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Archive for the ‘Freelance Musings’ Category

Although I’d written in some format for at least 18 years, I never thought about making it a full time venture until recently.  I knew I was always very well-rounded in many aspects of writing – whether it was academic-based, poetry, creative writing – you name it, I could draft a writing piece quite quickly and quite proficiently.  I was also very good at working with people.  I remember getting the “Dear Abby” award at camp one year for my advice-giving skills and the fact that I had an approachable personality.  You can have all the great advice in the world, but if you can’t get the person to talk, it’s really quite useless.

So, I guess you could say I had two talents, writing and helping people, and I chose to expend my time and energy (and let’s not forget money) getting a degree in the latter.  It was still money well spent, as I really enjoyed, and still do, helping others figure out how to solve problems.

The last several years of my life have been working at a residential facility with female adolescents.  Not the easiest job, I must say, for several reasons.  First, adolescents aren’t always the most insightful individuals, as life usually revolves around them in their minds and connecting actions to consequences is often a foreign concept.  In addition, you take a teenager who did not make a conscious choice to be sitting in my office (some were escorted to the facility via strangers in the middle of the night) and you definitely have your work cut out for you.

I will take a moment to pat myself on the back, however, at the success that I had with these kids.  First and foremost, a relationship had to be built.  I could not come at them telling them what their problems were.  There would be no way to break through the anger and hurt they felt from being ripped away from family and friends.  So, I honed my skills even more in the relationship-building department. 

But in the last six months or so when “life” got in the way and working as a therapist no longer fit into my plans, I put full-time effort into my other talent – writing.  I say full-time because I had never put it on the back burner necessarily.  It was more on that smaller burner right next to the big one up front.

Although, as a writer, my office is at home and I don’t sit trying to help solve life problems for teenage girls all day (just my 11 year old daughter), one connection I have made between the two occupations is the #1 need to build relationships.  Albeit, it’s sometimes more difficult over a computer, and I have to hone these skills in different ways, I wouldn’t have the client base that I do had I not had this foundation in place.

I feel I have made a successful transition from one career choice to another, and I look back with no regrets.  I’ve been asked if I regret going to school to become a therapist, as to the onlooker the large student loans I accumulated would probably make many question the same thing.  The answer is no.  Each skill I learned, each paper I wrote, all added to my repertoire of aspects I put into my everyday writing.  I have not lost the therapist in me as a writer no more than I lost the writer in me as a therapist.  They are both what makes me, well, me.

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Although I have written for many years, I’ve only recently made the decision to venture out into full time freelance writing.  I’ve considered myself pretty lucky with the projects I’ve personally landed, but as I’ve looked through various projects on the market, I’m dismayed at the low pay that some people offer.

Freelance ≠ Free Work!  Yet when I see projects being offered at $.02 a word, I wonder if writers really hold themselves to such low standards?  The spectrum I see going from the low price quoted above (and even lower!) up to $2+ a word simply amazes me. 

The reason I have done fairly well for myself in my venture into full time freelance, I believe, is because I know my worth.  I simply will not accept such low pay.  I am an excellent writer, and I, along with other excellent writers, deserve more.  More pay, but more respect.

I’m thankful for those who I have worked with thus far, as they have shown me respect with great communication, feedback and pay.  The old adage is true – “You get what you pay for.”  I hope those who are offering $.02 a word are getting EXACTLY what they pay for.

 

…And that’s my $.02

  

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I was informed yesterday that LinkedIn was a great site for freelancers (or anyone for that matter) to get networked.  So, being the ever-evolving, ever-expanding freelancer that I am, I signed up.  Amazingly, in a matter of about 6 hours, I had 6 connections (1:1 not being a bad conversion if I do say so myself) and 2 recommendations. 

Doing great work for people pays off in many ways.  Obviously, there’s the monetary value, but really, what good is the monetary value if you only get one project?  It better be a great paying project if that’s all you’re going to get.  There’s always the hope that whoever you are providing the service for will like your work so much that they think of you when the next project comes around.  Both of my recommendations profess that they plan to use my services on future projects.  One of the two I’m already doing freelance work for that has nothing to do with the original project I did. 

Another hope, and it helps with sites like LinkedIn, is that the individual will think to recommend you to others who may need same or similar services.  That’s really what this whole “networking” idea is about, isn’t it? 

The moral of this story is this:  Do above expectations work, network (network, network), and be available for projects that you know you can do, but that will also expand your talents and mind.  At least that is my own vision and personal mission statement.

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Crazy News Article

Centerton, Ark (St Petersburg Times 11/23/07)This small town of 2,146 people has plenty to talk about at the local coffee shops. Their very own mayor decided to step down from his political position last month due to a revelation that he isn’t really Ken Williams, but instead Don LaRose, an Indiana preacher who abandoned his family in 1980. Mr LaRose revealed that he was abducted by Satanists at that time who brainwashed him, erasing the specifics of a murder that he was privy to. How did he get his memory back? Well, thankfully, by taking some truth serum!


Some people wake up not quite feeling themselves. I guess some people wake up not quite being themselves.

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