This has nothing to do with baseball or softball.

Major media companies don’t assign articles and such to freelance writers: they expect writers to suggest topics for articles. These suggestions are called pitches.

I generally avoid them, because I don’t usually know the publication or the business niche or the industry/field of interest well enough to suggest something original. That’s one of the downsides of being a generalist rather than a specialist in content writing.

However, I am gradually learning to do this, because that’s where the bigger recognition comes from and that’s where the money is. Anyone on the internet can promise “exposure,” and many sites do use exposure as a reason to offer paltry wages for content or even demand free contributions of content. However, many sites don’t have the dedicated readership that justifies free or nearly free contributions of content. Writers have bills to pay, too. We also like to eat.

My first big-name coup was an article published by Newsweek just a few weeks after my son died in January. It was a cathartic exercise, a heart-wrenching article of grief and anger. Some readers were moved sufficiently to contact me privately, all but one of them offering their condolences. That one bitter reader’s cruel commentary didn’t deserve to be read.

My second big-name coup will soon be published by Hearst Communications. It’s a lighter topic, a practical topic, not at all controversial. It’s about litter box filler.

You see, I’m a cat litter connoisseur, having had cats for over 30 years and currently living with seven cats. Yes, seven cats. Yes, I am the crazy cat lady and, no, I don’t care who calls me that. What’s even more impressive is that all seven cats share one–just one–litter box. That heavy use makes me an expert on which cat litter performs well and is both readily available and affordable.

Here’s the link: 

The two articles haven’t led to publishers seeking me out and begging me to write for them. (Hey, it could happen … some day.) But I count them as small successes, gaining me valuable practice and credibility that can be used to pitch other publishers and perhaps command higher fees.

In the meantime, I’ll continue what I’ve been doing. I’ll spend more time with Teddy (the pony), the dogs (Selina and Moose), and the cats. We have chickens again, too.