When Writer’s Block Hits and Brute Force Just Doesn’t Cut It

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writers block

I’ve always been one of those who believe in brute force when it comes to handling writer’s block. Source Just sit down and write. Just do it. You have to chase motivation/inspiration with a club. I like those motivational quotes that tell you to just plod along and get it over with, and most of the time, it does work for me. There are times, though, when no matter how much brute force I apply, I just can’t get anything done – not even a single cohesive sentence. I think that I wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that this happens [Read more…]

What Do You Value as a Freelance Writer?

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At first glance, it may not appear that your freelance writing clients and your values are related. The types of gigs you go after, the people you decide you would like to work with and what you have decided is most important to you are very closely related. Good Income As a freelance writer, if you have made a decision that you want to make a lot of money (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding that making a high income is one of your goals), you will make a point of seeking out clients who have deep pockets. [Read more…]

Waiting for Confidence to Strike

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More than one person I know has said that they couldn’t work as a freelance writer because they don’t feel confident enough. I tell them that feeling confident is not a requirement; if I waited until I felt completely confident and I was wearing just the right outfit and the phase of the moon was just so, I would never reach out to any prospective clients. If you take how you personally feel about your job hunt out of the equation, you can get a lot more accomplished and be on your way to finding a gig that is a [Read more…]

Are You Trying to be a Big Deal or the Real Deal?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/04/are-you-trying-to-be-a-big-deal-or-the-real-deal/

Before I started freelance writing, I worked as a legal assistant. My first job was working at a very large firm (250 lawyers at the time) and I’ve worked for a sole practitioner, as well as a few firms with staffing numbers in between. One thing I noticed was that the lawyers who had the worst attitudes were generally the ones at or close to the bottom of the firm letterhead. (If a law firm lists its lawyers, the most senior ones are at the top.) The senior partners have already proven themselves and don’t need to go around telling [Read more…]

Freelance Writing Isn't Brain Surgery, But….

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Recently in my online travels, I came across a comment on a message board that got me thinking. The commenter stated that freelance writing is “an open door that invites anyone in.” This person goes on to say that well-educated and informed writers have to prove themselves. I agree that the Internet has opened up many possibilities for freelance writers. There are opportunities available online that simply weren’t offered a few years ago. And yes, many people think that they want to “get into” writing. It’s a situation of many being called, and few having what it takes to stick [Read more…]

Are You Waiting for Your Dream Job to Come?

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On the main blog on the Freelance Writing Jobs Network, Deb asked readers to describe their dream job. It has been really interesting reading the comments to see what other writers consider their ideal freelance writing gig, and it made me think about the next logical (to me anyway) question: Are you waiting for it to show up on your doorstep or are you taking steps to make the dream a reality? Waiting for your dream job to come is a bit like waiting for Prince Charming to show up on his white horse. While we may have all heard [Read more…]

Why I Don't Want to be a Rock Star Freelance Writer

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/01/why-i-dont-want-to-be-a-rock-star-freelance-writer/

I’ve seen more than a few ads looking for “rock star freelance writers,” and every time I see one, it just rubs me the wrong way. Really. To me, a rock star is someone who is all about image. They have a certain level of arrogance, and somewhere along the way, they lost track of their craft in favor of hype and excess. They might produce something that is in demand, but the public rarely finds out how many takes it took to produce the songs that we eventually buy. They live fast and die young. Or they may hang [Read more…]

Not Another End of the Year Blog Post

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/12/not-another-end-of-the-year-blog-post/

I know a lot of people enjoy the end of the year lists that are so popular online, in print and on television. I’m not one of them. It’s just not something that holds my interest. I’ve learned over the years that it’s probably not a good idea for me to make New Year’s resolutions. I tend to set the goal way too high, like resolving never to eat chocolate again when I have never been able to successfully give it up for Lent, without breaking the goal down into a plan to increase my chances of success. Since now [Read more…]

Bogus Signup Scam for Purecontent.com

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/11/bogus-signup-scam-for-purecontent-com/

I hate scammers and unfortunately there are far too many of them around. David Hobart from Purecontent has contacted me to help him get the word out about this one, and I am happy to oblige. People who work for this company are not required to download this software. Please e-mail [email protected] if you are contacted by this person. We have become the latest target of one of the many Online Criminals. An advert was placed by someone pretending to be an employee of Purecontent who purported to be attempting to sign up new writers. Why you may ask yourself [Read more…]

Do You Want to Hear About What Other Freelance Writers are Making?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/11/do-you-want-to-hear-about-what-other-freelance-writers-are-making/

When freelance writers talk about rates, the conversation can get heated very quickly. It’s a topic that a lot of us obviously feel very passionate about. Am I curious about how much other freelancers make? Well….. Yes and No. On one hand it’s helpful to know what the pay range is for what we do. The flip side is that unless the person sharing the information also gives details about the type of work they do, their level of experience, educational background, etc., I don’t have a frame of reference to put it in. Are they working full-time or part-time? [Read more…]

Will Taking a Low Paying Freelance Writing Job Hurt Your Career?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/10/will-taking-a-low-paying-freelance-writing-job-hurt-your-career/

I spotted a thread on a discussion forum in my online travels recently that caught my eye. The subject was whether taking a freelance writing job that pays at an entry-level rate is a good idea or if doing so will hurt your career. I have always been of the opinion that it’s better to be working than not doing so. My family enjoys eating and living indoors, so that’s a prime motivator for keeping busy. Simply because someone takes on a project that pays lower than they would normally accept doesn’t mean that they have done the one thing [Read more…]

The Freelance Writing World: Big Enough for Everyone

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I consider myself to be a feminist, and have been since the ’70s. Not in the “women of the world unite; all men are evil” way, though. I like and respect men, and I think that gender shouldn’t be the reason why girls and women shouldn’t be able to define success in any way that they choose. When it comes to the world of freelance writing and writers, I don’t think there is any “one size fits all” definition of success. When I started writing, I thought it would be wonderful if I could make enough money to buy groceries [Read more…]

Overcoming Your Freelance Handicaps

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My New Oxford American Dictionary defines “handicap” as follows: “a circumstance that makes progress or success difficult.” When it comes to finding work or completing our assignments, freelance or otherwise, we all have them. It could be a fear of rejection that keeps us from applying for a freelance writing gig or making a pitch to someone we really want to work with. The barriers may be due to a health condition, family responsibilities, or a lack of support from our nearest and dearest. In no way am I suggesting that we should all dump our respective baggage and find [Read more…]

Stand Up To Your Inner Bully

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/07/stand-up-to-your-inner-bully/

Bullying is not limited to the schoolyard, unfortunately. Even though I am way past the age when I would be going out for recess, I still get bullied. No, I’m not talking about people who use keyboard courage to say something snarky. The worst bully I know is…me. We all have an inner dialogue and there are times when mine is particularly nasty. It tells me things that I would never say to another living person. What does my inner bully have to do with finding freelance writing jobs? Well, it used to prevent me from applying for certain gigs [Read more…]

Let Go of Your Fear of Getting Fired

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Stop being afraid you’re going to get fired. When you are freelancing, you are working for yourself. The only person who can fire you is….you. The relationship between yourself and a client is not the same one that exists between and employer and an employee. When you are dealing with a client, you are an independent businessperson and – dare I say it – your client’s equal. When you are an equal, you negotiate terms instead of asking your boss for permission to do something. A client can’t take your job away from you like a boss can. If things [Read more…]

Rejection: A Fact of Freelance Writing Life

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No one likes hearing the word “No” when they are looking for work, and freelance writers are no exception. Part of doing this kind of work means that you are constantly talking to potential clients about your services, and you won’t get hired every time you answer an ad, submit a query, or send a pitch to someone you are interested in working with. Dealing with rejection is not always easy, and there are times when it can be very disappointing when you don’t get a gig that you felt you were a good fit for. I have heard other [Read more…]

BookRix: Social Networking for Writers

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/05/bookrix-social-networking-for-writers/

If you are looking for a new way to promote your work, you may want to visit Bookrix.com. This site was launched in the U.S. in December and now has an estimated 10,000 members. BookRix is a free resource where writers can upload content and have it published online in an ebook format – free of charge. If you don’t have a web site and are looking for a way to display your writing samples, consider putting them up at BookRix. The site’s ViewRix technology prevents your work from being copied, and you retain all rights to it. BookRix allows [Read more…]

When is the Right Time to Become a Freelance Writer?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/05/when-is-the-right-time-to-become-a-freelance-writer/

I admit that I lurk around on various message boards and the discussion that I see get me thinking. I’ve been following one discussion about when it’s a good time to launch a career as a freelance writer. These options have been suggested, and both of them have valid points: Save up enough money until you have several months’ worth of expenses and go full time. Start part time while working in a “day” job and build up a good client base and ease into freelancing. The idea here is to have some kind of a “fall back” position in [Read more…]

Would You Work for a Content Provider Company?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/05/would-you-work-for-a-content-provider-company/

Before I continue with this post, I want to clarify that when I am talking about content provider companies, I mean those that pay a half-decent rate, not $1.00 for 500 words. I’ve worked for content providers, and I think there are some positive aspects to working for them. Steady Work Since their business is providing content for site owners, these companies can probably supply you with work on a regular basis. You don’t need to find the work – the company looks after that aspect of it. Exposure to Several Topics When you are just starting out or you [Read more…]

The “Bread and Butter” Client

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There are some clients you can usually count on to keep you supplied with a steady stream of work. I call them “bread and butter” clients. The work can vary, depending on what the client has available, and if you develop good relationships with a few of them, you can avoid a lot of the “feast or famine” times that seem to be a part of so many freelance writer’s lives. The Trade Off I have a few bread and butter clients that I’ve been working with for awhile now, and the arrangment works out pretty well. I know that [Read more…]

Are You Passionate About Your Writing Career?

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To be a freelance writer, you need to have good writing skills. That’s a given. You also need to be able to follow instructions carefully so that you clients get what they want. Having good communication skills helps you to develop good working relationships. All of these are skills that you can develop and improve on over time, but there is still a piece to the puzzle that is missing….we talk a lot about being “cool” like it’s something we should be striving for, but I wonder why we don’t value being passionate about what we do.

Power Suits Not Included

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by Ellen Goldstein In Lisa Sonora Beam’s book The Creative Entrepreneur (Quarry Books, 2008), she presents the following journal prompt “Who is in my business advisory circle?” For the beginner freelance writer or editor, this can be a potentially traumatizing question. However, it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need an army of smart-phone-using, business-suited colleagues to have a business advisory circle (although for a few hours it might be nice); just a few people, some of whom you may already know, to give you advice about running a business. Mine your friends and family. Just as you have certain [Read more…]

Do You Treat all Your Clients Equally?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/04/do-you-treat-all-your-clients-equally/

I’ve been doing some reading about whether all clients are created equal, and most of what I have found suggests that they should be divided into categories depending on whether they are likely to give you more work and/or referrals. The idea is that you give better service to the clients that you have decided are most worth your while.

You Have a Full Plate: Do You Keep Looking for Work?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/03/you-have-a-full-plate-do-you-keep-looking-for-work/

Marketing should be a regular part of your schedule when you’re a freelance writer, but are there times when you should just focus on what you have in front of you? It’s a judgment call, and most people who work freelance know only too well that there can be times when you are so busy that you don’t know how you will ever get everything done and times when you are scrounging around for work. Ideally, you get to a point where you have steady work and you have a certain level of income every month, but that can change [Read more…]

The Broom Method of Building a Business

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Have you ever heard the expression that if you put enough pieces of straw together, eventually you will have a broom? That expression has been floating around in my mind recently, and it led me to think about building a successful freelance writing business. It is possible to build a business by starting off with small jobs first. When you first start working with a new client, they may start off by giving you a single article or a small assignment. This is a chance for both of you to get to know each other. You can turn it in [Read more…]

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