in daily life – for example in greeting cards, resumes or on TV in the form of scripts for soap operas. Try your hand at everything, even if you don't succeed it will give you experience in different areas. Know what makes money and utilize it. For example many magazines pay or hand out prizes for published reader's letters which will take you minutes to submit.
written by Eve Pearce