Make Money Writing Fillers
What Is A Filler?
Open any magazine, newspaper or webpage, and most likely you will come across a filler.
A filler is a short item used to fill a space in a publication (or to fill time on the
radio or television - keep in mind that a writer writes these fillers as well).
"The Teaching Home" and "Reader's Digest" actually reserve space specifically for fillers.
Fillers can be as short as a fun phrase; Happiness is thirty-one different flavors of
ice-cream. Or fillers can be a long five hundred word anecdote. Fillers are generally nonfiction.
Recipes are fillers in certain publications. Jason Wolfe's free online weekly
newsletter, "DIRECTCOUPONS," includes a reader's recipe in each issue. Hints, tips,
problems and solutions, jokes, witty quotations, quips, epigrams (short clever poem or
paradoxical statement) and other juicy nuggets of writing can also be sold as fillers.
Where Do I Find Fillers?
Fillers happen all around you. Do you clean? Do you have children? Do you cook? Are
you a husband or a wife? Do you work (okay, do you have another bread-and-butter type
of job?)? Where do you relax? What do you do for enjoyment? Do you have animals? Do
you belong to a church or another type of organization? Have you discovered a better/
faster/ healthier way to do something? You can find fillers everywhere, for any reason,
as long as you keep your senses open.
Observe and be alert for unusual or humorous signs on marquees. We read this on a
church billboard: Drive-Thru Bible Study. Keep an eye on store windows, traveling
trucks and buses. You just never know what you may be passing by.
Watch people. Listen to what they are saying. You will hear twists on old sayings,
puns, amusing stories and plenty of jokes.
Mary Ann Hahn of New York says, "Tune in when someone compliments someone else by
saying, 'Good idea,' or 'I ought to try that!' Jot down the idea. Many magazines use
these tips as fillers, and these short pieces can help the new writer's break into
Recording Fillers and Keeping Records Keep a pocket sized notebook and a pen handy at
all times. You will be ready to record incidents instantly. Unless you know shorthand,
I recommend writing the comments, jokes, signs or happenings as completely as time
allows. I have found that writing key words only does NOT always jog your memory when
you are ready to type the filler.
You can use one page per filler, or use index cards, which will be of help when you
are ready to file them. File them under headings such as: "Hints," "Tips," "Jokes,"
"Amusing Sayings," "Quotes," "Recipes," "Personal Experiences," etc. If you feel your
filler should go into more than one category, put it in each category and note the cross reference.
Each time you submit the filler, list the date, name and address of the magazine. When
it sells, pull it from the category files and move it to a "Published" file.
Additional Filler Tips
While writing, pay attention to the position (viewpoint) you take to project your filler.
An objective viewpoint may be good if you are making a statement, when it doesn't
matter who is speaking, when you report what happens, and when writing certain types
of work/ shop tips ("Before attempting to take out a splinter, soak the area in very
warm water."). The statement can stand alone in an objective viewpoint.
Using a subjective viewpoint allows you to use emotions or reactions of a person.
First person ("While watching my three-year-old play catch, I...") viewpoints are
subjective, as are the third person ("Johnny Cash may have made good, but when
he..."). This puts us in the thoughts of the major character.