IamA Moderately Successful Freelance Writer Who Started With No Experience and No Connections AMA!
I am often asked questions by aspiring writers who hope to make something out of nothing in the writing business. Furthermore, I'm often told that I do not do enough to speak to people outside of my little writing cave, so I'm here doing my second AMA about writing.
I write under the pseudonyms Michelle Barclay (novelist) and Shelly Barclay (Freelance writer). As a novelist, I have completed two novels and have two more in the works. I self publish for a variety of reasons, chief among them being a severe anxiety disorder.
As a freelance writer, I have written travel, culture, arts, family and history (a lot of history) articles for publications such as CBS, USA Today, Yahoo! and countless online publications. I ghost write on a near-daily basis, so you may even chance upon my work without knowing it.
I had little education, having gone off on my own in my mid-teens. Nonetheless, I wrote on everything I could get my hands on and have a multitude of notebooks from those wayward years. Therefore, the wish to write was there. You can't do shit without that. I became a line cook to make money and got pretty damn good at it. I loved my job, but my life wasn't conducive to the hectic pace of a kitchen, so I quit after ten years and began writing.
My first pieces were . . . embarrassing. They are still out there and still have my name on them. It makes my skin crawl, but I kept at it. I read everything I could about writing. I wrote for pennies, literally, and kept on writing. I wrote for content mills, blogs, people's frigging twitter pages and the like. I did that until I finally had enough clout to start selling myself like the high-class word hooker I had become. Eventually, it became a modest career.
Ask me anything.
My Proof: http://michellebarclay.net/2014/02/161/
Edit: 12:37 a.m. EST I'm sleepy now. I will come back and answer any more questions tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for being friendly. Good luck to those of you trying to break out.
Edit 2: I'm back from sleeping. I have a cold, so I'll be chilling on Reddit answering questions while I sit here in my jammies. Thanks for all the questions.
Edit 3: I'm taking a break so I can be a whiny sick person. I'll still answer any questions. It just might be a while. Thanks for your patience.