Monday, April 30, 2007

Got a new GIG!

Remember last night I said that I had an offer for a gig that I had to turn down because I was working on a deadline? Well the writing gods must have been smiling at me as I did the honorable thing and told him I couldn't do it this time because I had a prior commitment. I know some writers might have thought, "But this pays more! I'll just get them to postpone this for a day or two..." but that's just not my work ethic. It's the same thing when my fiance was scratching a lottery ticket and asked me if I would stay home from work tomorrow if he scratched the biggest prize. I said I couldn't. Other people were depending on me. I couldn't let them down just because we'd be rich.

So, I think the writing gods were proud of me. I got an email just after I came home from work today saying they'd gotten an extension of 9 more days. I was offered a sizable amount for less work than I've put into projects that paid only a quarter of that. I'm so excited! I want to do them all tonite.

I won't though because I pushed it last night until I couldn't see the screen anymore and then pushed it a little longer; then I went to bed for 3 hours, got up and finished it off. Amazing what a few hours sleep will do!

Anyway, I have another blog to write and maybe a couple hours of work and then I'm going to try to get some sleep tonight.

Be well all!

Do You Have MyKaroo?

Have you heard about MyKaroo? Do you have it? Let me tell you about MyKaroo. MyKaroo follows me all over the internet. When I come across a new site I can check and see what it has to say about it. Sometimes there's nothing because they are so new but sometimes there's a funny blog to read and a hilarious review. If you like to laugh it's a great addition to you internet browsing.

Now, that's not the only cool thing about MyKaroo. You can get PAID! You can write for them and they pay $5 if they use it. Seeing as they are so new, I'm guessing that it is hard to be turned down. If you can't spell worth beans and have no sense of humor you're chances of getting a blog entry accepted likely decreases but what can it hurt to try?

I just submitted my first blog. If it gets accepted I'll likely do more. When you need to take a break from a writing assignment you can spend 5 or 10 minutes writing a blog on a site that you like to go to anyway!

I'll let you know what happens! Meanwhile, go check out MyKaroo for yourself!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Reaching Deep

I am reaching deep for the incentive and the desire to write some more. I am currently sitting a between 6,000 - 7,000 words for the day and I somehow need to pull out another 3,000 - 4,000 words before I can go to bed. There is not choice here. I have to do it because someone is depending on me and I made a promise. Writers can't go back on their promise.

So, how to you find that little extra something to go the extra mile? I've tried taking a break. That worked for a time. I've tried taking a blogging break. That's good for about 500 words. My time is not efficient right now and I know it. At this rate I'll be up for another 4 hours when it should really only take 3. Either way it is going to be a late night.

I had a good opportunity to take on another writing gig today but had to turn this one down because I just don't have the time. His deadline was tomorrow at 5. If I didn't have the day job I could have done it. Oh well, in time, in time.

Oh, and I have to get a blog ready for my new blog, Between the Sheets. This is a new blog about sex and relationships and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes. It already has a following from the previous blogger so hopefully they will continue reading. I've never blogged with a company before so it should be interesting and challenging.

Ok. Deep breath. Gulp of coffee. Reach real deep. And off I go...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Must Write, must write something

For the first time in about 2 months I find myself with no looming deadlines, no schedule to keep me moving, and no real need to work. Not that this is the first day that I've taken off from writing but it is the first day that I haven't had something I should be doing. And what do I want to do? Of course, I want to write.

It is strange. I could be doing the housework that I've been neglecting. I could watch Grey's Anatomy or the two episodes of Survivor I have on tape. I could do some of the laundry that is growing to ridiculous heights. But is that what I want to do? No - I want to write!

I never would have believed how addictive getting paid for writing can be. I love it. And the more I do of it the more I know that this is what I want to do full time. My fiance actually suggested that I quit my job after the wedding (I have to give two months notice), but I haven't decided yet. I likely won't put a firm decision here until do give my notice. Just in case someone from my work decides to google me!

So what am I going to do? Maybe I'll get the newsletter for my adult erotica site written. I am actually an entire month late if you consider my previous twice monthly plan. I've put that back to once a month though so I'm only two weeks late. So ya, that would be a good plan!

Ok, off I go to write my newsletter like a good webmistress!

Linkage Fun

Ok - I'm still learning about a lot of stuff that has to do with promoting blogs so I need all the help I can get. A lot of what I learn comes from Sharon Hurley Hall . Today I learned that all the cool kids are jumping on the link train, so of course I have to do it too, otherwise the cool kids won't like me!

You wanna be one of the cool kids, too? Of course you do. So this is how it works:

  1. Click here to add me to your Technorati faves.
  2. If you leave me a comment here I'll return the link love.

Just a few more rules and you too can be riding the train for linkage loving!

***Start copying here***

Here are the rules:

1) Write a short introduction paragraph about what how you found the list and include a link to the blog that referred you to the list.

2) COPY the Rules and ENTIRE List below and post it to your blog. To avoid duplicate content and increase the amount of keywords your site can accessible for, go ahead and change the titles of the blog. Just don’t change the links of the blog.

3) Take “My New Faves” and move them into the “The Original Faves” list.

4) Add 3 Blogs that you’ve just added to your Technorati Favorites to the “My New Faves” section. Remember to also add the “Fave Me” link next to your new blogs (i.e.

5) Add Everyone on this list to your Technorati Favorites List by clicking on “Fave the Site.” (Please FAVE EVERYONE on the List prior to posting the list or a Kitten will Die Alone in a Dark Alley Tonight). Those who want good kharma will fave you back. If not, you will for sure get the benefits of faves from the bloggers who continue this list after you.

My New Faves

Neil Gaiman's Journal - Fave the Site

Life Reboot - Fave the Site

Inspired Author - Fave the Site

The Original Faves

Domestik Goddess - Fave The Site

Dana Prince - Fave The Site

Spinayarn - Fave The Site

Stephen Fung - Fave the Site

Ed Lau - Fave the Site

QMusings - Fave the Site

Gary Lee - Fave the Site

*Dosh Dosh - Fave the Site

Nate Whitehill - Fave the Site

Ms. Danielle - Fave the SiteJeff Kee - Fave the Site

Scribble on the Wall - Fave the Site

Jimi Morrisons Head - Fave the Site

Jon Lee - Fave the Site

Samanathon - Fave the Site

Eat Drink & Be Merry - Fave the Site

The Man of Silver - Fave the Site

Hannes Johnson - Fave the Site

My Dandelion Patch - Fave the Site

Nathan Drach - Fave the Site

SiteLogic - Fave the Site

Julies Journal - Fave the Site

Tea & Slippers - Fave the Site

The Thinking Blog - Fave the Site

Pencil Thin - Fave the Site

Garry Conn - Fave the Site

Sharon’s Writing Lab - Fave the Site*

- Train Engineer

***End Copying Here***

Friday, April 20, 2007

A New Venture

Since I am planning on quitting my job at some point (maybe sooner than later) and going completely freelance I've started up a website to draw potential customers. My fiance already works from home but doesn't have a website so, I thought, wouldn't it be great if we could offer a range of services for business and others?

So, I bought a domain and have begun the task of filling it with content. I just got it up yesterday so there isn't a lot there but do check it out and let me know what you think. Go visit McGaw Freelancers now. Considering how very little I actually know about designing and html I think I'm doing ok for now.

So, we have writing services, accounting and bookkeeping, and I'm thinking we might need one more thing to flesh it out. I'm thinking of adding a graphics designer to the team. They'd work on a contract basis. I'm haven't started looking for anyone yet but I'd like to have someone ready for when I start publicizing the site.

I love doing this stuff and I'm learning a lot as I go. But, I'm hoping that someday we'll be as big as - well, as big as we can be.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Plan of Attack!

I've been planning on doing some work at home and on weekends for a long time. First my excuse was that I didn't have anything to do because I didn't have a specific job. So I didn't stick to any specific hours.

You know, as writers we hear that over and over again - treat your writing like any other job - have hours, a place to write, etc. Do we listen? Well, I'm sure that there are some smart people out there that are listening to that from day one, but honey, I'm not one of them!

I've always been a "when I have time" writer. I write in those in betweens. In between cooking dinner and eating; in between sending the kids to bed and when they actually go to bed; in between watching the kids at the pool. You get the idea. But that doesn't really work. Not for me anyway. It's too easy to come up with excuses that way. In fact, it is just a way of setting my self up to have handy excuses to use when I can't meet a deadline.
So, I need a plan of attack. And this is what I have come up with. It may not be the one I stick with but I have to try something.

7:30 am - Check email, answer short ones; before I go to work.
6:30 pm - Do the same. Try to get all important emails answered in the next half hour.
9:00 pm - On Wed, Thurs, Fri I'll do the SEO writing. My goal will be 6 per night.
On Tues and Wed I'll work on the website, reading manuscripts and such. As late as midnite.

On weekends I'm going to work from 10-12 noon on SEO writing, then from 1-3pm, also SEO writing. The goal over the weekend is 15 pieces. On Sat. and Sun. evening I'll do work on the website from 9-11.

I'm thinking that my weekend schedule might be a little wonky, but I'll try this for two weeks and then adjust as necessary. My sister would tell me that that is too much and I'll never keep up to it. Honestly though, it is less than I spend on the computer some weeks.

Time and Organization

So, I've been working a full time job and working freelance seriously for about 4 months now and I've been wondering about a few things.

I'd really like to know how other people who hold a day job and work at home manage their time. Do you have a set schedule or do you just give 'er heck when the inspiration does strike? Do you give yourself a minimum word count goal to hit every day or do you just write until it stops?

I have several projects that I'm working on right now. One is writing SEO optimized articles (or as some call it "google bombing"). I also write fiction and manage to come up with about 1000-2000 words a week. Then I have my website where I have to update, build, edit, and promote it. And of course my various blogs. Which always need to be maintained and promoted as well. That's what I do at night.

During the day I work a 9-5 desk job. Not fun, but it pays the bills.
And let's not forget the two pre-teens who need constant attention between the hours of 5:30 to about 9:30. Just because they are getting older doesn't mean they don't need attention, right! In fact, maybe more!

So how do you manage your time?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I hate schedules!

I hate schedules. I always have and I'm wondering if I can ever come to terms with the fact that in order to be successful I'm going to have to develop a schedule!

I've never had a real schedule in my life that I chose to have. Of course, when I was a kid, I had to go to school. Specific hours of course. But at home there wasn't a specific schedule. My parent were almost hippie-ish in that we did things when we felt like doing them. If we didn't get around to eating until 8pm on Saturday it was no big deal - you ate when you were hungry. I had a bed time when I was younger, but as soon as I was old enough to take care of myself, it was up to me.

When I graduated from high school and entered the work force I worked in a lot of hospitality/service jobs, which meant that I had varied shifts. No real schedule was really established. I did things when they suited me and went to work whenever I had a shift.
When I became a parent the same pattern followed. My kids ate when they were hungry, slept whent they were tired, and got up when they woke up. I continued working shift work up until a few years ago so there wasn't any particular need for a schedule.

Now, I do have a 9-5 job and you'd think that would help. But weekends are still chaotic. Now, I've thrown freelancing on top of that and the lack of a schedule is not doing me any good. I get things done but often times it is in the early hours of the morning and pushing my deadlines.
So, is there any other previously unscheduled people out there that have broken this bad habit! I need some advice!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Need a Reboot?

Every once in awhile - or more often for some - most of us stop and think, "What the hell am I doing?" You might finish it off by saying, "...with this man?", " this job?", " this city?" or a variety of other things but you're likely to have said something similar at some point in your life.

The big question is, what did you do about it or what are you going to do about it?

Shaun is this gutsy young kid who decided he was not going to settle anymore. He wasn't going to settle for less than what he wanted - or less than what he deserved. You need to go read about his decision in his blog LifeReboot. At the least, it will inspire you to do something about your own life. At the most, you'll be inspired to give him a small donation.

People who don't succuumb to this world's desires to only be prosperous in money - forgetting that there are other ways to be prospersous - should be encouraged!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I finished a series of 50 articles about cats. I now know more than I ever possibly imagined I could know about cats!

But the satisfaction of completing those articles is great. I had to push it on the last night because a couple phone calls go out of hand, I had kid issues, and life basically appeared. I had to work until 4 a.m. to get those articles done, but I did it. My eyes could barely focus on the page as I zipped them and sent them to my editor. But, I did push past the pain and it got done.

I'm learning that life does happen and it usually happens when you have a lot of work to do. Kitten are born (in the wee hours on the morning in my closet this morning!), children need to do last minute projects and they need to be disciplined. Family needs attention and plans have to be made (for weddings coming up in 6 weeks!). Life keeps happening and that is wonderful.

Somehow, you have to find a way to balance it all. Write when you can because sometimes you just can't and then you have to work past the pain even if you know you have to be up to get to the day job in 4 hours. Don't put off tomorrow what you can do today because tomorrow you might not be able to do as much as you planned or you might not be able to at all.

I'm learning and I love it!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Too Pooped to Pop

I started this blog with good intentions of writing about my new-ish freelance writing career and about how I am going to turn it into a full time job. When? Hopefully before Christmas! But I have been so busy actually writing that I haven't really had time to get this started! That's a good thing though right?

Until this year, I'd been dabbling away at this or that. I'd been getting some work but I had not discipline. The jobs I had had no definate deadlines. It was just a submit when you feel like it type of thing and I'll pay you. Which is what I did. I did ok with it - I made about $700 between July and December of 2006 - but the discipline wasn't there. It was still very random.

Then in January I started working with this writer who has been freelancing for a few years and is finding that she has way too much work to do all on her own. Rather than turn it away, she took on a few contract workers, one of them being me. Some people might not think that is the greatest idea but it is helping me in a lot of ways. It's showing me some of the things that I need to do to be ready for full time freelancing.

There are three things I've decided I need to do before I can quit the day job:

  1. Get disciplined; make sure I hit the write word counts/page amounts; hit deadlines come hell or high water. She's good for me on this because the one time I didn't hit deadline she made sure I knew right away that this was not acceptable.
  2. Get some money put aside. Payments can come fast or they can take weeks to come so you can't be sure how much money you are going to get in any given period.
  3. Get a writing area. I'm working mostly at the kitchen table right now and I'm looking forward to having my own little work space soon. We're doing some reorganization in our home so that both myself and my fiance will have our own work spaces (we'll both be working at home).

My fiance works from home now doing bookkeeping/accounting/ taxes type of stuff and when I start working from home we'll both be here. I think we can handle working in the same room together but we definately need our own space.

I'm thinking that when I quit the day job I might take a bartending or waitressing job on a very part time basis so that there is some definate money coming into the house as well as giving me a reason to get out of the house. I could quite easily become very hermit like if I didn't have an excuse to get dressed, put some make up on, and get out.

Well, it is 2 a.m. and I must go to bed. The weekend is over and the day job starts again.

Be well all!