An Interview with Marcy Goodfleisch

Many Hubbers come to HubPages at the very beginning of their writing careers, using the publising platform as a place to experiment, and leveraging our supportive community as a sounding board.

Marcy Goodfleisch, on the other hand, has come to HubPages after working as a professional writer for years! She brings a unique perspective to our community that many Hubbers can learn from.

In the following interview, Marcy Goodfleisch shares some of the fascinating insights she has gained from being a long time professional writer, as well as some resources she has created for Hubbers and other amateur writers seeking to develop writing careers. Enjoy!

In addition to being a professional writer, you’re a mother of two, have worked as a Communications Consultant, and have held several senior management positions at places like the State Bar of Texas and the University of Texas at Austin, plus you enjoy travel, music, and volunteering. You’ve only been on HubPages for around two months, and already you’ve published 51 Hubs. What’s the secret to your amazing productivity?

The more you write, the faster you become at putting facts, thoughts, quotes and other things into words. I had several demanding writing positions (the newspaper and TxDOT, for example) that required productivity and the ability to meet short deadlines. It was excellent training, and I am thankful for that experience. Eventually, you can predict exactly how long it will take you to write a given piece, which helps in budgeting your time for family and other activities.

Many of our Hubbers hope to someday have their work published in magazines or books. As someone who has had over 600 articles published in newspapers and magazines, what advice can you give to those looking to get started?

It would be great to see every writer on HubPages realize their highest dreams! Because fellow Hubbers asked about this early on, I wrote several hubs about it. Here are a few that answer this question:

What first sparked your interest in writing?

Writing was important to me even as a child; I used to weave fiction stories for my younger brothers and for friends. Later I wrote for my college paper, which helped me become a fast keyboarder. Eventually, I knew I wanted a career in writing. I brazenly contacted the local paper one day, and it turned out they were actually looking for someone to write a small column.  Writing has been the backbone of my career ever since.

You share on your profile that you have been writing for over 30 years. Has your writing style changed much over that time?

Oh, gosh – I certainly hope my skills have improved over the years!  Most new writers need to learn to take themselves out of their writing and focus on the topic. That lesson greatly helped write with a viewpoint or a position without resorting to words such as  “I got upset about . . .” or  “It makes me mad that . . .”  However, when you write an editorial (by nature, an opinion piece), you can get blasted for it.  Many readers took a Hub I wrote about Rush Limbaugh personally, and some comments were fairly biting.

Many Hubbers struggle when considering writing as a purely fun pastime versus a source of income. As a professional writer, would you say it’s possible to walk the line?

Yes, but writers need to distinguish between practicing their craft as a business and writing for pleasure or as an artistic outlet.  When writing commercially, give the editor  of the publication what they want, which is a literate, well-written piece about a specific topic, often of a specific length. If you pay a landscaper to plant a few trees, you don’t expect to get roses just because the landscaper thinks those are prettier. Sometimes, writers are lucky enough to get paid for writing that is also a fun pastime  – HubPages somewhat offers that opportunity, if the ‘for fun’ writing also follows site guidelines. Otherwise, writing is like any other job; it’s work, but it can also be fulfilling and enjoyable.

On HubPages, you cover all sorts of topics- from advice on selecting digital cameras to tips on fighting germs during flu season and an exploration of the meanings associated with various flowers. What inspires all this varied coverage? How do you decide what to write about?

For years, I had to write about a wide variety of subjects (cat shows, zoning laws, belly dancers, bridge design, legal issues – you name it). That helped me see stories in just about anything, and to notice unique and interesting things in every situation.  I’ve actually written a Hub on finding inspiration in everything around you.

What inspired you to join HubPages? What are your future HubPages plans?

For the past few years, I’ve wanted to write about topics that appeal to me rather than whatever editors currently need. I also wanted to begin writing online as well as in other venues.  I saw an ad about HubPages in my local paper, and immediately signed up. I’m very glad I did; this site has allowed me to accomplish both goals and to meet other writers, whom I already consider good friends.  My goal is to build a solid inventory of hubs, and of course to make HubPages a significant player in my income stream.

Resources for Online Writers

Online Writing InsiderThe key to successful development as an online writer involves knowing how to look for answers when you’re stuck.

In this episode of the Online Writing Insider (Resources for Online Writers), Robin Edmondson and Yours, Truly discuss the importance of asking lots of questions when writing online, and also share some excellent online writing resources assembled by ChristinS in an amazing list of 101 Free Tools Every Freelance Writer, Web Designer, and Graphic Artist Needs.

Definitely have a look at ChristinaS’ Hub – it is an invaluable resource!  We also highly recommend stopping by Best Websites for Downloading Royalty Free, High Resolution Images for Online Writing, a great Hub by sriparna reviewing excellent resources for online authors to use in articles where their own original photos and images are insufficient.

If you want even more helpful online guides and resources, especially those pertaining to the HubPages realm, we highly recommend stopping by the HubPages Learning Center.  Also, if you have an online writing issue you’d like to hear discussed in a future podcast, let us know about it!

HubPages Success Story: One year after her first payout, habee find professional writing success on HubPages

habee on HubPages

habee on HubPages

Just over a year ago, Hubber habee was interviewed on the HubPages blog about her first payout.  All these months later, habee is more active than ever on the site, and in a recent forum post, she happily announced that she’s even been getting writing jobs thanks to her Hubs being found online.  We took a minute to chat with habee about the past 12 months and her continued success on the site and in the community – check out our exchange below:

Congrats on the new writing job! Did you expect to get offers to write via HubPages when you first joined the site?

I guess I didn’t really think about that when I first joined, although I’ve had offers when I wrote on other sites. Writing for pay is a great bonus! I’ve sold articles for as much as $375.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in being found as freelance writers on HubPages?

Just recently, I included a message on my profile page saying that I was available for writing, but I had plenty of offers before that. I have always stated on my profile page that I’m a freelance writer, however, so maybe that helped. I also included a little information about my experience with freelancing.

You won the Grand Prize of HubPages’ June contest, Eat, Drink, and Be Hubbalicious, and wrote a litany of amazing entries. What advice would you give to Hubbers interested in our upcoming contest on Personal Finance?

I would suggest planning Hubs for the contest NOW! Perhaps coming up with a few outlines would be in order, also. Instead of trying to write five entries every day, I suggest writing fewer entries and really concentrating on quality.

Your first payout was just over a year ago – how has your experience on HubPages developed in the past 12 months?

My earnings have increased every month since last February. I definitely believe that patience cannot be overlooked. Hubs take time to “age” on the search engines, and after they do, there’s a snowball effect. I rarely backlink, yet most of my Hubs are backlinked on numerous other sites. In most cases, if you write original Hubs that are interesting and/or informative, others will do the backlinking for you!

Habee, you write so many amazing articles. What is your secret to productivity? Your source of inspiration?

I guess I’ve always been a writer at heart. Even as a kid, I used to make up stories and poems. It also helps that I have a wide range of interests, and my education and experience teaching literature and writing skills didn’t hurt, either. Writing just comes so naturally for me that I can “whip up” a Hub or article in no time! This is usually a blessing, but it can be somewhat of a curse, at times. For example, when I’m trying to fall asleep at night, I’m usually creating a Hub in my head.

.    .    .

If you would like more sage advice from this prolific Hubber, check out the Hubs she’s created to help fellow Hubbers improve their writing skills: