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Archive for the ‘writing’ 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.

Writing For Demand Studios

In freelance writing, Wahm, work at home, writing, writing mom on January 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm

There is much controversy in the writing community on whether or not Demand Studios is the place to work or if it is a cesspool of bullshit articles for bullshit pay. It isnt so bad really. I registered with Demand in 2008 and wrote for them sporadically. They pay on time  but it isnt an easy place to work. The constant differences in what editors tell you is ridiculous. I have had one editor tell me to do something one way and then another ask for a rewrite for doing it that way. Im not the only one that has noticed this. Look around at other mom blogs and on WAHM forums and you’ll see.

The pay is considerably lower than what Im used to as well. Freelancing at magazines and newspapers will bring in quite a bit more but for web content it could be worse. So for now, I’ll keep my two private clients and use Demand Studios to hit the low spots in between. They do try to be consistent, fail as they may. They also take themselves and their writers seriously. That is important for a web content provider. Writers hate to be treated as expendable- even if they are. We like to know that what we have created for you is something of value that you appreciate.

So, as I said, I shall plod on for the time being…

a guy walks into a bar…

In blogging, freelance writing, Wahm, work at home, writing, writing mom on January 8, 2010 at 6:58 am

Ive been reading Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz.

Ive seen her other book, Writer Mama but Im already doing fairly well as a writer raising a family (I do an inordinate amount of screaming and yelling and ordering people out of the room but Im paying the bills…lol) so I didnt see the need to buy that book.  Of course that might change.
But I saw a tweet of hers about the Get Known book and thought… What the hell…
I write about crime, inmates, and women on death row. Its important to me for many personal reasons but also because the death penalty is just plain wrong. Ive been doing it for over five years. I planned to write a book about my experiences with the women on death row but then three things happened to me that stopped me dead in the water-

My mother died of lung cancer and I sat and watched it. Its a heartbreaking, earth shattering thing. Not long afterthat  I had a person I thought of as a dear friend try to ruin my life after she used me incessantly for years and then my father died of lung cancer.

I was emotionally drained and it was all I could do to just make enough money to pay my living expenses. It seemed life kept firmly sticking its celestial finger in my solar plexus and giving it a good jab just for the hell of it.

Any way- back to Christina. My book was a dream I let go a long time ago. Life had taught me the lesson that I was no one to have any dreams. Just give it up Kelly and do the 9-5 thing and realize your just another writer out there. No one special. I bought Get Known Before the Book Deal because I wondered if my work Id done so long ago could be revised at all. If it was still valid platform building work. I wondered if it had been working for me all the while I was giving up on it.

I read the first few chapters and realized I did have a platform for my book. I have the website that gets 1000 hits or more a day, my blog gets several hundred a day and my articles at Ehow and Associated Content on the subject are hit on every single day. Hmmmm…

In Chapter 6 Christina talks about crafting your niche. I almost skipped over that part. I have my niche crafted for me. Its the women on death row right? Wrong. I read on and discovered I didnt REALLY have a niche. While women on death row is a fairly small area of capital punishment it isnt a real niche. I went back and made a few changes to my blog. On page 38 she talks about condensing things to make yourself more accessible to the public. I took that advice (or I have started to.I think this will be a process) and then I updated my contact information and changed things around a little.

The very next day I received an email from a lady in Australia who said shed found me through my Ehow articles and then my site and blog. She had questions about how to find an inmate she was interested in writing about and how to go about it. I thought, Holy Shit. I think I have a platform. I think I have the beginnings of a platform, at the very least I am doing on or two things right.

So just for shits and giggles, why dont you follow me while I follow her advice and see if this thing really works out for me! Oh, and wishing me a little luck would be cool too.

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’?”

Telecommuting Work Right Now

In Getting started wah, gigs, writing on November 18, 2008 at 5:41 am

Looking for writers


Reply to: job-922488336@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-11-17, 9:47AM CST
We are online shopping site looking for people to write a reviews on our products. You will be paid based on the number of reviews you write. I am looking for somebody with decent English writing skills. Work as your schedule permits.We are looking to pay $10-$20/review and each review must be atleast 400 words.

Interested persons can reply with experience and contact info.

Editor


Reply to: job-923770971@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-11-18, 3:32AM CST

SPECIFIC DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

A. Develop grant proposals and update donor information
1. Research, write and prepare, under the direction of the  Community Relations Director, grant proposals to be submitted to  government agencies at the federal, state and local levels.
2. Research, write and prepare, under the direction of the  Community Relations Director, proposals to be submitted to foundations and businesses.
3. Add and update information in the development database.

Bloggers need for sports websites


Reply to: gigs-917827199@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-11-13, 2:37PM CST

I’m looking for a few real sports fans who can write. I run a network of fan blogging websites covering nearly every sport and I need some sports bloggers to contribute on a regular basis. Experience is not necessary if you can write well. You just need to be a fan with passionate opinions and you need to be able to put those opinions into words. There is some pay. Nearly all sports are covered in our network of sites including boxing, horse racing, mixed martial arts, MLS soccer, Nascar, NHRA drag racing, NFl/NCAA football, NBA/NCAA basketball, NHL Hockey, MLB baseball, tennis, golf, poker, high school football, and the WNBA Please tell me what your favorite sport is and why it is your favorite.

Mamas Play Bejeweled!

In writing on October 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm

I know you have played Bejeweled. It is the classic gem swapping game from PopCap.

It has been scientifically proven to reduce stress in women, did you know that?

I did not. But I am not surprised.

I think I am about to learn so many more things about Bejeweled and PopCap. I have been invited to attend the huge Gala Event unveiling the super secret launch of a brand new popcap game Bejeweled Twist! 

You all may be able to join me there! Pocaps website will go down for six hours prior to the event. It will come back to life during a live webcast of the event!

See if you can spot me. Ill be the tall redhead looking thrilled to death!

Use what you got

In home life, writing on October 7, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Autumn is my favorite season. It is the preferred time of year for many people. Ask them why and you’ll get a bevy of answers; most entailing the lovely colors of nature and the temperature change. Some replies will have to do with holidays, birthdays and other events. Fewer still will mention personal reasons and memories and probably least of all will mention careers and work.

Me- as usual- would reply with a convoluted combination of the two least normal reasons.

I have a peculiar personality quirk wherein I am very nostalgic, sometimes to the point of melancholy. Fall brings about those feeling ten fold. Also due to changes like school schedules etc. I have more free time on my hands than usual. I spend it writing and working at home much more than I am usually able to.

But its the combination really that makes fall such a productive time for me. I will often find myself staring out the window with a mug of steaming black coffee as my mind drifts back to my past. Inevitably Ill find a story idea somewhere in my tangled memories.

My point is, use your day- however it presents itself. Use whatever your life hands you and create your future with it.

Who gives a crap about mom blogs?

In home business overview, writing on October 6, 2008 at 12:31 am

I’ve heard it before and I know you have too. When people find out you have a blog about being a mom they wait to hear the punch line. “And people read it?” I remember my brother saying to me years ago when I first began to blog.

People do read it. Not just other moms either. Thats the case with this latest Internet sensation “Mommy Blogs”. Believe it or not some real talent is emerging and we arnt the only ones noticing.

Check out this article from Problogger.com. Five Reasons Why Mom Blogs Are the Ones To Watch!

We knew it all along!

Home Business- when you cant pay the set-up fee

In Getting started wah, home business overview, writing on September 1, 2008 at 4:07 pm
If you are just getting acquainted in the Work at Home World 

or if you have been around for a while and still not found exactly what 
you’re looking for make sure that you have considered all your options.

 

Working at home does not just mean working for a telecommuting company 

that hires home workers. Although this is a great option, it isn’t your only one. 

When I first began writing some 15 odd years ago it was few and far between. 

I started when my first born (now 17!) was a tiny little baby and I had just finished 

my A.S degree. I wrote a few pieces for Outlaw Biker magazine. I was paid. 

I felt special and I went on to have a few more tech pieces published 

but soon enough my second son was born and I suddenly didn’t have the same passion 

for getting published. 

I still wrote but I wanted a job that was more structured. 

I didn’t want the burden that freelance writing puts upon you of coming up 

with the idea, writing it querying it and waiting for your rejection or acceptance. 

 

So I looked for other work. 

My first wahm job was with Cypher Services. 

They were a document coding service that has since closed its virtual doors. 

I quickly learned that while the job in itself was easy to do it was also dull as dirt. 

I was bored spitless whenever Id sit down to work and it took a toll. 

I would procrastinate like crazy then end up having to rush to hit deadlines. 

Sigh… Back to the drawing board.

 

I tried the various texting companies for a while and while that is fun and interesting work 

I couldn’t get enough to make ends meet. 

I eventually began writing again but I also took a position with Bizymoms.com 

helping moms interested in working from home.  

It was then that I really began to see how many alternatives there are to work at home.

 

You don’t have to baby sit or sell avon to make money at home. 

No need to pay hundreds of dollars for the “start up kit” to that guaranteed home business.

There are literally thousands of home businesses you can start at home with little to no start up.

You only need your imagination, determination, a sharp business sense and the drive to succeed no matter what. 

The down payment/set up fee/investment involved in home businesses is always a pain. Most companies have a deal where the proceeds of your first home party will go to the purchase of your kit. They dont always tell you that tho so ASK!  

Have you ever thought of starting a creative letter business? This is where you write letters from Santa, Easter Bunny or The Tooth Fairy. You market them to the community and schools. Run a discount or fundraiser. The possibilities are endless and this type of business continually makes money year after year. I’ve done this one myself and raised $1700 in a few months for my children’s school.   BizyLetters Career Kit What about tutoring or teaching a special skill? So many moms have special skills they count as hobbies or silly little time wasters. Can you twirl a baton? Instruct? Can you draw sing, paint? Are you great in English or math? Can you speak Italian? Cash in on your skills and teach them!   Tutormonster Career Kit Live by a college? Start editing and proofreading term papers. Start a resume service or desk top publishing company. Are you friendly and outgoing? Consider starting a neighborhood welcome service. Where you a career woman before becoming a stay at home mom? Why not use the skills and background you have from your work and become freelance technical writer?   Bizy Welcome Service Career Kit All of these things can be done without buying a kit. It is harder without a kit. If you are a good researcher and don’t mind asking questions you can do it without the benefit of a kit though. Learn to research home business ideas to the fullest. The internet and your library, heck- even television- are wealth of free information. Take free and low-cost classes and lectures. Research Tips for the Internet) Take your passion and let it inspire your bank account as well and your spirit!

Disorganized Diva

In home life, writing on August 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm
In light of the disorganization dilemma Ive had lately 
I decided to hunt out other wahm  ideas for re-organizing.

 

I wasn’t always this bad. 
At one time I really had my act together but after a series of mishaps last year 
the stress and constant distractions slowly turned me into that crazy college professor 
with four pencils stuck in her frizzy hair bun peering over the heap of crap she calls a desk.

 

I am also easily distracted. 
With two teenage boys my home is almost always full of teens. 
I'm always needed for a hug or a ride or a plate of pizza rolls and kool aid.

 

During the school day it is a little easier to get work accomplished but as I said, 
I am hopelessly easy to distract. 

 

Just this morning I sat on the porch with coffee cup safely beside me and laptop at the ready 
when my neighbor strolled up. He commented on the smell of my coffee all the way into his yard. 
So he had a cup and I had another cup 
and we conversed on the type of coffee and the woodpecker invasion of late 
and how mild a summer we’ve had. 
Then we talked about the pumpkins growing in my garden and as he walked back across my yard 
I thought how nice it would be to make my moms recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. 

 

I decided to email my aunt for it and as I was doing that 
I thought how I should get that pork roast out for dinner. 
Then it was 10:00 a.m. and I couldn’t remember what I was about to do.
 Standing in the kitchen rubbing my head I thought-
 “I was doing something important a minute ago…what was it?”

 

Oh yeah… working…

 

Doh!

 

Anywho- I found these articles with tips I found helpful. Hope you do too!

 

 How to Avoid Work at Home Distractions
How to Stay Motivated