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Since 2003, food writer and writing instructor, Pamela White has taken on the care and feeding of the food writer with her site and ezine:
Twelve years ago, during a divorce, Pamela found herself in need of more income so she naively turned to writing to fill the gap. Writing assignments were hard to get and the pay was often low but she set up a three-step plan to earn the money she needed to get by:
Join message boards and network, read books, and study magazines.
Get a local job as a writer to build up published clips quickly.
Don't give up. Keep pitching.
With a little luck and lots of perseverance she was hired to write restaurant reviews for the local newspaper. Other publishers came calling and her ebook, Fabjob.com's Guide to Becoming a Food Writer followed. She is currently the publisher of two ezines for writers and teaches online writing courses. She self-published "Make Money as a Food Writer in Six Lessons," in 2006.
She has also had her work published in the anthologies Soul Matters and Spirit Communications, and in Writer's Digest, ByLine Magazine, Writers Weekly, Absolute Write, BackHome, Home Cooking, Low-Carb Energy, County Families, Absolutely Business, and loved being a restaurant critic, writing a weekly column, for nearly six years.
What is Pamela's favorite part of living the writing life? "I have found my own niche supporting other writers, most notably those who wish to pursue food writing and writing cookbooks. I still develop my own recipes and write articles on food, and will always do so, but coaching other writers to success is equally important."
Best advice for other writers? "Network, keep pitching ideas and applying for writing jobs, and study grammar, punctuation and style books. Never give up."
Read a short essay by Pamela White
Winter in a Writer Wonderland
My office looks out on the front yard. Beautiful snow falls thickly; I cannot see my neighbor’s home across the street. I know from long years of winter experiences that outside all sounds are muffled. A barking dog’s yaps return to him unnoticed by the world at large. Even the scraping of the snowplows is muffled to nothingness.
Leaning back in my chair, I sigh and ponder how it must be to live in all that quiet.
“I need a ride…”
“Mom, I think the dog broke your laptop."
“How come we never have anything to eat…”
Once upon a time, I, too, did the snow day dance before bed and wore my jammies inside out for extra influence over the wintry weather gods. Now I live in snow day heaven: the school has six snow days built into the year and it’s not that unusual to go over that limit.
On the glorious writing days when the children are in school, I walk around the house efficiently gathering up dirty laundry and dishes. I let the machines take it from there while I have another cup of coffee, a hot soak in the tub, and then begin my writing day. I read newsletters for new markets and advice; I write my own newsletter. I zip around on the Internet researching business insurance, butternuts, and toilet training for assignments that are due. I add up the money I’m making. I look at the phone, gleefully aware that the only people who ever call my home are also in school, busy passing notes and stubbornly not learning quadratic equations with my own teenagers.
But today is a snow day. The girls are bullies lining up to steal my computer instead of just my lunch money. I hear a loud crash coming from the kitchen, a suspicious sound rigged to force me from my desk. I hang my head; what mother can ignore the sound of breaking dishes? As I leave my office, I hear a rustle as one girl swirls past me. I hear the creak of my office chair. Possession, I have often told them while holding onto a beloved video game as punishment, is nine-tenths of the law. This lesson they learned.
The eldest daughter begs to drive in the white-out to her boyfriend’s home on some country dirt road. The other daughter has already logged on to the computer and is receiving multiple messages from friends. No surprises-- she is the one who runs down in the morning and posts an away message which says, “At school.” My son is busy on the children’s computer, happily deleting operating system files because they take up too much room.
I whimper and give in to the bullies. I sneak a pen and pad of paper and cower in the corner of the dining room, scribbling notes for reinforcements. I doubt they’ll let me send for help, but it keeps my mind off the magazine deadlines looming. I can’t think; my head is throbbing.
But this time, the banging isn’t in my head. A gaggle of teenage girls rush in the house, laughing about the storm. They all live nearby, and have come carrying inner tubes and snow boards, demanding my three accompany them to the closest hill.
A quick rush, demands for ski gloves, boots, thick socks and hats, and whoosh! Silence descends with as much determination as the two feet of snow is doing outside. I dance down the hall to my office and sit, ready to continue with my work.
A window pops up: “R U There?” someone named JdSvDoppelganger23768 asks. I delete the message, and shut down my daughter’s away message (“snowboarding. c u there”-- When did she find time to write that when I hadn’t finished my written plea for help?) I look out the window again at all that peaceful quiet.
Ah, snow days. I just love them.