Tag Archives: freelancing

Blog Roller

What I’m reading around the blogosphere today:

Write it Sideways: 23 Websites that Make Your Writing Stronger

The Book Designer: Fair Use, The Rights of Personality, and Unintended Consequences

Real Simple: 16 New Etiquette Rules for the Tech Age

Psych Central: Are Depressed Poets Still Creative?

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Filed under Blogging, Book Reviews, freelancing, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized, writing, Writing Tips

You Are Your Biggest Fan

Paint YourselfI see many new freelancers ask this question either to myself, or on other freelancing websites. “What is the best way to get to know other freelancers?” Being a freelance writer and editor, I feel it’s my civic duty to other writers out there, be it that you’re brand new or you’ve been around the block as a writer, to provide you with some ways that I was able to get my writing career off the ground. 

First off, I find it important to mention that these tips will come in handy for any type of freelancer, not just writers. If you’re a graphic designer, a software engineer, a computer programmer, et cetera. Think of the tips as starting points for anyone wanting to break into the freelancing world.

1.)     RUB ELBOWS:  Ahhh….the old elbow rub. This is either super easy or super intimidating for some. Those people that are extroverts such as myself, have no problem getting their name out there. But those that are introverts, well, you tend to be shy and want to hide in your shell. You’re going to have to get over that, and fast. Granted, a lot, if not all, of your freelancing career can and will be done online, but that doesn’t mean that you can hide behind your ergonomic chair forever. 

Rubbing elbows means just that. Getting yourself known. Attend writers conferences, photography workshops, library events, etc. Just because you want to be a freelance writer and not a graphic designer doesn’t mean that you should ignore the designer market. If a client calls up their friend, Mr. Graphic Designer, and tells him that they need an awesome six hundred word article to accompany that breathtaking picture of Niagara Falls that he took last weekend, who do you think Mr. Designer is going to turn to? Yep, you guessed it, his freelance writing friends. So don’t dismiss fellow freelancers just because they may not be in your niche. Think of your elbows as the paint brushes that should be spread across the ENTIRE freelancing community canvas. And don’t forget to pick bright colors, for they attract more attention.

2.)     Social Networking:   I’m sure most of you are already members of some of the social networking sites. But if you’re not, then you need to be, and fast. No one has the ability to deny that sites like LinkedIn and Twitter can take your business to new heights. I’ve seen it personally with Twitter. The more I tweet my blog and website, the more hits it gets. Simple move right? Right. Now go sign up for all the social networking sites that you can click your mouse on. And hurry. Some other freelancer is doing just that right now, and taking your could-be customers. So get a move on.

3.)     Business cards:   I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Why do I need business cards, I never leave my house. I find all of my work online.”  And others are thinking “Geesh, how can you NOT have business cards?”

Business cards are your key to any lock. Remember that. Put them up at your local bank, library, convention centers, super markets, ANYWHERE.  You never know when a fellow publisher, writer, or photographer will see that you are a freelance writer and need your services. If you don’t have business cards, then as soon as you are done reading this post, Google business cards and get to work. It’s going to take you some time to pick out the appropriate colors, fonts, and designs,  so allow room to play in your schedule. Make sure that, if you’re a first time business card buyer, that you also purchase a card holder so that you can carry your business cards in a professional fashion rather than wrapping them in a rubber band and throwing them in your back pocket. Don’t laugh, I know many a people that do just that. Then they give me their business card with dog eared edges and the half bend that only a back pocket can make. “No thanks, keep your card” is what I want to say. But I take it and toss it in the nearest trash receptacle because I can’t take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously. 

Remember my fellow freelancers, you are your biggest fan. If you don’t think your awesome, then no one else will. So be an extrovert and let yourself shake a few hands and hand out a few cards. Make friends with fellow freelancers. And don’t forget to let me know how you make out on your road to stardom. I’m here to help if you need it. Also, if you’ve found other ways that have helped your freelance career, please comment on this post so that everyone can reap the benefits of more clients.

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A Writer’s Insanity

insanity?

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.  ~Graycie Harmon

 

I was looking over some writing quotes that I have listed on my personal website and this one by Graycie Harmon caught my eye. How true it is though, no? I think so. 

I think writers in general are a walking insane asylum most of the time. I know for me, ideas are constantly getting in line inside my head in hopes of coming out in the form of words. Characters are hungry for the ink that will bring them to life. Even the mediocre ideas and story lines are eager for stardom. You don’t have to be a published author to have stacks and stacks of material. If you write at all, for pleasure or business, you’re a writer.

Like I have mentioned in some of my previous postings, I have been writing SOMETHING ever since I was small, be it poetry or short stories, articles or drawings. I was always producing filled notebooks and journals. Bookstores and hole in the wall coffee shops became my second homes.

I know lots of writers who are they same way. They have to write almost daily or they feel like something is missing. Writing is a healthy outlet for all, so is reading. And even if you’re not a lover of literature, reading a book can be an extremely calming sensation. 

Being in charge of your own insane asylum has its perks as well as its downfalls. It’s up to you as the writer to decide which direction your writing can and will take you in if you believe in yourself.

And hey, if all else fails, a padded room doesn’t sound all THAT bad. I hear that padded walls make great pillows.

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Library or Bookstore?

Book MarkLibrary or bookstore? My answer to the question would be bookstore…and here’s why. And, please, don’t think me out to be a snotty, spoiled lady….but I adore brand new books. There’s something about being the first and only person to crack open that semi-stiff cover. Beautiful, new, crisp, unmarked pages coupled with that brand new book smell. I’m lost immediately within the pages…turning to the next page from the top right corner and gently running my hand down the untouched page. I can’t help but want a book to be new.

I first realized my preference for new books in middle school. I loathed getting used text books from the kids before me and seeing their names sloppily written in the space above where I was instructed to print mine. There mindless doodling and dog-eared pages secretly made my writing hand twitch. This “phobia” continued well into high school and into my college years. I remember very vividly reaching for the new versus used pile of textbooks from my college bookstore. I didn’t care about how much money I wasn’t saving buying new rather than used. I didn’t want to be engrossed in my reading and have to ignore bright pink highlighted passages that someone before me thought may have important…because..chances are…I knew I wasn’t going to find what they thought was important to them important to me.

I read seriously and sedulously. Chewing every word slowly before swallowing and moving onto the next. I mark pages and passages different from the normal person. I created my own editing format that only I can understand. And I also knew that I would keep all my college literature, so that was even more of a reason for me to buy new…when I needed to reference back to those books (which I often do) I would be able to flip to the section I know is important, rather than trying to determine if I highlighted that section or if it was the student prior to me.

Not that I don’t go to my local library or used book stores, I do. I utilize the workshops they offer and I network myself as a writer in my community. But I don’t check out or buy many used books….I’ll browse more often than not. I’ll write interesting titles and authors down, then head over to Borders to buy them so I can read them as fast or slow as I want.

You’ve heard my preference for library versus bookstore. Please share your preference for new or used books. I’d love to hear your story.

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Are You A Beginning Freelance Writer? If So, Read On…

coffee-cup1I’m thinking it would be a good idea to start helping beginning freelancers along in their journey. With that being said, please comment on this blog and tell your story. What websites have you found useful so far….where do you work best (home, coffee shop), have you found any good blogs that can help out the beginning freelancer?

I will keep updating my blog with my knowledge that I have gained since becoming a part time freelancer.

Let’s help each other out shall we?

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