Having the chance to write Wild Things was an awesome opportunity for me and I loved every minute. The columns are one of my favorite things to write and allowed me to hone my writing voice and highlight the amazing and truly bizarre lives of animals, especially marine life.
But a little known fact is that I wasn’t paid to write the column. I knew this was part of the bargain when I started. Thanks to the internet, bloggers (oh, wait a sec…) and an outdated business model, newspapers large and small have slashed their staff and operating costs to stay in the black and the Easy Reader is no exception. Easy Reader no longer pays freelancers, but new writers like me still have the opportunity to be published and build up a portfolio. Many writers scorn this concept and I don’t blame them, but at the same time if you submit your work the first thing editors ask is, “What else have you written?”
Now, 24 columns later, it’s time to get paid! The reality is that each Wild Things column averages about 1,250 words and takes about six to 10 hours to write; this includes researching the animal, finding and contacting experts, transcribing interviews and writing.
My hope is to find the column a new home or continue to build up my website to the point where advertisers will fund bigger writing projects like the column. Or maybe someone loves the column enough to make a donation? Who knows…anything is possible, but for now the column is on hold until I find a way to fund it.
So to all my readers who enjoyed the Wild Things column, thanks for reading and thank you for your patience! In the meantime, I will continue writing the much more manageable blog posts and keep bringing fascinating marine life and ocean facts your way.
And a big thanks to the Easy Reader! I appreciate the staff’s enthusiasm and support, which inspired me to launch this website and take my writing to the next level.
Future columns I plan on writing: sea jellies, the Atlantic spotted dolphin and the sea otter.