freelance

So I've Gone A Little Crazy

CrazyFace.jpeg

Keeping the crazy in……

If you talk to my kids or my husband they will say I’m always crazy. So how much more could I be?

They aren’t wrong but this type of crazy is exclusive to my writing life.

After not doing too much of anything related to writing for about a year, I’ve suddenly been on fire. If you poke around my website you will see a new page - Freelance Services. I’ve decided that I would like to get a writing business off the ground. I have written a handful of blog posts for businesses but its via Verblio aka BlogMutt which is a content mill blog site. I don’t love it. At. All. But it is a way for me to get the business going. I’m working on a Letter of Introduction and generating a list of contacts. My goal is to send the mailing out in January 2019.

In addition, I wrote an essay that I am almost ready to begin the querying process for and am working on a feature article that I hope to find a home for in the next month or two. Yes, I wrote them first instead of pitching the idea first but hey, I’M WRITING. :)

Around the same time a writer’s group I’ve belonged to for three years, Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) surveyed their members in our state to see if there was any interest in getting together. There was and since someone needs to own making it happen I, along with two others, stepped up to organize this. Our initial meet & greet will happen sometime January 2019.

Due to the above, I connected with a writer who lives about 20 minutes from me! And she connected me with a local writer’s group!

I can not begin to tell you how freaking happy these two things make me. I have been searching for so long to find fellow writers. I’m like the desperate kid on the playground who just wants to be included in the game.

And then tonight, I applied to be a mentee in a mentorship program being offered for the first time by WFWA. Because at the end of the day what I really want to be is an accomplished writer. Creating stories that people get lost in.

How to kill the muse

Wow - so much for my intentions of writing a blog post a month.......

I have spent a good deal of the time I was MIA writing, well, really revising. I think I don't mind the revision process. It was not as arduous as I thought it would be. But that thinking makes me nervous - like maybe I didn't do it right because I didn't find it difficult or awful. Or maybe it was because my revisions were based on developmental editing feedback and not copy editing? Argh! Maybe I should not have such an 'easy peasy' attitude about the editing process yet. 

I suppose I will have another opportunity to explore the editing phase of writing since I decided to have the manuscript go through another developmental editing review. I reached out to the same editor and we worked out a deadline for me to complete the changes and get the piece back into her hands. 

I also made some progress, or rather, attempts at expanding my experiences in writing. I wrote and submitted a mini-essay for an online magazine. The piece was not accepted but I was encouraged to try again.

I applied and was accepted into a content mill type of blogging website. Honestly, I've been on the fence for a mighty long time about tossing my hat into that ring. But for a very particular reason (which I'll get to in a second) I made the effort. The first blog I wrote didn't get picked up which didn't bother me as much as I thought it might. Unfortunately, I got so busy with revising my draft that I had to set the content mill gig aside. 

Besides revising my draft, the other big thing that has taken up much time is all the stuff one has to do when they decide to sell their house! Yup, my husband and I have chosen to pull up our roots and re-plant them about 800 miles away.....and because the way we like to roll is to make things as complicated as possible, we are building our new home.....let me point out again this is 800 miles away.

We have had to de-clutter our home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. For years my husband has talked about how we need more 'artwork' to hang on our walls. I asked him if he still felt this way as we bubble wrapped and packed what had to be 60 pieces of wall hangings - family pictures, kids artwork that we framed, and various other pieces. And we have had to grow thick skins pretty quickly when we read the feedback from people who have come to look at our house. Not to mention having to run around, stashing kids toys under beds and couches, shoving papers laying on the counters into kitchen drawers, collecting all the electronics and taking them, our dog and ourselves out of the house whenever we've had a showing. There has GOT TO BE a better way. 

So, getting back to the content mill blogging, I thought it would be a good time for me to start to generate a bit of income. Even if it is just enough to pay for groceries. Or the cost of hiring an editor ;)

Amid all of this, we celebrated my baby's 5th birthday. I am so grateful for his presence in my life and I am loving this time of his childhood. He is bright, curious, funny and a chatterbox! He has been my constant companion and I already mourn the time I will lose with him when he starts kindergarten in the Fall. 

Is it wrong that I encouraged people to give him gift cards so I wouldn't have to pack up yet another truck/train/jet? 

I have not had any creativity zipping through my head since we started what has to be the biggest project hubby and I have undertaken in our marriage, outside of having children and raising them. 

What's going on this year

It's been awhile since I've written anything about how my writing is going. The good news is it is going.....just not exactly the direction I thought it would when I decided to go for it 18 months ago. 

First, last fall I took a three night workshop on how to break into writing for magazines and other publications aka freelance writing. The author who taught the class is someone who has fingers in many different writing pies and a list of articles as well as a few books to her credit. And she is a great speaker - I could have listened to her talk about writing for many more nights. I signed up for this workshop because I've had an idea for an article brewing in my head for months. The article is based on an experience I had several years ago and I just have a strong feeling like I should 'speak' about it. I'm very glad I took the classes because I definitely would have approached writing in this area all wrong. Fast forward to this past weekend. I just sent my first query letter out. It took me three months to research what publications may be interested in my idea, line up my expert, and draft and revise my letter many times. Now I sit and wait; this publication keeps queries for six months. I'm opting to only query one publication at a time since I'm more comfortable dipping my toe as opposed to just jumping into the deep end. But I do have other publications lined up in case the response is "No thank you." 

On the last night of this workshop, the speaker quickly mentioned a new emerging area in writing that she herself had just taken a class on - content writing. Loosely, it is writing content for websites, helping them better populate their pages with information. She suggested that this might be something for us to consider down the road, after better establishing our freelance writing careers. I immediately thought of a local organization where I know the director very well and whose website needed a lot of revamping. I hemmed and hawed about approaching her for two reasons. One, I wasn't sure how, if at all, this fit in my vision of myself as a writer. Would I get sucked into doing this kind of writing and not have time to do the writing I want to do? Two, I was wary because she has wanted me to come work with her for a few years now. We've had conversations about it but each time I ultimately declined the position. I was pretty confident that, based on this history, if I reached out to her to offer my services in this way she'd gladly take me up on the help. Ultimately, I decided to not pass up this opportunity since I have no idea if another one would be pretty much handed to me and reached out to her. She said yes and asked me if I could help edit some documentation too. 

So here we are: one query letter pending and my first freelance content writing and editing gig. I'm feeling very excited and nervous!    😟