Saturday, 6 March 2010

Money Making & Holidays

The flowers on this building are Fairy Foxgloves, I thought they might brighten up your day and remind you that spring isn't far away.
The photo was taken in Kircudbright and when you see these plants looking so pretty it makes me wonder why they don't grow in such profusion on this side of the border. In England the Fairy Foxglove is a rare site, well at least I haven't seen many, please let me know if they are prolific in your neck of the woods.

There will be more about Scotland later but for now we'll start with writing.
You might think my title is a bit curious this week but it is quite simple, if you don't earn enough money you won't be going on holiday.

So can you make money from freelance writing? The answer is a resounding yes, but you need to have dedication and work hard. You also need to be able to recognise real money making opportunities without being enticed into writing for time wasting enterprises.

I hate to use the expression been there and done that, but it sums up the situation perfectly. When I first started out as a freelance writer I couldn't believe how many opportunities there were out there for writers. Not only were there hundreds of magazines and newspapers that needed servicing but also lots of websites. The latter was most attractive even if it was only because no stamps were needed.One was tempted to write articles and stories for the Internet because it was more convenient than writing for magazines and newspapers that at that time still insisted on hard copy.

The trouble with writing for the Internet was that were many routes to take and a lot of them led to dead ends. Some of the companies I wrote articles for folded before I got paid a penny and other had such complicated payment structures that I'll be lucky if I get paid at all. However, don't let me dissuade you from writing for the Internet, there are some good sites out there that do pay. The secret is in spotting genuine opportunities when you see them.

If you can, it might also be wise while you are getting started to stay away from the Internet until you get established. Once you've got going you will be able to spot the the time wasters more easily.

You can read more about writing for the Internet in my new book that will be published in April. In my next post I will tell you about real ways to make money through writing without going near the Internet.
More details about the book.
For the last few post I've been burbling on about the beauty of Scotland and there is nothing wrong with that. But, it seems to me that my Scottish posts have been lacking any real focus so things are about to change. I like to have purpose and direction and to that end I have devised a plan.

Rather than post pictures from anywhere north of the border and wax lyrical about loch and glens hither and thither I have decided to do a tour.
(The photo above is of the river Dee as it runs alongside raiders' road.)

It will start in the South West and I will head around Scotland in a clockwise direction, picking out the places of interest that I have visited on my travels. It won't cover the whole of the country because thankfully I haven't seen most of it yet. Hopefully I still have that pleasure to come.

So in my next blog you can expect to find me turning off the motorway at Gretna Green and heading for Dumfries, I hope you'll find time to accompany me on my journey.

I'll leave you with a picture of Old Mortality. This commemorates the grave of a stone mason called Robert Paterson who spent his time moving around Scotland repairing covenanter monuments. "Old mortality," is also the title for a book written by one of Scotland's greatest authors, Sir Walter Scott.

The grave can me found in Balmaclellan a small village to the West of Dumfies and can be seen easily from the road.


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