I'm in a bit of a bind, and I could use your help. It's money-related, yes, but I'm not looking for PayPal donations or anything like that. I'm looking for story ideas.
See, last year, I was profitable as a writer, which is awesome because it seems like my little writing career is going well. However, it means that I'm paying my taxes quarterly this year, which is a rather frightening prospect. 2010 taxes + 2011 Q1 taxes + accountant fees (worth every penny) + paying for a desperately-needed new computer have pretty much wiped out both my account for setting aside my tax money and my general savings account. I have to come up with a nice-sized chunk of change by June 30.
You might think I have a whole three months to do this, so what's the big deal? If you're a freelancer, you know that's not a lot of time. I have clients who pay me within a month of the work. I have clients that pay me within a couple months of the work. And I have clients who pay me only after I've bothered them for a year -- and then the check bounces. It's the downside to this job.
Although it would be great to have story assignments just come to me, the system doesn't always work like that. I need to find story ideas and pitch them until they get accepted somewhere--by a paying publication. The pitching process can take a while too, so I need to light a little fire underneath myself and generate some work so that I can have money coming in not only next month, but six months down the road.
That's where you come in. Even though I have a short list of story ideas, I need more. Do you have any unusual hobbies--or even, what are your hobbies? Own a small business that's doing something interesting? Work for a big business that does things a little out of the norm? Fight for a worthy (and not-well-publicized) cause? [and by that I mean, something that's story-worthy. It's nice if you're doing the marathon to raise money for charity, but so are thousands of other people. What makes your story unique?]
Let me know what's going on in your world - either comment, or shoot me an e-mail [jilljaracz AT yahoo DOT com], and I'll follow up with you. I can't guarantee anything, but I certainly would appreciate the help!