When Inspiration Strikes – Sell It
I’m a dictionary freak. My eight pound unabridged is opened constantly so I can double check my word choices. When I looked up inspiration, I found it means ‘to blow or breathe into or upon’. Wow. It occurred to me then that writers do just that, we offer a breath of inspiration in dozens of ways. Now probably you’re not going to write another Holy Bible, but if you scratch the surface of your emotions you may find an energy there that’s worth exploiting.
- Devotionals – These are frequently done in small booklets of twenty to thirty inspirational passages each. Often a Bible verse is the catalyst for the thoughts expressed and there are publishers that print them for adults, teens and children as well.
- Plaques and other gift items – These are bunches of fun to do. Humor, especially, is snapped up by editors like warm buttered popcorn and you may have an untapped gift for one liners that one or more of them will love. Some companies pay upwards of $100 for a well-worded phrase or two. I sold six short children’s poems to a company that custom designs quotes for use in home décor.
- Woman’s magazines – Short family crisis stories, seasonal poems, how I met my husband / wife stories; all are welcome in a multitude of print and online magazines. They only require some careful examination of your life situation and a willingness to share it with others.
- Write about writing – This is one of my personal favorites. Writers seldom have co-workers and often rely on magazines and websites to keep from despairing over the words they are penning. What you have learned while honing your craft is of great value to your fellow word smiths.
When you write to inspire, you can make use of so much that’s already out there. Study the works your favorite humor columnist to see why humor sells. Dust off your Bible and let a few verses bring out the philosopher in you. Spend a few extra dollars at the grocery on one or two women’s magazines and glean them for inspirational columns or stories. Let these inspire you, so you can inspire others. Here are a few places to start.
- Woman’s World – Pays $250 for a personal feature story; usually told in first person and uses photos to enhance the story. Takes e-mail submissions at wwfeatures@WomansWorldMag.com
- Guideposts Magazine – Pays up to $500 for personal stories from people of all faiths. Stories are often ‘ghost written’, so you could write on behalf of a friend or relative. See website http://www.guideposts.org/
- The Upper Room – Pays $25 per meditation. Likes to see personal experience linked to the meditations. See website http://www.upperoom.org/
- The Writer – Inspire your reader by showing her how to do it. Pays on acceptance upwards of $150. See online guidelines at http://www.writermag.com/
- Threadless – Come up with a great tee shirt design and get 2K (that’s right) for your efforts http://www.threadless.com/submit
Writing from the heart doesn’t necessarily mean flowery words or the figurative rending of your garments. Light humor, an honest voice and a gentle wisdom are the hallmarks of good inspirational writing. Steep yourself in what’s already out there and then breathe a similar life into something that’s all your own. And don’t be surprised when you enjoy it – and it sells.
Image: Free Digital Photos