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Posts Tagged ‘enjoying what you do’

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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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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Recently I’ve become the Managing Editor of a newly formed company.  We manage blogs and provide content for our clients.  One of our main functions is to help sites get more traffic and a higher rank in Google.  It has been  an experience to be on the other side of the submit button.  All of these years of writing and I never really thought I’d be an editor.

In my mind editors always seemed all-knowing and aloof.  They seemed to have the power of life and death over my pieces and for a writer that can be very unsettling.  I have been blessed with some very knowledgeable and patient editors who have helped me grow as a writer.  I have also had the unfortunate experience to have nit picky editors who worried me over every little dot and comma on the page. 

I hope to become the kind of editor that can help a writer create a better piece of work, not the kind who is scary or makes a writer feel nervous about submitting their work.  Yes, I have had to turn down a few pieces, but I try to do it with tact and offer suggestions on how to make the piece better.  After all, I do still know what it is like to have to face criticism no matter how constructive it can be.

So, here I am, on the other side of the page. I kind of like it. It has brought new challenges and as I edit others work it has helped me be a better writer, too.

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When I started my freelance career, my focus was on health and beauty articles.  Recently I’ve had an assignment on World Extreme Cagewrestling.  If you knew me personally you’d know how humorous this subject is for me to cover.  I am the least athletic person you may ever meet.  I know nothing about the WEC.  I used to watch wrestling but when it became a huge soap opera I quit.  So off to the web to do research and I’ve actually found this subject quite interesting.  The amount of training these fighters go through is amazing.  I still can’t understand why grown men and women, yes women, go into a cage and beat the snot out of each other, but hey, whatever sinks your bobber. 

One of the most suprising things I’ve found is that although I’m a cosmetologist, writing about hair is sometimes difficult.  It’s one of those things where I know what I want to say, but it is so second nature I have a hard time putting it down on “paper”.  I’ve been hired to write some web content for a beauty salon and it’s been like pulling teeth getting it into an article format.  It did help when I was explaining to a friend what I was writing about because she was asking me questions.  She suggested that I act like I was explaining the subject to her and that she knew nothing about it, that has worked wonders. 

So, don’t be afraid to expand your horizons.  If you’re unsure about a subject, research it and when you write about it remember the questions you had at first.  If it’s a subject you’re familiar with it may help to pretend that you’re explaining it to a friend.  Who knows what I’ll be writing about next?  I can’t wait to see.

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Every week Jennifer Stewart of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia sends out a wealth of wisdom and information in her newsletter, Writing Tips.  She includes a bit of humor, well alot of humor, little known word wisdom and there is a link to The Never Ending Story.  You can click on it and add your two cents worth.  Believe me, it is worth it to read the entire story.  The posts are very imaginative and quite funny.  I plan to put my spin on poor Dr Morgenes adventures soon.  Go ahead, do it!

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I’ve recently gotten hired for a few gigs on ODesk.  There are hundreds of jobs there. Some pay good, some don’t.  The folks I’ve worked for have been great and paid me on time.  I’m impressed with the global aspect of ODesk.  There’s people on there from all over the world.  You have a chance to expand your horizions on a global scale.

Basically you sign up for an account and then you get ODesk ready.  You do this by updating your profile, posting your resume and taking skill tests.  All of this for free!  The more tests you take the more employers know about your abilities and are willing to give you a go.  What I really like is that it is an even playing field.  You take tests, present yourself well and get jobs.  Your employers can rate you and you can rate them.  You set your pay and the person who hires you pays the fee. 

So, if you’re looking for some work, give ODesk a try.  They’ve got hundreds of openings for several types of jobs, not just writers.

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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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