If no one had helped me when I started my writing career, I'd still be writing wonderful stories that no one was reading.
THE WRITING GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN
1) Go back to the people you've tried to sell writing to and say, "I'm about to become the best outdoorsman you've ever seen.
2) Forget about book writing for now. You first must prove that you are a writer. To prove that you are a writer, you need to earn enough income from writing to be able to feed yourself. Write anything that anyone will pay you to write. I've sold stories on chicken catching, building retaining walls, tooth fairy pillows and aerospace. Become a writer first, and sell any article that you can on any subject. Always use experts, and don't look at yourself as one.
3) Do a chapter-by-chapter outline about a book you want to write. Sell each chapter as a magazine article, which will result in you getting paid once. Sell each chapter as a magazine article, which will result in you getting paid the second time for it. Below are my four formulas that are time-tested and proven. If you follow them, you will become the writer you want to be within five years.
How to become a big-time full-time money-making writer:
1) If you keep 35-story ideas in the mail at all times, you should earn between $2,000 and $10,000 per year.
2) If you keep 50-story ideas going to editors at all times, you should earn between $12,000 and $30,000 per year.
3) If you keep 100-story ideas in the mail at all times, you should earn between $50,000 and $120,000 per year.
How to be successful as a writer:
Success needs to come before riches. If you'll follow this advice, you'll be much more successful than if you do not follow this.
1) Sell 35 articles to magazines who pay $150 or less.
2) Sell 35 articles to magazines who pay $250 or less.
3) Sell 35 articles to magazines who pay $350 or less.
4) Sell 35 articles to magazines who pay $500 or less.
Don't try and sell any articles to higher-paying markets until you've completed selling 35 articles in each of the lower-paying markets. You can be successful quicker and easier in the lower-paying markets than you can be in the higher-paying markets. If you'll follow this formula, you will develop a group of editors and magazines that you can continue to sell articles to for a long time. Don't stop selling articles to the $150 market, even when you get to the $500 market. You'll need the cash flow the smaller markets will bring to sustain your income. You can find all the markets you can sell to in a lifetime in "Writer's Market," which can be purchased in any bookstore.
Sell an article every week.
The easiest and quickest way to become a productive writer is to write some type of column for a weekly newspaper, even if you only get $5 per column. Remember you are learning your craft, and your articles are not worth very much. You may be over paid even at $5 per column. However, you will be a successful, published writer and you will be getting paid while you are learning your craft. The more you write, the better writer you will become. Be successful first, and the riches will follow.
Five Years to Success
Regardless of what you do or do not know about English or journalism, mentally decide that five years will be required for you to learn your craft. If you decide to be a bricklayer instead of a writer, you'd more than likely have to spend five years to become a master bricklayer. The biggest difference between writers and bricklayers is that writers use words as their bricks and conjunctions, adjectives and adverbs as their mortar. If your were studying to be a bricklayer, you should be able to lay more bricks faster and build a house quicker in your fifth year, than you did the year you began.
So, as you develop your writing skills you'll learn to write faster and better. Each week try to write your stories in a shorter time than you did the week before. The more you write, the more you make. Slow thinkers write slowly. Fast thinkers write fast. Fast thinkers also earn more money than slow thinkers do. Become a fast thinker. Remember that there is no such thing as a writer's block. Write regardless of whether you have anything to say or not. Writing bad does not mean you are a bad writer. You are only a bad writer, if you submit a poorly written piece to an editor. Always write, even when the writing is bad. Just make sure that before you send the article in to the editor, the article is good.
You Can't Fail
I've never seen a person who really wanted to be a writer who didn't become a writer. There are only three reasons that you can fail.
1) You are lazy, and you don't work. You must find time to write even if that means getting up early or staying up late. If you are not willing to work harder than the people who failed, you can't expect to be successful.
2) You are stupid and can't or won't learn. There's plenty of information available on how to write. On eof the easiest ways to learn is to read the articles by writers who get paid. Write like they write, and you'll get paid what they get paid. No one really cares about your style. Write the way the editors want the articles written, and you'll get the checks that they pay to the writers that write their style.
3) You quit. If you quit without studying writing and doing all you can to become a writer before your five-year apprenticeship is over, you will not become a writer.
I hope the things I have learned will help you be successful and enable you to learn to love the craft of writing at least half as much as I do.