I've said it before, and I'll say it again - sending out letters and fillers on a regular basis can be financially rewarding.
I was recently contacted by one of my students, Dave Cullen, who has been very busy and is benefiting from his success. And much of this success has been with the shorter letters and fillers, in addition to some articles too.
Take "That's Life" magazine. Near the back they have a section called 'Rude Joke of the Week' - where they use three of four of these. Now it's not a lot of money, but they do pay £15 if they publish a joke that you've sent in. Dave has had 28 jokes published so far, and for those of you who can't do the maths, 28 x £15 = £420! Now when I used to work in an office, rude jokes were always doing the rounds on the email system. Next time your get one in your inbox, instead of forwarding it round to your office colleagues, why not forward it to That's Life?
His letters have earned him almost £100 and sending funny pictures to the right slots in the magazines has also netted him £150. Add this lot together and you can see, we're talking serious money now.
Being a writer, doesn't necessarily involve sitting down and writing the great novel - merely sitting down and doing some writing. If you only have 10 minutes to spare, writing a letter or a short filler is more than feasible and the rewards are proportionately bigger than for much larger projects.
So if you find yourself with a spare ten minutes, which isn't long enough to start the next short story, or article, don't give up on your writing - produce a letter or joke instead. It's still publication!
As for the title of this posting ... well, That's Life also has a section called "Aren't Men Daft?" where women write in about stupid things their husbands or boyfriends have done. Dave happened to admit to me that he's sent in a few examples of silly things he's done. He's had to do it from his wife's email address, but they've used three of his submissions so far - and they pay between £25 and £50 depending upon where on the page they use the piece. So is Dave daft to do this? I wouldn't call 'being published' daft at all. In fact it's the people who waste that spare ten minutes they have, instead of writing, who I think are daft.
Nice one Dave!