When I was pregnant with my son five years ago, I was 'a writer' in a very general sense. Sure I wrote, I'd always written... but nothing ever went anywhere. I didn't blog, I didn't send anything out... Suddenly I was on maternity leave (50 weeks up here in Canada) and decided to start sending out some queries.
I started at the bottom, places that really needed writing and didn't pay. First off was the magazine of a non-profit that was struggling, but seemed to be open to my articles. I wrote two for them and finally got to see my name in print.
Then something odd happened. An editor from another magazine emailed me to say that she had read my articles and she had an opening for a columnist (because her columnist had just... died!) and would I want to write for them. Once a month, paid, about 1000 words on a topic I knew a bit about.
And that's how I began to be ' Writer'... a paid one.
Sometimes I don't like to tell that story, because it's so serendipitous that it's not like anyone can follow my example or anything!
But what I did after that was to write more, gain more confidence and branch out. Eventually the editor saw my small articles in competing magazines and asked why I was writing for them. "Money," I replied. "Well why didn't you say you wanted more writing?" she asked.
Now I write four or five columns for the magazine, plus one or two features every month. And I've been writing for them for over three years. I still write for other magazines, but nothing that competes directly with my main one - none of the other competitors pay as well anyways.
But now I'm entering a new phase. I've never really written while so heavily pregnant, and in a few weeks I'll be writing with a very new baby. I have deadlines. I have people expecting things from me, I have committments...
This is new ground... I hope my swollen fingers can keep up the pace!