Wednesday, 4 June 2014

[Writer's Blog] That First Sale Has Finally Arrived

During the past five years since I decided to embark on the turbulent journey to writing stardom I have received some payment for the work I produced. Whether it was share from advertising revenue or "beer money" compensation for writing and editing services I could honestly call myself a professional writer. Yet it never felt like a real job not necessarily because of the low earnings but there was no way to gauge the value of the work produced, until yesterday. An article I wrote nearly two years ago and posted to a content website (see the sad little blue box to the right) was purchased along with the full rights for it to be used as the buyer saw fit. This is not a ringing endorsement of the content platform but after calming down from the elation I felt which kept me floating on a cloud through much of the night, I appreciated the importance of never giving up.

The article that was sold covered the topic of how crowdfunding was changing the face of publication for authors, publishers, and agents. It was written as an all encompassing guide to crowdfunding and the resources available for struggling writers and the middle men who felt their livelihoods threatened by its increasing popularity. I had hoped it would be a quick sell and after posting it on Constant Content searched for more articles to post. It remained my only article until recently. This sudden interest in an old piece of work represented a milestone for me because not only was I paid for my work (£26 which isn't to be sniffed at) but presented me with a true validation as to the quality of my work. For those who are unaware Constant Content invites authors to produce articles and post them on the site for purchase. There is a little vetting procedure to go through and articles have to be approved before they are included in the catalogue. Interested parties can purchase the usage rights that would only enable them to reproduce the article on another platform, or full license which permits them to edit and alter the piece (or even sell it on) as they see fit.

It is unlikely I will come across my post at all, let alone in any recognisable format amongst the many articles on a similar subject. The fact that somebody was willing to part with money to purchase my article, one that they could have researched themselves says much about its quality. Writers very often lose confidence in their abilities for many reasons or no reason at all, and so the inability to publish or sell articles can be daunting although I like to think we take these setbacks in our stride. So you can imagine the little happy dance that ensued when I received the email confirming the sale of my article and all its rights along with the payment notification. Yet there is more to learn from this than just being good enough to sell written work.

Of all the lessons jobbing writers learn and pass on to the next generation is that of patience and perseverance. Whilst I have plenty of the latter, the former has always eluded me. I wonder how many people who strive to achieve a goal, whether it's academic, athletic or just the indomitable struggle to get out of bed the second the alarm rings, give up part way. So it follows that the dream has died and the end goal lost in the fog of defeat without even knowing how close they came to hitting that all important milestone. Writing is a talent that few have and the rest learn but all have to develop through hours and hours of hard graft. If like me you are a goal orientated writer looking to reach the path of making a sustainable living then let me pass on what I have learnt; patience is paramount but persistence is key. There are no guarantees to succeed and to never quite reach that goal will sting but the pain of regret because it is too hard or you're not being paid enough will last longer in time and intensity.

Image Credit; Pixabay

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