Think back to elementary school science. Remember the water cycle? Water condenses in the air to form clouds. Clouds grow too saturated to hold the water and it falls to the ground as rain. Heat from the sun evaporates the water, and it floats into the air where it forms new clouds and the cycle starts all over again.
Before you wonder if I’ve started a science blog somewhere and have accidentally posted in the wrong place, let me reassure you. The water cycle and the query cycle work in similar ways. Both are forms of circulation. One deals with water, the other with ideas.
Successful freelance writing means having a constant stream of ideas (raindrops) cycling from your desk (the cloud) to editors (the ground) and back again. If you don’t already have a query cycle, you need to start one. It’s as easy as 1-2-3:
- Pick an idea, any idea, or reslant an existing one (see step 3). If you need help finding something to write about, take a sec to review this post on generating ideas.
- Create a fully developed query. Try my mad scientist approach to writing queries.
- Send out at least one query every week. If it comes back, send it to a new market pronto. If it sells, recycle the idea by thinking of at least one new slant/market and ship out a new query. (Don’t forget to use your assignments as stepping stones for others.)
Start your own query cycle and get ready for a rain of assignments.