Get it while it's HOT...

Archive for the ‘home life’ Category

A Web Writers Beginning

In freelance writing, home life, writing on February 9, 2010 at 6:17 am

I’m a seasoned writer. My career began back in the early ’90’s as as joke. I had written a fictional piece targeted at my current boyfriend. It was all about how he should appreciate me and women in general more (long story…I’ll tell ya about it sometime) and I kept getting compliments on it. So, I sent it in to a magazine on spec and it was picked up. I began writing for them regularly, moved on to other similar magazines, added a few regional and local newspapers…there you have it.

I didn’t start writing web content until probably 7 or 8 years ago, maybe a little more. But to me- the web content wasn’t really writing. It was just something I could do for extra money. It would irritate the shit out of me to have people call themselves “writers” when all they had ever done was write some web copy. Call me pretentious if you like (I’ve been called worse) but I truly felt that writing web copy did not a writer make.

I began to have issues with it myself. I quit the job I had as a columnist and crime writer for a local paper ( the publisher’s wife was a psycho bitch with a history of crack use and an addicted ex husband to prove it. Yet another LONG story I’ll tell you about later if you get really bored). I picked up a few gigs writing for various print magazines like PREP and Southern Living writing columns and sidebars. I started to peddle my Woman Condemned book to agents and publisher. But I needed the extra dough and writing web copy seemed to be it. 

 I had issues upon issues with it. I was embarrassed to tell my colleges I did it. I would belittle myself for doing it. Telling myself I had lost “IT” and was just another uneducated copywriter telling the world I was a PROFESSIONAL FREELANCE WRITER.

BUT there is a happy ending  (or a happy medium I guess) to this story. Years have passed. I started back to school to finish my Masters and I noticed all the classes and new majors for online journalism (cough…that still gets caught in my throat…a little…) But the fact is, it’s happened. People are becoming more aware of online writers. Bloggers are making a bigger impact in the writing world. I’ve had to make a serious change in my thinking and I think all the old school writers will eventually. I think those of us that have worked in print for years have to realize that there is a new beginning coming. Maybe it will be beneficial for all of us.

And now on with the program…

In home life, Time Management, work at home basics, writing on January 3, 2010 at 7:00 am

Since Christmas is blissfully over I am concentrating on getting back to real life. That is life sans the candy cane dreams and sugar plum fairs dancing around. I mentioned before that I had started using the Pomodoro technique which works wonders for me but I have modified it.

I found that the recommended amount of work time vs breaks didn’t feel comfortable with me despite its effectiveness. The alarm would go off to signal my break time and I’d still be mid project or need to keep working. So, I have modified it to work an hour or longer before taking a 30 min break. So far so good.

I’ve never been big on resolutions. I don’t make them and that way I don’t break them. Im Catholic. I have enough guilt as it is. But as far as work goes, I had one private client in 2009 that I did lots of work for about .30 cents per word. I also have one steady client I provide content to for .34 cents per word. Also, I had the three jobs for the .50 center per word. Then I had Demand Studios and my revenue shares. Id like to have three or more private clients to work for steady for at least .40 – .50 per word each in this new year.

That would mean asking more of myself as a writer and forcing myself to take extra steps in my career.

Hmmm…. As my old Friend Terry Alford used to say “Just how big a girl are ya’?”

Who ya Gonna Call? Stress Busters!

In home life, tips, work at home basics on December 6, 2009 at 5:31 am

OK, that was a hideously corny title. Forgive me… but here is a helpful piece on stress busting for WAHM’s. If you have any thoughts please comment!

Stress Busters

By: K C Groves

We are living in a world where stress abounds. How do we deal with it? And we do get to deal with it. Small amounts of stress can work for us. Deadlines can motivate us to get the jobs done instead of procrastinating. So there are times that stress can be beneficial. However, stress that is brought on by being in traffic too long, having a boss that is abusive or lack of money to pay bills is stress that can be more than we can take and, could even be a killer. So how can we make sure that kind of stress has a minimal impact in our lives? There are many stress busters that one can employ. However, I am only going to touch on a few.

1. Get adequate rest. Sometimes that is all you need and it costs only a little bit of time well spent. Our bodies are less stressed and can better handle any problem that comes along.

2. Our planet is about 70%+ water. So are we. And we lose lots of water each day. So drink up.

3. Get an aquarium or tabletop fountain. It’s amazing how soothing falling water can be.

4. Take time for yourself. That is not being selfish. You’re showing appreciation for the life that you have. You will be less stressed and this will also benefit those around you as well.

5. Provide a tranquil environment at home or have someplace where you can go and find serenity. Exciting times have their place and you will also find that having quiet time can be beneficial as well.

6. Consider taking supplements. Our food supply may be abundant, however, the nutrition we need may not be in the food. I’ve heard statistics that we would have to eat 42 bowls of spinach grown today to match the nutrition in 1 bowl of spinach grown in the 1950’s.

7. Take a walk or exercise. I was reading recently that moving helps you to change your mood by making you more positive.

8. Get a full body massage. You will love it.

9. Get Adequate Rest.  The bedroom must be a peaceful place to sleep. Researchers have suggested that there be no TV in the room, that the room be dark if you are a day sleeper and that it be a quiet, tranquil environment. How many hours do you sleep at night? Seven hours or less? Some of the research is indicating that most people should get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. For yourself you may feel that 7 hours works great. Or, you may find you need more than 7 hours. If you suspect that you should be getting a different amount of sleep than previously, try experimenting for a week to get the number of hours that might work. Take note of how you feel when you get up. Is it a good day? Do you accomplish your goals for each of those days? And how do you feel at the end of the day? If there is satisfaction and a normal degree of fatigue, maybe you have found the number of hours that will work best. Should we be concerned about sleep? Research would appear to show that we deal with emotional issues when we sleep. And if we don’t get enough sleep, those issues may not get resolved. Also, when we reach deep sleep, our bodies do most of the repairs at that time. A determining factor for the number of hours of sleep that an individual requires may depend on their level of health. If a person is experiencing poorer health, they may require more sleep than 7-8 hours.

Please keep in mind that everyone’s physiology will be a little different. In other words, everyone’s general body functions are basically the same but can have variations from other people’s. Some people’s bodies function better than others. And if your body function is good, you are going to feel less stressed. Getting adequate sleep can take stress from our bodies. This is one way we can reduce the stress in our lives. And all it costs is a little bit of our time. 

 K C Groves

DISCLAIMER: This article is issued with the understanding that while every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within is accurate, the author will not accept any responsibility for any loss or otherwise, as a consequence of using any of the information that has been presented. The opinions are those of the author who has researched the information and lives by these principles and techniques as well. Users are urged to seek medical advice before embarking upon or changing a course of medication or fitness program or before making extreme changes in their life style. K C Groves is a 67 year young widow, mother and daughter of parents in their 90’s. For over 15 years she was involved in the health field promoting and using supplements. Six of those years were working with products specifically designed for cancer patients and diabetics. Her interests are writing, reading, self improvement, playing games, becoming very business savvy, building web sites and spiritual growth. Stress Reducers-http://tinyurl.com/fountainz, Tabletop Fountains and Ebooks

When working at home isnt working…

In home life, Kids and family, tips, work at home on December 5, 2009 at 8:00 am

I found a wonderful post on this very subject. It is from a woman who owns her own firm and apparently employs others. She talks of meeting at coffee houses and such. She gives some wonderful organization tips and tips for keeping your sanity when working at home with kids.

Check it out here.

A cookbook like no Other

In give away, give aways, home life on October 13, 2009 at 7:37 am

Autumn for me is about getting grounded. Its about reminding myself of the most important things in my life and remembering to appreciate them. When I get in this frame of mind, away from the heated and frenzied days of summer, that I take up old routines like bigger fancier meals stock full of southern comfort foods.

Cooking so much gives me time to think about myriad subjects as the spoon goes round and round and my thoughts with it. The days activities, tomorows wish list, holiday preps and end of year wrap up neccessities all travel around in my head. New ideas present themselves, both personal and public, work ideas, family ideas, relgious thoughts, spititual ideas… And I feel more open to new ideas and to other perspecctives.

I wonder if its this karmic, renewal process that happens to me each year or if its just luck but I have found a new cook book that blows my mind. Its a Vegan cookbook but that ‘aint it, friends and neighbors. Bloodroot Volume 2 by Selma Miriam and Noel Furie is a collection of recipies from the famous vegan restauraunt, Bloodroot.

Its not just a cookbook but a series of fiery essays on feminism, vegetarianism, and a really interesting piece on the merits of coconut milk as opposed to dairy. Its like reading Ms Magazine with a WHOLE lot more recipies.

I really like the fact that the recipies are divided into seasons. Thats way fun. I loved the Banana Soup!

The Best news is Im giving away a free copy of this fantastic cookbook to one lucky winner.

In order to register for the cook book please blog about the contest and leave a post here telling us about it. Twitter about it for an extra entry. On 10/20/09 we’ll chose a name from all the entries and post the winner here! Good Luck!

Working at home with Family Issues

In freelance writing, Getting started wah, home life, work at home basics on September 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

One thing that many newly appointed work -at- homer’s do not take into consideration is what I like to call the “qualm quandry”. The qualm quandry is the never ending battle to stay working and keep on top of your game when your family is fighting against you, either purposely or not.

In the time that I have had this blog and the blog that preceded it, Managed Mayhem, I have had several catastrophes. I mean biggies. So I come from expereince. My m other died of lung cancer, my home flooded, I had someone I considered a close friend whom I had helped out repeatedly turn on me and try to ruin my career, I had marriage issues, teenage son issues and my father sied of lung cancer. I have had a breast lump issue that continues to haunt me and a tumor in my stomach. Is that enough? I have more if not.

The point is that during all this, I still needed to eat. My children still needed shoes and I had to keep the lights on.

What to do? Ah the “qualm quandry”. There is a way out of it. And its the only way.

Follow these tips to make through to the other side- ALIVE!

PRIVACY!

You must have privacy to work at home. Thats one of the biggest mistakes Ive ever made in my work at home career. I would work in the living room and in the kitchen. “After all-” Id say to myself, “I work at home to be around my kids and family. So why not be around them!”

But then someone would need a drink, someone would need a kiss, a fight would need refereed, hubby would need attention, a funny commercial would come on, the dishwasher would over flow, and then SHAZAM! the day would be gone and so would the work that I never got to do in the first place.

It is imperative to have privacy. Besides the reasons above, when tragedy strikes or qualms arise, there has to be a place where the entreprenuer can go to feel safe and at ease and able to think clearly for even just a few moments.

Seperation

Being able to seperate your home life from your work life is extremely hard when their all held within the same four walls. But again, it is imperative. When you go into work, you have to shut the door to your personal life just as you would if you were at an office, a restuarant or a department store job. Do your job. Concentrate on it and shut out the rest. This not only helps you to get your work done but eases your mind from the constant diatribe of of problems that race through when times are tough.

These are only a few of the things that have helped me in my quest to work from home. I hope that they help you as well.

Sushi- oh yeah baby

In home life, Kids and family on February 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I dont do blog posts like this often. I dont know why. I do videos and all kinds of crazy stuff on my Woman Condemned blog but this one is mainly for telecommuting.

However, I attempted to make sushi today- my all time favorite food in the world and it was a monumental event in my life. My whole family hates it but me. I love it. I dont have to wait to go out to eat to get it! I can have it whever I want it! Did I mention I love it?

I bought the wrap kit at Food Lion.

0212091532a1_edited You have to microwave the rice and then try to get a spoonful of it to stick to the sea weed wrap. I didnt do to good at that my first try. It kept sticking to my fingers and finally the wrap got to wet and ripped and fell apart.

sushi1  But I kept trying ( I just ate all the evidence of bad sushi wrapping before anyone saw it!)

I put avocado and crab meat on top of the rice and eventually I learned not to wait to long before starting to wrap it. They actually looked pretty good before I got to the last one and they tasted great.

sushi

I am available for sushi wrapping at your next event. Please email me for details.

Ten Tips for Setting Family Ground Rules for Your Home-Based Business

In Getting started wah, home life, Kids and family, work at home, work at home basics on February 11, 2009 at 5:09 am

One big challenge of running a business out of your home is balancing work and family. If you’re serious about succeeding, then it’s up to you to set up ground rules for your family to abide by.

Here are 10 tips for setting the ground rules that will allow you to run a successful home-based business and keep a happy home.

Establish a routine and stick with it. Families, and especially children, thrive on routines. If you set up specific times for both work and family, you’ll be more productive.

Carve out a workspace. Establishing a bona fide home office sets clear boundaries for family members. Keeping your work confined to your office will keep your business from intruding on your personal life. It will also protect important business information from falling prey to children’s spills, negligence, or well-inteneded but inappropriate participation.

Keep separate quarters. If possible, locate your office in a detached section of your home: garage, attic, furnished basement, or another location away from the main house. At the very least, make sure you have an office door that can be closed to give you some privacy.

Soundproof your office. Do what you can to keep your office quiet. Make sure that the family noises from the houses — dog barking, kids yelling — don’t distract you or intrude on your business phone calls.

Schedule quality family time. Make sure your children and significant other are an integral part of your daily routine. Set up sacred rituals — bedtime, family dinner together — and devote yourself entirely to your family during these times.

Explain flex time. One of the great perks of running a home-based business is it allows you a certain amount of flexible work hours. You can run midday errands and attend the occasional school function in the middle of the day. But explain to your family members that you may not always be in a position to be with them during the workday, that projects and clients might be the priority at a particular time in the day. Otherwise you risk disappointing them when you can’t make it to a school function or take care of a family issue.

Hire help. Hiring a housekeeper or a nanny to take up some of the slack can allow you to focus on your business and be more productive. Consider this part of the cost of doing business effectively.

Assign household chores. Negotiate ahead of time what chores need to be done and by whom. Let your family members know that you are depending on them to help you out, and that you expect and appreciate their help in making your business a success.

Establish telephone protocol. If possible, establish separate work and family phone lines and email addresses. It is also important to teach your children and your spouse that, if they happen to pick up your work phone, they should answer it professionally. They should identify the business and take a detailed message so you can return the call.

Create signals. Create a signal that makes it clear when you do not want to be disturbed. This could be something as simple as closing your office door when you are hard at work or even holding up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when on the phone.

From: http://www.allbusiness.com

The Biggest Lie WAHMs’ Tell

In freelance writing, Getting started wah, home life, Kids and family on January 22, 2009 at 4:40 am

Almost all of the advertisements you will see for companies hiring work at home moms will have the words “spend more time with the kids” or “stay home with your kids” or some variation thereof in the text.

May I just say – What a crock.

Oh you are home all right and the kids are too. Thats about the extent of the truth of that statement. No work- or very little- actually gets accomplished.
Working at home is no alternative to childcare.

If you work a telephone customer service job you know what I mean. You cant service the customer with little Billy clamoring for a juice box and his goldfish crackers.

I write from home.

Even that seemingly “do it anywhere” type of job isnt so easy at home. Have you ever tried to write a 1200 word white paper with 2 children wanting you to referee a fight, 3 involved in a discussion about who gets to squeeze the oranges for juice and 1 crying because her agenda flew out of the bus window on the way home from school? (Yes, that really happened.)

Truth is, if you work at home you will still need childcare. The idea of working at home with children under foot is a misnomer.
Thats not to say it cannot be done.

I know. I do it. But it is no way the sunny, delightful experience some companies paint for you.

I know this because that very fact is why I began to work from home. I had 4 children at the time and day care costs were more than I could make at any job with only an associate of science in business and journalism.
So how do you get work done and save on child care expenses? The answer is simply stated but annoyingly hard to accomplish.
I quickly learned that to work I needed to get creative. Get up earlier, stay up later and house work…fugettaboutit.
Ask for help from friends and relatives. Let the kids play out doors more often and set up “stations” for play ONLY when mommy is working. This helps A LOT!

The real point here is that if you want to do it you can. You will find a way to get it done if it is really in your heart to do it. You might be sleepy and have to buy new clothes sine you havent had time to do laundry since the 4th of July.
But it gets easier. Hang in there.

The Habits of the Highly Successful

In Getting started wah, Goals, home life, telecommuting, work at home basics on January 9, 2009 at 10:24 am

What is a habit anyway?

Dictionary.com says it is “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary”.

Hmmm… its easy to see how this could be helpful as well as harmful.
Ever wonder what habits really, really successful telecommuters engage in? Read on.

Remember when you were one of those unlucky souls running the rat race? Think back waaaaayyyy before you started your glamorous telecommuting career to when you got up every morning and went to work for someone else. The car radio concert and the commute to work, morning chit chat in the break room with a cup of coffee and then a quick check in on the days agenda – that all seems like prework tedium but in actuality its an important part of the process. Sometime, telecommuters lose thier rhythm – or cant find it to begin with- because of the lack of prework tedium. Its important to develop a prework routine to get yourself ready- mind and body- for your telecommuters work day. Play that morning radio show while sipping a cup of coffee at the kitchen table, checking out the days To-Do list. Set yourself up to work just like any other person. Routine is important.

Another important habit to be successful while working at home is to train your family and friends. This one is a big challenge for me because I have a large family and several community commitments. I am sometimes interrupted in the middle of a work day to solve a family issue or to make changes or addendum’s to community projects. It is really important to make sure everyone that knows you is clear on when they can call and when you will be able to be of assistance. Have voice mail or an answering machine to catch calls when you cant.

Have a work area that is designated only for that purpose. Be it the kitchen table or your bedroom closet- as long as you do your work there it is your office. Treat it as such.

Make sure that you behave during your workday as you would at any other workplace. Dont watch those Magnum PI re-runs (even though Tom Selleck is EXTREMELY hard to ignore), don’t indulge in the 3 martini lunch (very often) and dont do housework (oddly, that isn’t a problem for me).

The real key to successfully working at home is to be able to manage your home life with your work life since they have magically become one. Avoid things that you know distract you and focus on developing good work habits. Set yourself deadlines and stick to them. You can do it! Be your own boss, its the toughest job you’ll ever have.