Posts Tagged ‘Freelance writing’

Why do you write: for self or for publicity?

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” 

Cyril Connolly (1903 – 1974)

This is a quote I heard at the tail end of an episode on Criminal Minds – it was a fitting epilogue of what had just taken place, given that the criminal in question had been leaving strange writings on the bodies of his victims.

That line set me thinking, why do writers write? What is the real motivation behind the endless hours of typing and researching and compiling and editing? Perhaps it is to satisfy the ego or a deep inner need in our lives. Or perhaps it is for others to know that we can write, or for them to read our books, magazines and articles for pure entertainment or for knowledge sake.

The quote above gave me food for thought though. What would be more important to you when you write, your self or the public?

Let me know what you think…

Feel free to share this post as often as you want on facebook, twitter, or your blog.

Have a great weekend!

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Keep Your Scribal Juices Flowing!

Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

I regularly attend a writer’s forum where we encourage and build one another to become better writers. I have found it to be both enlightening and challenging as I keep learning new things. Recently, the leader of the forum decided to veer off our usual menu of reading and critiquing poems, short stories and essays and decided to talk about writing itself. He insisted that for one to be considered a true writer, he/she must write every day. Well, the response was not quite what he expected and a long discussion ensued about whether we should write ‘everyday’ or ‘as often as possible’.

The bone of contention was that it is hard for the average person to write often because sometimes the will or energy to write is not there. It’s not easy to keep the juices flowing! True. However, if one is to persist with that attitude in their writing career (or any other career for that matter) then we would have very little literature in the market.

Writing is a pursuit that must be nurtured often; the regularity depends on individual abilities and circumstances. Notwithstanding that, every writer has to find a way of motivating themselves to pen new thoughts, ideas, stories, descriptions, suggestions, etc. There is no universal rule of doing it; you just have to go for what works best for you. However, there are a few things you can do to maintain your passion beyond the norm.

Look for what inspires you:
Many writers work from inspiration, meaning that something in their environment triggers the desire to write, or provides the subject for a story. Find that single inspiration and keep it close by if you can. It could be an environment of complete silence, like when alone in the house; it could be nature, the outdoors, driving to a rural area, being at the lakeside, watching children play, listening to slow music, etc.

Spend a good amount of time reading:
There’s no better writer than a reading writer. I believe that reading fosters writing, and the more you read the more you get ideas to write about. Reading often exercises the mind to think in different ways and can also trigger you to evaluate your own writing as you compare it with others.

Allocate specific time for writing:
In the same way that you allocate time for bonding with your friends, do the same with your writing gift. You need to constantly and consciously get in touch with your writing ‘soul’ in order to develop it, and making time for it deliberately is the best strategy. It may appear a bit stiff at first, having to writ only at a certain time, but once you get into a steady routine you will be glad for it. It helps you focus completely on the task at hand without getting distracted.

These are three simple things you can apply immediately to your writing life. Go on, keep your scribal juices flowing with these suggestions and I hope you enjoy yourself.

Quality Assurance for Content Writers

When you get a huge workflow of content writing and the clients are diverse with varying requirements and expectations, how do you manage your output to ensure high standards are still maintained? How do you make certain that your clients are always satisfied with work done?

Quality Assurance is not a new concept in management circles but I wonder how many freelance writers have a QA system in place for their work?

Recently, I thought about this and wrote a guest post on Freelance Switch about how to meet your client’s expectations through Quality Assurance.

Click here to read the article and let me know what your opinion is on the subject.

10 Blogs That Offer Valuable Tips For The Freelance Writer

How good are you at doing online research? Do you find it boring, tiresome, too much work, or do you enjoy the thrill of going through countless web pages to find the right information? Looking for relevant information is no mean fit for the average person, however well-versed with the internet; there’s so much out there! Besides, not everything you find is valuable or even relevant to your task.

As a writer, I bet research is one of the tools you frequently use to come up with good articles, right? You have to find out what has already been written in order to write what’s relevant and unique, right? However, because of the sheer volume of information on the net, you often have to filter it out to get what’s really useful to the task at hand. Doing that takes quite a bit of time that is not always there. That is why I thought of doing something for you, my dear writer, to make your life easier!

When I started freelance writing in 2010 and launched my first blog, I quickly realized that I needed to get the latest news on blogging. I needed to find out who else was out there, what they were doing, why was it working for them, etc. I did not know where to start but made up my mind to scour the net every day until I got all the data needed. This took me a few months until I bumped into a single blog that provided me with the most valuable information to date for my blogging work. Naturally, it’s the first one on the list below. Wasn’t I glad to rest from all the weary work!

Today, I offer you these ten blogs that I believe can save you a lot of trouble searching for the right information, especially if you are just starting out as a blogger. They are not in order of preference or quality or anything like that; all of them are valuable in their own right. Check them out to see if I am right and if you like what they offer, go ahead and subscribe to their RSS feeds so that you are always up to date. Well, here they are:

1. youngprepro.com

2. freelanceswitch.com

3. aboutfreelancewriting.com

4. problogger.com

5. thinktraffic.net

6. successfulblogging.com

7. basicblogtips.com

8. menwithpens.ca

9. thecreativepenn.com

10. dailyblogtips.com

All the best as a writer,

Edna.

Your Personal Writing

Writing is a process – a journey into a world where sometimes the end is not very clear at the beginning but you have to write anyway. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy but you have to keep at it if you really want to become a good writer. The best writers usually do one thing; they write and keep on writing, and they don’t give up. Quality is more important than quantity.
Your writing must have value and that is usually found in the eyes of the reader. Think about excellence and style. Develop your own style and avoid aping someone else’s. As a beginner on the path of writing start with simple exercises. Don’t overstrain yourself with difficult subjects or complex ideas. For instance, write a paragraph of your thoughts every morning. Don’t worry about whether it makes sense or not. The idea is to keep the writing flame going till you can develop something more interesting. Build on this and work your way towards a whole page then two pages and so on. This particular exercise helps to develop your ability to communicate honestly from your heart. Write whatever comes into your head and don’t despise it; it could be good material for future use. Focus more on the process not the product.

How has your experience been with your own writing? Keep me informed via the comment box.

Cheers!

Getting Started on Freelance Writing: 5 Things to Consider

Freelance writing is getting popular everyday! I can attest to that by the number of people turning to it on a full time basis, including me of course! The options available are vast, exciting, interesting and potentially very profitable. Thanks to the world getting smaller electronically and more technologically advanced, writers are sniffing out new opportunities for business.

Writing as a career is not a bread-and-butter issue, though. It requires a certain level of commitment, passion, discipline and diligence. You’ve got to work out a plan that clearly outlines what you will be doing, how, when and where. The plan should also include an estimate of your anticipated income and how you expect to earn it. Does that seem like a mountain? I hope not, but here are five primary things to consider first before launching into writing as a career:

1. Do you really want to write?

First of all, you need to be sure that you really want to write. Writing is work so you must be ready to carry the load every day or week depending on how often you need to write. Ask yourself questions like, how much passion do I have for writing? Is it just a past-time (hobby) or is there a cause for which I must write? It will be hard to make a career out of writing if your interest is half-hearted or limited. Although you will not become a guru overnight, you need to have a strong inner conviction that this is your line because that is what will keep you going during the hard times.

2. What kind of writing are you interested in?

There are various types of writing that you can engage in and the choice is yours. It all depends on individual skill, experience and interest. You need to define clearly what kind of writing you will engage in because opportunities are vast out there. Besides, some appear very lucrative at face value but can turn out to be a great challenge to implement.

Write a list of possibilities including the pros and cons of each. To help you do this better, do an online research on all the options available, e.g. copywriting, blogging, content writing, transcription services, writing for magazines, ghost writing, etc. Out of that list, pick two as a starting point. These should be the ones that are easy for you, especially the ones you have already started doing. For instance, you may already have a blog running or you have been writing short stories since high school days. This means you may have developed some level of skill in that area, which makes it easier for you to launch into it as a career.

3. Do you have what it takes?

A writing career is very demanding of personal time and effort. Most people don’t realize how long it takes to become an exceptional writer or one who is sought after by publishers. When you look at published authors during book signing events, for example, it seems as though they got their book out very easy but that is not so. They probably took a few years to write and then suffered a few rejections from editors and publishers first.

To make a career out of writing requires a lot of determination, self-belief and an ability to market your work. You must be able to build a brand and make it stand out so that clients choose your service over others. You will also need a high level of excellence that will make your clients keep coming back.

4. Does it make economic sense to you?

Never begin a new project without first counting the cost and evaluating what benefit it will bring. This applies to your writing career. It will effectively be a business for you so you need to sit down and work out the mathematics of it. How much will you be able to earn in, say, one month? Will that amount cover all your expenses? What about things like medical insurance? Will you be able to put something aside towards savings? This is just to ensure that you are being practical about things. Remember also that people will be asking you why you have chosen to be a writer (out of all the other possible careers in this world) and you will need to have a sound answer.

5. Basis of operation

Lastly, albeit very important point, determine your mode of operation. Will you rent an office somewhere or will you be working from the house? Of course, the latter would be a better option for someone who is just starting out because then you have fewer expenses to worry about. Consider also whether you will need to purchase a laptop or work from a cyber café, or borrow somebody’s machine to start with before you get your own.

A good plan for your freelance writing career is worth all the trouble. You will avoid many pitfalls that are common for newcomers in the field.

Reading Writer

How does reading help your writing? Well, here’s how:

(a) Improves your stock of vocabulary and richness of expression: Although the use of big words in writing other than for academic purposes is not usually encouraged (simple language tends to be more favorable for the average reader), knowing a few additional words and how to use them may just provide that extra punch to your writing. The idea is not really to borrow other people’s expressions, but to open your eyes to new possibilities and more creativity.

(b) Inspiration: One man’s verse could be another man’s chapter or paragraph. Some of the best poems I have written were inspired by reading the works of other poets. Don’t ever be deceived that your writing talent is the best; there are other writers out there who have the very gems you are looking for to beautify your own writing. Sometimes a poem can be the inspiration for a short story, or a short story can inspire the script for a film. Inspiration is a valuable asset that every writer needs to have, especially in creative writing.

(c) Creativity: Reading widely unlocks ideas that you may not even have been aware of. As you read, new thoughts are being processed in your mind and while some are immediately discarded, others are unconsciously filed away in your memory. These come in handy when you sit down to write your own works. Creativity is the other major asset that writers must have, so don’t be averse to reading on different subjects even if it is something unrelated to your own writing field. You never know where your next new idea might spring from!

(d) Improves thinking capacity: Do you know that thinking is a vital part of the writing process? It seems such a simple thing, but many writers just starting out tend to miss the connection. If you do not like doing a lot of thinking then you are not likely to become a good writer. Thinking is an ability that is developed over your lifetime, but its depth of development can be increased with regular reading of different literature, including magazines, newspapers, and journals.