Recession-Proof Your Writing Business
by Patricia L. Fry

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Nearly everyone is concerned about the state of the economy and most of us are affected by a downturn. It seems unfair that, at a time when writers have so much to say, publishers are producing fewer books and magazine editors are printing fewer stories.

Business drives magazines. When business revenues wane, workers are laid off and advertising slows. Without advertisers, editors can't afford to pay writers. Within the past several months, five of my favorite magazines have gone under and several others have cut back on the amount of freelance work they're using. One editor, who liked my work, generously assigned me six articles -- one each for the next six issues. When I completed the job, the editor wrote an apologetic letter saying that their advertisers were pulling out and they had to cut back on the number of articles they can use in each issue. Over the last eight months, they've published two of the six with a promise to use the others as space allows.

In times like these, more editors request articles on spec rather than issuing a contract. They don't know what direction their publication will take in the uncertain economy and they don't want to make any promises they can't keep. Consequently, the writer is often left writing for naught.

What's a writer to do in times of economic struggle? The strategy I've used over my 28 years as a freelance writer is to rethink and reorganize my business. My motto is: if things aren't going your way, find another way. Here are some ideas to help keep your writing business afloat even during the hard times:

Find Out More...

One Dozen Unique Ways to Make More Money, by Patricia Fry

Boost Your Bottom Line: Ten Ideas to Help You Work Smarter and Increase Your Writing Income, by Mridu Khullar

Writing in a Recession, by Dawn Copeman

Copyright © 2002 Patricia L. Fry
This article may not be reprinted without the author's written permission.

Patricia L. Fry has been writing for publication for over 30 years, having contributed hundreds of articles to about 250 different magazines and e-zines. She is the author of 25 books including A Writer's Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit and The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book (Matilija Press). For more inspiration, information and resources from Patricia Fry, follow her blog at


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