Monday, February 26, 2007

I've Met My Match

Let me apologize to ya'll - it's been a terrible couple of weeks, hence the lack of updating.

I intend to come back to this blog when I'm not so rattled. Until then, posting will be sporadic at best. If you'd like to write a guest blogger piece to ensure my blog doesn't sit here and rot, please e-mail me and let me know.



Thursday, February 22, 2007

5 Reasons I Blog

First of all, let me apologize for my absence lately. I have been dealing with some personal issues, and as such haven't had the motivation to catch up with all of you. I am very sorry for this, and I'll plan to start updating regularly again as soon as I catch a break.

Now, Latoya from Writers Brew tagged me for the meme "5 Reasons I Blog," so I guess it's only fair that I participate!

1. It's Fun - Really, it is. I enjoy blogging, and it allows me to take a break from client work (or lack thereof, as the case may be) and focus on writing that truly means something to me.

2. To Inform/Educate/Inspire - I started this blog in the hopes of networking with other freelance writers, as well as to inform those beginning on their career paths. I hope I've succeeded at least partially in that regard, because I love sharing information that may be of benefit to other writers.

3. To Learn - While this blog serves to educate new writers on various aspects of a writing career, I also wanted to learn myself. This blog gave me a platform to express my opinions, experience, and questions and allowed me to garner feedback from other writers. For that reason alone, I love blogging.

4. To Motivate Myself - This may sound like a strange reason to blog, but I'm a strange person. Now that I've built up a bit of a following (if you can even call it that,) I try to update regularly to ensure my blog doesn't get stale... or I lose readers! Knowing this blog is sitting here motivates me to write something, and once I do it's usually much easier to get everything else done!

5. To Relax - Blogging is my form of relaxation. I have several blogs in addition to this one, and my personal blogs are where I can rant, rave, and otherwise let loose with my emotions. I can say whatever I want to my internet blog, and it can't get mad at me! Blogging is a very freeing experience, and I enjoy it very much.

I'm supposed to tag someone else now, but honestly - I don't know who has already done it and who hasn't! If you'd like to, blog away!



Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy 100th!

We've hit a milestone today - 100 Posts for Freelance Writing, yay! Here's hoping for many more.

I want to take a moment to thank you, my readers, for helping inspire me and keep this blog alive. Without you, this blog wouldn't be the same... it would be here, but I'd probably have less of a reason to update it and more of a reason to let it wither away.

Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, and feedback. I do appreciate it!

Best Wishes,


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Writing for Yourself

How often do you write for yourself? Sometimes, we can get so bogged down with client work that we don't take the time - or make the time - to work on our own projects. Whether you have a novel sitting there unfinished, a short story you're working on or your own blog to contend with, it's important to take time out to write for yourself.

Do you have any personal projects you're working on? If you do, when do you find time to work on them?

Your feedback is very appreciated! Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Writing Question of the Week

Happy Tuesday everyone - I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

This weeks writing question stems from a conversation I had with a friend over the weekend. We were talking about my job and what I do for a living, and a topic came up that I am sure you all have heard at least one time or another.

My friend asked if I ever experienced any issues with other family or friends because writing isn't technically "real work." I wasn't offended, because it wasn't said to be malicious - it was simple ignorance on the part of my friend to see past her limited viewpoint.

In any case, my question to you : What actually makes someone a WRITER? I realize there may not be a direct answer to this question, but I'm interested in your feedback. Is there ever a time where writing cannot be considered "real" work, or do we never get to that point? Is all writing - even hobby writing - real work?

I realize those are actually three questions, but humor me this week okay?




Friday, February 09, 2007

Do's and Don'ts of Freelance Writing

The following list defines what I feel to be the key do's and don'ts when you're just starting your career as a freelance writer. However, many of these tips can be applied to your working life whether you are just starting out or have been in the business for years.

I'm guilty of making some of these mistakes, as I'm sure some of you are as well. This list isn't meant to be followed to the letter, but rather general guidelines that I believe can be helpful to those who aren't sure where to begin.

1. Perfect your Query Letter

Nothing shows that you don't consider yourself a professional more than a poorly written query letter. Your query letter is a reflection of you as a writer, and is supposed to show an editor why your article would be a great fit for the magazine. If you aren't confident in your ability to write a smashing query letter, practice writing them until you are!

2. Don't Burn Bridges

This may seem like common sense, but many young writers might not even be aware they are hindering their career this way. Editors talk amongst one another on a regular basis, and if you are working in the magazine industry especially, they have the power to make or break your career. To put it succinctly - don't piss off an editor.

3. Network, NOW

Networking is a key factor to success, and a strong network can land you jobs you may not have found out about otherwise. The sooner you begin building up your contact list, the better off you'll be in the long run. When a job lead comes through that doesn't fit with a contact of yours, they may pass it along to you knowing you're qualified for the job.

4. Don't Let Rejection Kill You

Face it - rejection is part of this career choice. If you learn how to deal effectively with rejection now, you'll be much better off in the future. Take rejection as a learning experience to improve your writing. Sooner or later, an editor will take notice.

These are just a few ideas I believe to be beneficial to any freelance writer, beginning or otherwise. If you have anything else to add to this list, please let me know!




Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Writers Unions

How many of you are members of a writers union? Do you believe they are actually beneficial, or are they just a waste of money? I've considered joining a writers union at one time or another, but I haven't received enough feedback to know whether they are worthwhile or not.

If any of you have any thoughts on the matter, please let me know!

Warm Wishes,


Monday, February 05, 2007

Writing Question of the Week

Happy Monday, everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend (Colts won, yay!)

This weeks question stems from something that's been floating around in my head quite a bit lately, and I'd like to get feedback from all of you. I'm not sure there's any one answer that's inherently correct, but I'm definitely interested to hear your opinions.

What do you believe makes someone a "professional" writer?

Please feel free to leave a comment below! I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Best Wishes,



Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ack, I've been Tagged

Apparently, I have been tagged by Wendy from Creative Work at Home Info to write up a contract for myself in regards to what I vow to do and not to do with my writing, this year and beyond. Well, here goes!

I, Denise Shively, hereby proclaim that I will STOP PROCRASTINATING. If procrastination seems avoidable, I will at least entertain myself with something mildly productive, even if said entertainment has nothing to do with what I'm procrastinating about.

I will start querying print publications in my chosen niche instead of sitting around talking about how I plan to in the near future. Additionally, I will begin making plans for an actual business website to be launched sometime this year.

I vow to resolve any inner turmoil I may have about choosing what can be, at times, a very finicky profession. I love what I do, and I will remember to be more appreciative of what I do have rather than what I don't. Above all, I promise to remember that it's okay to take time off now and then, if I can afford to.

This is the part where I'm supposed to tag three additional people to create their own contracts. If you're interested in doing so, have at it -- I'd love to read it!