A Writing for Wealth seminar was held in the Lake View Terrace room of the USU on Sept. 11. Huffington Post writer Tammy Bleck, known for her book “Single Past 50, Now What?” and her blog “Witty Woman Writing”, advised students on how to successfully write to make money.
Jonathan Adrias, program coordinator of alumni relations, welcomed students and alumni to the seminar and opened the night with by providing some background on Bleck.
Bleck started her lecture by stating that she began her career as most struggling writers have – broke and unemployed. What she took from this was that patience and attitude matters to succeed.
Jennifer Vallen, senior creative writing major, said “I want to learn how exactly to write for wealth”, who was inspired by novels and a creative writing class.
“I came here and took my first creative writing class and that was really interesting for me as I found out I was really good [at writing].”
Daniella Rosco, English major, wanted to hear about going into publishing as a creative writing major. Rosco and Vallen came to the event together and both were satisfied with the plethora of information they received.
As the seminar progressed, Bleck said one must anticipate bad advice if they want to make it in the writing industry.
Writers need to have a website, a blog, and a video. Websites are free and will be the location to promote yourself, Bleck said.
Bleck said If you want to be professional, you act professional. She also advised students that their site should have a section about themselves, a blog with writing samples, and contact page. Bleck suggested WordPress because videos will personalize them with their audience.
For columnists, Bleck announced that salary begins at $18,000 to $31,000. To work freelance, like Bleck has, wage is $100 to $500 a piece. Readers should stay entertained, but staying close to one’s personal style is valuable. Bleck warned that writers should never anger the editor and know that “Compromise is the name of the game, but that doesn’t mean compromising what you like and love.”
According to Bleck, novels are the toughest form of writing because of consistency and details. Everything must be known about characters, like background and conflicts. The advice Bleck gave toward novels included, checking grammar, keeping facts straight, and not relying on the Internet.
In young adult books, characters should grow mentally and emotionally throughout, according to Bleck. Language contributes to flow so it should resonate with the character’s background. As college students know, and Bleck joked about, young adults are dramatic so add drama.
“Don’t settle. Be picky, you need to want to do it…really good writers are people who divert themselves in different avenues…No one is more creative than [when in their] youth. You guys make up every morning thinking out of the box,” said Bleck.