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Thread: Bad Time to be a Writer in LA

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Bad Time to be a Writer in LA

    This article in the Wednesday LA Times shows some of what I've been dealing with as an unemployed writer for the past 11 months.

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...17,full.column

    Although the bulk of my experience has been as a technical writer and editor, when I got laid off I figured I'd fish for pretty much any writing other than screenplays (since I know nothing about writing them). Let's just say there haven't been many fish in the pond to catch, and a lot of other people with their lines in the water, too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    17,470
    you need to do a couple differnt things vaughn, one change your bait and two, hold your mouth right
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    13,437
    Well, though the article probably has some truth, don't let it get you down. I don't think the programmer's market is much better either. Without my wife bringing in an income I'm finding I'm having to diversify and bring in income from my other abilities as well as do without. I haven't yet started doing drywall again (I hate sanding drywall), but may come to that to bring in some extra coin.

    Hang in there...here's to hoping you don't have to sand drywall either.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    6,097
    Vaughn, jump all over the rights to Larry's exploits with the FWW. With the past two yearly adventures for a lead story, that would heighten the interest for this year's adventure. I am serious, I would read the story in Popular woodworking. It shouldn't be a condensed version either, one story at Tod's, one at Chuck's, one at Marty's, one at Larry's, then the history and such of the site, I think you are sitting on a gold mine here!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    Vaughn,
    It might be the right time to start that all American novel... or maybe a tell all book - assuming you have something to tell... or just do like Palin and make it up as you go along

    It's encouraging that people still read.... we were in McKay's yesterday... that a used book warehouse in Knoxville... they are about 30,000 +/- square foot building and buy and sell used books, movies and music...
    the place is packed every time we go there. At check out they have 3-5 registers open at all times and it's one customer after another...

    this store is bigger than the Bookman's I used to go to in Tucson.. which is a small chain in Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa and Flagstaff. McKays has two stores in Knoxville and Chattanooga.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  6. #6
    Seems like one of the down sides of the internet age, anyone can be a writer/journalist/blogger, It's cheapened and diminished the craft for sure.
    Hope you find a good fit for your skills soon, Vaughn, hang in there!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Vaughn, jump all over the rights to Larry's exploits with the FWW. With the past two yearly adventures for a lead story, that would heighten the interest for this year's adventure. I am serious, I would read the story in Popular woodworking. It shouldn't be a condensed version either, one story at Tod's, one at Chuck's, one at Marty's, one at Larry's, then the history and such of the site, I think you are sitting on a gold mine here!
    It could be the next big Reality Show "Survivor Woodworking"
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Mooney View Post
    It could be the next big Reality Show "Survivor Woodworking"
    Or maybe an Expose'...
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,825
    Vaughn, I have been getting paid to write since 1953. Never have I seen it so difficult to sell material as in recent years. I have to completed novels I have been trying to sell for several years. The easy part is writing. Like any business 'breaking in' is the hard part. If you hit the right agent and/or niche things could take off for you. Don't let that article get you down. I am convinced the biggest market for writers, at this time, is writing articles about writing and how to sell writing.
    Harking back to 1953, when I was a teen, I was paid a nickle a word. Only lately have I come to appreciate how good my pay was compared to buying power.
    I was recently commissioned by an Arkansas State agency to write and article for one of it's publications. When I received the submissions package, only then did I learn I will be paid the munificent sum of $25.00. The research will require about 100 miles driving and, at least, one days work before I start writing.
    The way to sell your work is first to become famous. Like Monica Lewinski, Sarah Palin or the Fort Hood killer. I was given Mike Huckabee's 'Simple Christmas' book for Christmas. It is simple all right. It is a compilation of his reminiscences of his early life. Exactly the sort of thing that millions of regular folks write and try to sell all the time. He is sells because he is well known.
    Good luck.
    BTW, where you live agents are all over the place. Do some networking before putting pen to paper.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
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    2,449
    You should convince Festool that they need you to rewrite all their manuals for them. They really are bad!

    Of course they would have to send you their tools in order for you to write about them and that would probably create too many problems for you. You would have to rearrange you shop to accommodate storing them.

    Seriously, I have a lot of respect for a good technical writer, after trying to wade through some terrible tool instruction manuals. They either get someone without any real experience in the tool or someone for whom English is a secondary language.

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