I think I said in my "hello" post that I had been paid to write most of my life. A couple people have PMed me for details, but I don't PM too much. I was going to do a blog post, but then I thought that it might make a good thread, the stories of how those who have been paid to write got there. Might be of help to those still trying. I have a big personal investment in online anonymity, so I'm going to couch this in generalized terms. But the process is all that matters, really. I hope some others will come and add their stories. About me: At this point in my life, on the far side of 60, all my income above retirement money, comes from writing. (It just occurred to me, I've been getting paid to write for over 40 years now. huh) But I was not a professional writer as my main occupation for the most part. I am just a writer. That means I have to write. It's compulsive. 1st sale: I was quite surprised one day when I was about 22 to receive a large envelope with a copy of a magazine and a check do for $25 (pretty good in the early 1970s!) and a letter inviting me to submit again. I was surprised because I had never submitted at all. The church secretary took one of my poems, sent it to a national Christian publication and voila! My first sale. I was mad about the invasion of my space and happy to have the $. It was very cool to see my name in print the first time. Around that same year, a fairly well-known novelist who wrote counter-culture stuff, hosted a contest for his next book which would comprise true stories from readers about how his previous books impacted their lives. $5000 split ten ways. Well, if you think $25 was a lot of money, $500 was a fortune. I submitted and won. I got the check, no book. I bought a refrigerator. I found out a couple decades later the book had come under separate cover, my ex-husband opened it, put it away and still has it! Still, it was a very nice refrigerator. Most of my paid writing derived from my jobs. I was paid to create an Annual report. I wrote a series of children's plays for a church organization. I wrote a booklet that condensed a lot of information in a specialized field for a Professor to use in classes when I was in college. I edited a union newspaper. I have twice been a regular columnist, once on women's issues, once on game strategy. I've written two non-fiction books, one made some money and people are still buying it. I made $10 on that one the other day. (Shopping for my yacht next week-end!) I once was paid to write lyrics for a song. I wrote advertising for a couple local businesses. I wrote for a trade magazine. I wrote a couple scripts that got some attention, but they only bought the story idea of one, turned it into a TV series, screwed up my concept and got themselves cancelled. I was pretty mad they didn't bring me on for the project and took a lot of petty satisfaction in their failure. There's probably other stuff, I don't remember. I wrote a lot of church stuff I never asked for payment for, but they'd cut me a check once in a while, anyway. One thing I was very proud of I never got paid for. I was approached out-of-the blue by our citiy's major paper to submit an opinion piece. Cool. I didn't, I was too busy, but it was wonderful to be asked. Getting paid to write has always been incidental to my life. I had a couple different professions that were great fun for me, interesting and challenging, and never wanted the grind of being a full-time professional writer. I've been offered a lot more writing gigs than I ever accepted. I've taught writing, coached writers, and gotten to the point I don't mention writing in my normal social interactions to avoid the baggage that comes with it. Of course, when I was young I was quite excited when I'd be paid to write. I dreamed of being a rich famous writer. For a few months. It just wasn't for me. In the end, I guess what I would say to young writers is: learn to do what you love well and then take opportunities that arise. To me, being a writer is like being a carpenter: You tell me what you want made, and I'll put it together for you. So, who else here gets paid to write and how did that happen for you?