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“I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon.”

Here is a great article by Austin Murphy, author and longtime Sports Illustrated senior writer. He penned thousands of articles for Sports Illustrated over 33 years, 140 of them cover stories. He interviewed five presidents. He now delivers packages for Amazon. Although Murphy was not a freelance writer, he was a professional writer. And professional writers are becoming extinct without some other means of support.

As I’ve written before (internal link), unless you are on the staff of a surviving hardcopy magazine or you work for a book publisher, article writing is not a paying profession. Regular, dependable income for a freelance writer is impossible today by itself. Those that say otherwise are feeding on the hopes and dreams of the future writer, ultimately contributing to their misery.

Here is a link to the article: (external link)

2 replies on ““I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon.””

The key to being a financially successful freelance magazine article writer was to find well paying magazines that would regularly have you write for them. Having a relation with an editor means that you don’t suffer the 90% rejection rate that your queries normally suffer. I was headed in that direction until one title folded and the other changed editors. It also helps tremendously if you get paid for your photographs.

With the wage floor so much lower than ten years ago, and with the number of big nationals decreasing, it’s near impossible to make a go of it money-wise. Now, it’s more about resume building while soliciting other writing, like writing for internet companies that can pay a regular income. My pet peeve are companies that try to sell people on the idea that there is big money in magazine or even most book writing. Those businesses, selling the idea of article writing for profit, is also something that never changes. Sorry to ramble.

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