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Archive for the ‘Rants and Raves’ Category

I’ve started a new blog on Blogger and it’s all about SEO and what do I preach constantly on there? Post, post, post. And what have I done here? Forgotten about my poor little WP blog and let it gather dust. I’ve been making sure my clients all have current posts, but my own original blog has all but died.

What can I learn from this? Practice what I preach and get off my duff and start to post on  here more often. Sheesh…how can I expect to get new clients if I can’t even do this for myself.

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Well, okay maybe not fame, but I can dream can’t I? A new emag from Australia called Vitality Bulletin has published two of my articles in its premier edition. My pieces are on pages 9-10 and 12-13. On page 3 I’m listed as a Contributing Writer. Cool, huh?

I still get a thrill from seeing my work in print, whether it is online or hard copy. It sounds trite, I know, but we truly are artists. Words are our medium and the internet and print are our canvases. Writing is still fun for me and I hope that I never lose that feeling. Some days it takes all I have to get words down, but once I get done I have a sense of accomplishment. On other days I can write for hours and still be ready to write some more.

Early in my freelance career, which is by confession still very new, I had to learn to let my work go. So much of what I write goes out into the world without my name on it. Web content is pretty much ghost writing and it was hard to know that my work would be claimed by someone else. But I started to look at it as a service that I’m performing. As long as I’m happy with the pay I’ve received for my work, that is what matters.

At first when I was breaking into Freelance writing,  I started with Demand Studios. Yes, I know, you’re thinking Content Mill…but really Demand Studios has high standards. Their editors check your facts and have no patience for plagiarism. Writing for them taught me discipline and the pay is pretty good for the amount of work you have to put into a piece. One of the most important lessons I learned was to use reliable sources. This forced me to find good factual sources for my information and that in turn I believe has made me a better writer.

So, where’s all this going? I have no idea, seems like I was in the mood to wander all of the spectrum this morning. Writers do that ya know…

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My computer has been off to be repaired for a few weeks. Now I have it back and it is working great, but all of my files are gone. No sample articles are left, no more resume, no bookmarks for the net that I’ve spent months collecting…gone…poof!

One of my friends asked me if I had everything backed up offline…well, no. Now I will though. So a word to the wise, back up everything!

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I know it’s been ages since I’ve updated this blog. My new job keeps me pretty busy but I’ve got the weekend off so I thought I’d put some thoughts down on “paper”. One thing that I’ve learned is that I have to take care of myself. It is so easy to get wrapped up in a job you love that time seems to pass quickly and before you know it you’ve been sitting at the computer for a few hours. I’ve learned that I need to get up and move around more, stretch, give my eyes a break and eat at regular intervals.

Sleep. Everyone needs it, but few of us get enough. How many nights do writers lie in bed thinking of plots, characters, the next big project, the project that keeps haunting your thoughts and not get the sleep we need to be productive? Too many nights than I want to admit to. Turning your mind off is hard when you’re creative. Some of my best ideas come right before I go asleep. Then I spend the night in my dreams working out the details only to awaken and be blank. That old adage about keeping a notepad and a pen by your bed is fine if you don’t need glasses to see what you’re writing.

So take care of yourself. Get some rest, eat regularly and remember to get up from your computer once in a while. Do these things and you’ll have more energy and be more productive.

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Carson Brackney has a very articulate post on his blog, Content Mills, Angela Hoy, Search Engines and the Quality of Online Writing.  He brings the point up, and I agree that those of us who write for “content mills” make some writers nervous and that is why they are so quick to criticize.  Check it out, he makes a lot of sense and has great style while doing it.

And yes, I do know that I mixed metaphors.

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I have been putting off this post for a while because I wasn’t really sure if I could address this in a civil manner. Much has been said on many blogs for and against Demand Studios. Some writers feel that by writing for them we are somehow cheapening the writing industry. Others feel, like I do, that Demand Studios gives writers a place to write about what they want, when they want and to get their work out there in public view.

One blog actually said in so many words that those of us who wrote for Demand Studios were too lazy to promote ourselves. On the contrary, I use my articles that get published to eHow.com through DS to do just that. When a prospective employer wants to see what I have had published, I can give them my link on eHow and they can go there and see my work.

I’m sure there are those who figure they can just go to DS and write anything they want and it will get published. No, you can’t. The editorial team at DS hold their writers accountable for unique content and reliable sources. I’ve had two articles rejected because I failed to cite the proper studies or couldn’t back up my claims in my articles. When I get an article returned for a rewrite, the editor gives me suggestions on how to make it better and what DS requires for the article to be published. It impresses me that the editors don’t just check for spelling and grammar mistakes, but actually take the time to go to your references and check the facts.

Demand Studios may have a reputation for a content mill, but spend a few months writing for them and you will find out that just isn’t true. It’s the same old saying, “don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”. Well, don’t judge me until you write for DS and actually know what you’re talking about.

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Computer Woes

So I finally got a new computer. Long story short you should not have more than one internet provider software on your computer at once.  Can you say frustration???  Friday I’m supposed to be getting a high speed modem from our phone company and hopefully that will fix the problem. 

There I was, all excited that I could cruise the net and do some work from home only to have my hopes dashed.  Sigh…so in the mean time, my blogs, NaNoWriMo project and email will have to wait.  Only one more day until my new modem arrives.  It better work or I’ll be in serious withdrawl. I’m at the local university now posting this but they are miles away from my house. Gas is expensive and my patience is short.

 

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