Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Call for Guest Bloggers

There are a lot of talented writers who I would absolutely LOVE to write a piece for my blog. Interested? I'd love to hear from you. Please send me an e-mail stating who you are and when you'd be available to write a short piece for my blog. I'd love if any of you actually took me up on this offer -- it would be greatly appreciated!

I'd be more than happy to reciprocate, or work out other arrangements if need be. Thank you in advance.

Warm Wishes,



Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Writing Question of the Week

I'm going to attempt to implement a new feature to my blog, entitled "Writing Question of the Week." I'm hoping this will increase feedback from readers and add a much-needed dose of interaction to this blog.

To start things off, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the Pros/Cons of working for yourself. You can be as specific as you'd like. There are some obvious pros to working for yourself, but I've experienced some drawbacks as well.

What's your take on the issue? I'm interested to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to leave them in a comment below.




Monday, January 29, 2007

Writers Working for Slave Wages

Before writing this, I struggled with whether I should tackle a subject that has been discussed to death many times before - discussed by writers who, no doubt, are far more experienced than I am and can more eloquently say what they need to say about the matter.

With that being said, I decided to post this anyway. Why? Well, for one -- I've always been vocal about writers who accept a pittance for their work and the people who get away with doling out slave wages to them. I don't like it, and I don't accept jobs that pay below my bottom line.

But there are writers who DO accept these jobs. There are a multitude of reasons why writers might accept these low-paying gigs. On one side, you have the writers who don't know any better; who think, "Okay, I want to be a writer and I have to start somewhere." They may believe these rates are normal.

On the flip side, you have those who I wouldn't call writers, personally, but who am I to judge what makes somebody a writer? What I'm talking about are the people who don't care to make writing a career and are in it for a quick buck. They can churn out keyword soaked articles in mere minutes. Unfortunately, these are the articles that usually lack any sort of good quality at all -- but some clients don't care.

Then, you have the middle group. These are writers who know they are being significantly underpaid for their work, but don't know what to do about it. Honestly, this group is what facilitated the Six Figure Challenge to begin with -- those writers that could actually benefit from learning there are other opportunities for their talent besides $2 articles.

So who is to blame for this? The writers, for choosing to accept these rates - or the clients who don't feel the need to pay writers what they are worth?

Let's put it this way - as long as there are writers willing to accept the kind of rates that would make any professional squirm, there will be clients who refuse to pay for quality writing. I'm not saying that I condone those $2-5 dollar article jobs or whatever, but let's not pretend that shady webmasters are the only people compounding the problem.

Please feel free to leave your comments below. I'm open to any and all feedback regarding this issue!



Friday, January 26, 2007

Style Guides

I found a nifty little resource while browsing the web today and thought I'd share it with all of you, if you hadn't come across it already. The following link takes you to California State University's web site - more specifically, a link to various style guides.

Now, if you ever need to write a piece following the Chicago Manual of Style, for example, you can hop online and browse to the Microsoft Word or PDF version of the style guide and find out exactly how to site your sources. Easy!

I hope you find the following resource useful. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Style and Writing Guides


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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Following Your Writing Dreams

I'm sure you've dealt with the following scenario at least once during your career, but if you haven't, count yourself incredibly lucky.

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. From the age of three, there was nothing I could imagine myself doing if it didn't involve writing in some way. I read constantly - I wrote stories that, looking back now, were laughable. At that time however, writing stories was the way I chose to express myself.

Gradually, I started branching out, writing stories, songs and poems - you know, your typical adolescent garbage that reeks of supposedly broken hearts and teenage angst. I didn't care. I was WRITING.

Eventually, a few family members tried to talk me out of my writing dreams. I'd tell them that I was going to be the next female Stephen King, and what I received was laughter. I don't know how many times I was told that I could never make a decent living from something as ambiguous as writing.

Luckily, I had a few close relatives and friends that formed the bulk of my supportive network, and I chose to ignore the nay-sayer's who attempted to bring me back to "reality," or in their words, tried to save me from failure.

The bottom line? If you desire to be a writer, you CAN BE. It won't be easy, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I still have moments where I question the career path I chose, but deep down I know I made the right decision for me.

Don't let anyone try to steal your dreams -- work hard, and they'll no longer be merely dreams.

They'll be reality.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Great Resource for Writers

If you haven't already done so, I suggest you check out Anne Wayman's site, The Golden Pencil. The site offers freelance job postings, helpful articles and links to other resources you may find useful. For the beginning writer, I highly recommend this website - and the seasoned professional can benefit from what Anne has to offer, as well!

Do you know of any additional writing resources I have yet to mention? Please feel free to drop me a line via e-mail or leave a comment. I'm always looking for quality sites pertaining to freelance writing.

Best Wishes,



Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Health Insurance for Writers

Being self-employed means locating, and paying for, health insurance that's usually covered by an employer if you work elsewhere. Because of this, many people who choose to make the switch from a traditional 9-5 to a freelance position may find themselves in a bit of a quandary.

Luckily, there are resources for freelance writers to research affordable health insurance plans that will meet their needs. The article below links to an informative article with health insurance tips, resources, and more for a freelance writer (or anyone who is self-employed.) If you know of any additional resources, please let me know!

Health Insurance

Best Wishes!


Monday, January 22, 2007

Dealing With Non-Paying Clients

As freelance writers, we run the risk everytime we take on a project that we might not get paid. These deadbeat editors run through every excuse in the book as to why they can't pay us, and usually, they're full of baloney. Thankfully, I've only had to deal with a client who didn't pay one time... unfortunately, I never saw any money from the deal, he ignored my repeated e-mails and IM's, and that was that.

The following article details some useful information into getting editors/clients to pay up - I only wish I'd known about these tactics when I was going through my situation! If you have any other tips for getting a client to pay the money you are owed, please leave them in the comments.

Getting an Editor to Pay

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sample Query Letters

Ah, the query letter -- it's what can potentially make or break your chances with an editor. Craft an outstanding query letter, and you'll be published in no time. If your query letter falls flat, however, you can expect to get a nice rejection slip in the mail.

Learning how to write an effective query letter can mean the difference between a published article and a tidy little pile of rejection slips. Below, I've linked to a few helpful resources that provide you with sample query letters, tips on writing a query letter and more.

If you know of any additional resources, please leave them in the comments!

Sample Query Letter

Query Writing Tips

Happy Days,


Friday, January 19, 2007

Tax Tips for Freelance Writers

Oh joy, it's that time of year again - tax time!

I've linked to a helpful article (found below) that can fill in the blanks for you if you're unsure how to go about preparing your taxes as a freelance writer. Organization is KEY during tax time, so if you were less-than-diligent with your records last year, keep a watchful eye on how you record your finances this time around. Trust me, it will save you a lot of headaches later.

Freelance Tax Tips

Oh, and the above link references information pertaining to the United States only. If you're in a different country, be sure to look up information about taxes according to the country you live in.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Brainstorming Methods for Freelance Writers

How do you brainstorm ideas? Are there any particular ways that seem to work best for you over other methods? Are your brainstorming methods different depending on the type of project you're working on? (A short story vs. a how-to article, for example.)

Personally, the best ideas come to me when I've got my trusty notebook and a few pens at my side. I can write whatever ideas come to mind, then go back later and revise them into coherent thoughts.

Please share your brainstorming methods below. Need help coming up with ideas? Check out the helpful thread, found at the Allfreelancing forum, below.

Happy Days,


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Freelance Writing Goals

We're about halfway through the first month of the new year -- bravo! Like me, I'm sure many of you came up with a few New Year's Resolutions before the start of 2007. I'd like to know: how many of those goals pertained to freelance writing?

Do you have any goals for your career in the coming months? What do you plan to achieve with your writing? Are you looking to increase your writing income or take on better projects? Do you want to start writing for print publications or your own sites?

Please take a moment to share some of your career goals for the year and how you plan to go about achieving them. I'm very interested to hear what you've come up with!

Happy Thoughts,


Monday, January 15, 2007

Newsletter Updates

For those of you subscribed to the Six Figure Challenge newsletter, you may be wondering when we'll be up and running again. Rest assured we'll be back on track soon. We are currently in the process of turning over newsletter duties. Once we've figured everything out, you'll start getting weekly newsletters again!

Thank you all for bearing with us so far. I know the challenge has started off slowly, but I anticipate some exciting progress as the weeks continue.

Best Regards,


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Staying Motivated

I'll admit it - sometimes, I just don't want to write! I have days where all I want to do is lounge around in my pajamas, enjoying cup after cup of hot tea and reading a good book. But there are bills to be paid and deadlines to meet and goals to accomplish and... the list goes on.

I'm sure I'm not the only writer who experiences moments like these. I love writing, and I wouldn't change my career for the world. But I have to admit, there are some days where I just cannot stay motivated no matter what I do.

How do you manage to stay motivated when you just don't feel like working? I'm interested to hear your comments.

Love, Peace and Happiness!


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Finding Markets for your Work

"Where can I find places to submit my work?"

That question pops up repeatedly from new writers looking to find outlets to submit their work to. Unfortunately, most markets don't come to us on a silver platter -- we have to network, research, and put effort into finding markets that suit our particular strengths as writers. For beginning writers do don't know where to search, this can be a difficult process.

Luckily, there are many resources available to help advance your career. Do you have a particular niche? Search for magazines that fit your particular niche and examine the tone of the magazines you're interested in submitting to. Nothing can get your query quicker in the slush pile than one where the writer was obviously uninformed about what articles the magazine accepts.

Research magazines you're interested in and view their websites to see their writer's guidelines and other pertninent information. Purchase or request sample copies so you can gain a feel for what the magazine's audience and the material they regularly purchase. If you have questions, ask! Then you can craft a well-formed query letter that will be sure to garner an editor's attention.

Writing can be a lucrative career choice, but you can't expect to get rich overnight - truthfully, thre's no guarantee for riches at all. However, if you have the dedication to pursue writing as a career, and you can research markets for your work effectively, then you're already on the right path to becoming a successful freelance writer.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

SFC Updates

The Six Figure Challenge is officially three days underway now. If you haven't already, I strongly suggest you stop by the forum for helpful advice, great discussions, and to share your own goals for the New Year with us. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to speak your mind. We'd love to hear any thoughts you have, so drop by and say hello!

Best Wishes,