Perhaps I ought to have written this posting before. It’s something that’s really shaped the way I work. As I think I have said previously, I work when something interests me, and never because of the money I may or not make from it. When I was breaking in and had no clips, I would send stuff to editors ‘on spec’, which means that you have already written it. And then, as I got better breaks, I used to go to the ends of the earth to do stories, and I’d pay for the travel myself, only selling the story when I got back. The reason was that there was always a danger that a hot story pitched to a national newspaper would be pinched and farmed out to one of their staffers. If you believe in it, be prepared to do the work and write on spec. In my opinion, it’s what sorts the pros out from the amateurs. I don’t even have a problem about writing books on spec, and know plenty of authors who only work this way. My advice to anyone who’s listening is to have faith in yourself. Never question it. And then others will believe in you as well.

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