The Unfortunate Truth…

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This fun little image/ quote popped up on my Facebook wall today.

It’s true that freelance writing comes with a lot of lag time between projects (especially when starting out), clients that can be difficult to work with, and hours of dedicating your talents to something that, in the end, you don’t even get credit for.

But, for some reason, we keep doing it. We keep working as freelance writers. Maybe it’s because we need the money, maybe it’s because we don’t have any other option.

Or, maybe, it’s simply because, at the end of the day, writing is our passion. We love it. Yes, it can be torture at times. But, we live for that. We live for the creative process–even if it’s creating something we don’t even like.

Or… maybe we’re all just a little crazy and slightly masochist. Who’s to say, really?

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Beat the Clock!

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Photo from Pixabay

So, one of the aspects of freelance writing is working on a schedule. It’s not the hourly sort of schedule you may find in an office-type setting, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t the always present and never to be forgotten deadlines hanging over your head.

Some people are great at working on things little by little. You know, making steady progress all the way up to that day, circled in red on the calendar, when the client will be eagerly awaiting their submission.  Continue reading

Who Will I Be Today?

I saw this commercial once. It was some famous actor (I don’t remember who, because 1. I’m never good with remembering actors names and 2. I don’t really care enough to try…) talking about all of the different people he had “been” throughout his career. It’s true that actors have the chance to transform themselves into many different characters–fictional, historical, fantastical, whatever. And, when I was younger I used to always envy them for that. Continue reading

My Hypocritical Soap Box

Yes, I will preface this post with a straight forward statement–I’m a hypocrite. I indulge completely in the thing that I, to be honest, rather dislike on some level.

I’ll start by coming straight out and addressing what it is I’m talking about–quick, easy, and completely open self-publishing. Why am I a hypocrite? Because as much as I dislike it, I’m so extremely thankful for it.

Now, before you all jump on the “I hate this chick” bandwagon, let me explain.  Continue reading

How I Deal with the Dreaded “Writer’s Block”

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Image from Pixabay

Anyone who has done any form of writing knows what it feels like to experience “writer’s block.” No matter if you’re writing a school paper, an article, a blog post, or a full-fledged 1200 page novel, you’ve surely had the feeling of being completely stuck at one point or another.

Well, there are a few things I do to get past those moments of “I have no idea what I’m saying and where I’m going with this…”.

To start out with, I view writer’s block as my body’s (and mind’s) way of telling me that I’m out of “creative gas.” I have nothing left in the tank; I can’t even think of character names, nonetheless develop a plot and make it worth anything!

So, I have found a few things that I do to “recharge” when I feel like I’m running low on creative juices.  Continue reading

We’re busy busy!

So, everyone is back from their vacations, and we’re still not posting very often? What’s going on with this?

Well, dear blogging friends, don’t fret! We’re here, and we’re still busy at work with our writing/publishing dream. Currently, we’re working on finalizing our next project: “Shorts for Short Waits.”

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This will be a collection of shorts that will be perfect for those annoying waits at the dentist’s office or when you’re standing in line at the bank. They will be similar to the shorts we’ve been posting here.

We hope to have it out and available to the public in the next few days (we’re aiming for Monday or Tuesday). And, once we get that up and running, we’ll be back here on WordPress like usual, sharing our journey with all of you wonderful people.

Why I Write- Whitney

It’s my turn to answer this fun little question. =)

I started writing when I was really little. I’m not *really* an only child, but my siblings are all much older than me, so…

I guess for that reason I always had a really wild imagination, since a lot of times I’d have to play by myself. I think that’s probably why I started writing. Because I had so many imaginary worlds and stories flying around in my head, and I wanted to get them out.

In high school, I wrote–like most angsty teenagers do–to vent my frustration.

And now, as an adult, I write for a few different reasons. A lot of times it’s to relax–I’m a very stressed person, and escaping into writing helps me.

I also write to deal with loss–it’s a way of processing my emotions and feelings, and really letting myself experience them completely. This writing is usually very personal and private, though. And, honestly, I don’t even think I’ve mentioned anything about this part of my life on the blog or anything…

And, of course, even though I’m a big grown up adult, part of me still loves to write to escape into my child-like imagination. To pretend like the world with all of its “grown up problems” like rent, health insurance, work, taxes, etc. doesn’t exist, and I’m still just the little girl who likes to create pretend worlds.

Freelancing- the good, the bad, the reality

Freelance writing is a great way to make a little extra cash while doing something you love! There are a lot of advantages to entering the world of “ghostwriting” and “SEO” writing and all the other types of “writing” you find people paying other people to do.

However, there are also some disadvantages to being a freelance writer. So, in this post I want to sit down and just have a nice chat about what it REALLY means to be a “freelancer” (this doesn’t necessarily relate ONLY to writers. Freelancers of any kind will come across these same things). To do that, I’m going to look at three specific elements of the job. 

Hours

You get to make your own hours- PRO!

One of the great things about working in this field is that you don’t have any tight schedule to follow. Are you a night owl? No problem! No one is sitting at the office waiting for you to clock in. Are you an early riser? Great! Get up and get busy!

But those hours seem to constantly fluctuate-CON!

If you’re like me, you find it hard to keep to a “set schedule” if it’s a self-imposed one. I try to tell myself “Ok, self,  you’re going to work from 9am-2pm today, then a little more after a lunch break from 4pm-6pm” (I attempt to follow a very “Spanish” schedule in case you didn’t notice).

Well, to my demise, it never works out that way. I always get distracted by something or the other (walk the puppy!! Or… oops! I forgot to get food… I should probably go to the store and do that…).

It’s not only that, though. I also have to take into account the fact that I’m in Spain, and my clients are not. Some are in the States, some are in England… they’re all over the place! So, if I’m waiting for feedback on something, it almost never comes during the aforementioned schedule I try to set up for myself. I could just wait and check all my messages the next day during my “scheduled” work time–but I just can’t do that. I always feel like I need to respond right away!

Technology

Working from the comfort of my own home, with my own computer-PRO!

Technology has made it so easy for anyone wanting to be a freelancer. As I mentioned before, I have clients all over the world! And I can interact with them with nothing more than the click of a button! I can chat with them while I’m in my pajamas, sipping my tea, and watching Spongebob in the background. It’s great!

It’s EVERYWHERE…-Con!

The problem with the new technological age is that you can be accessed anywhere, anytime! All of our phones have our e-mail on them, not to mention the apps that the various freelancing platforms have set up. It’s inevitable that right when I get cozy on the couch to watch a movie that the soft “ding” of my e-mail sounds, letting me know I’ve just received a message from someone.

Not to mention the fact that technology fails sometimes–especially if you’re working with my computer that locks up regularly!

Clients

Good Clients, Bad Clients, and Everything in between!

One thing about working as a freelancer is that you have a plethora of different clients and you’re probably working for all of them at the same time. They all have their own guidelines and expectations. They all want something different, and you’re expected to remember who wants what, when, and how.

I’ve made a nice little color-coded system that works for me. But, at first, it was kind of overwhelming.

Another thing about working with clients is the inevitable–you may get some really awful clients. The really picky ones that never seem to be happy with what you do. And, they ask for the most ridiculous things!

I’ve been SO fortunate! I have had amazing clients. They give structure but still freedom. They always give constructive feedback. Overall, they’re all just amazing to work with. BUT, I know I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve heard some REAL HORROR STORIES!

IN SHORT…

Freelancing is a great gig, it really is. But,  just like any job, it has its pros and cons.
BUT, at the end of the day, you’re still getting paid to do something you love, so, I guess that one “pro” really does outweigh all the others.

Which Type of Writer are You?

Now, I’m not talking about “academic” or “professional” or any of that. I’m not talking about style, either. What I mean when I say “type” of writer is how do you write? What is your process?

Doing a quick google search, you’ll see that there is what is known as the “5 step process” for writing- Draft, write, rewrite, edit, publish. While it’s true that all writers go through some semblance of this process, not all of them do it in the same way.

That’s where this post comes in. As far as I can see from talking with other (aspiring) writers, there are 3 different “types” of writer.

  1. The Whirlwind Writer

    This writer is someone who just sits, and writes. Not really any clear plan in mind, but just lets the writing do its own thing, come to life, and guide them. Usually their first draft is a mess of nonsense and horrible grammar. But! In there is a mixture of gold and garbage, and the whirlwind writer doesn’t mind going back through and figuring out which is which. These are the writers that start with an idea that will more than likely change at least 5 times before they finish even the first half of their work.

    Benefits- Their writing usually draws the reader in. Since they really dive in and let their story develop into something all its own, and their characters seem to come to life.
    Drawbacks– They may spend three times as long editing as they do writing. Sometimes they may struggle to get their true ideas across, as they aren’t even sure what their ideas are in the beginning.
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  2. The Meticulous Writer

    This is the writer that plans out everything. They have outlines, character charts, scene cards, etc.. They know exactly what they want to say, and how they want to say it, before they even start to write. They spend more time planning than writing, but when they do sit down to get started, the process tends to flow more or less smoothly. They are die-hard perfectionists, and won’t settle for anything less than the best.

    Benefits- Their writing is very clear, and their message comes through to the reader with no problem. Due to their extensive planning, the story has just the right amount of drama, dialogue, and action.
    Drawbacks– Unlike the “whirlwind writer” they can get too hung up on making things perfect, that they don’t really let the story become its own creation making it seem a little “forced” at times.
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  3. The Inspired Writer

    This writer is almost a combination of the two previous ones. They are the writer that does have a clear idea in mind when they start. They see something, read something, hear something, or experience something that they want to put into words. They may have a general idea of where the story will go, how the characters will develop, and what the main conflict will be, but they also like to sit back and let their ideas develop into something even more powerful than they had hoped.
    Note: I’m not saying that the other types of writers weren’t inspired by something. All writing is in some way inspired by something. The difference is, with this type of writer the inspiration is the backbone of the story, whereas for the others it serves more as a “springboard.” 

    Benefits– Since their writing is very personal, it will reach out and grab the reader right away. They will have the perfect combination of “perfectionist” planning with the “heart-felt” connection to their work that makes for some really great reading.
    Drawbacks- Due to the fact that they were “inspired” to write, they may become frustrated trying to get the story to turn out the way they want. They have an emotional attachment to their story and they want it to develop a certain way. But they also want their characters to be as inspired as they are, so there may be some “conflicts of interest” when they get deeper into the story.

Many people will find that they shift back and forth between the different “types.” It could depend on the story (or project), the day, even their mood!

Me, personally? I tend to be a “whirlwind” writer (this post itself was written in a “whirlwind” type fashion haha). What about you?? What type of writer are you? Do you think there are any other “types” that I didn’t mention?

 

I Hate Writing…

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Image from Pixabay

“I hate writing, I love having written.”  Quote from the witty Dorothy Parker–poet, humorist, writer, rebel.

Whether you write for fun, as a profession, or just for a school paper, you can surely agree. Writing can be a long, almost tortuous endeavor. One moment there are so many ideas flying around in your head, you can’t pick which one to go with. Then the next, you’re sitting there, staring down at a blank page, without a single word to say! You want it to be perfect. You want what you write to reflect what you’re thinking–what you’re feeling. You want the reader to connect with you, with your characters, or with your argument. You know what you want to say–but how do you say it?!

But then, it happens! Almost out of nowhere you start to write. And you write, and you write, and you write! And then, when it’s all said and done, you sit back and feel an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The long hours and countless headaches are all but forgotten.

And then, because of that feeling of joy that came with “having written”… you do it all over again!