Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I realize that it's a couple days late, but I still wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Hope you are having as wonderful of a time as I am!

I am thoroughly enjoying this holiday time with my family. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays...and it's especially been exciting this year watching my son (who is now 2 and 1/2 years old) experience this holiday season. This year he seems to have a much better grasp of what is going on, and it's been really fun sharing these special moments with him and my daughter. My daughter is about 16 months at this point and even though she doesn't fully understand everything that's happening, she is definitely having fun, too.

Anyway, I vowed that I was going to stay away from my computer for this whole Christmas break, but I figured that a quick blog post never hurt anyone. :) I'd better get back to my munchkins before they come searching for me. Again, I wish you all a very joyful holiday season!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Julie & Julia

I just finished watching the movie "Julie & Julia"...and I really liked it! Definitely recommend it!

But, in addition to finding the movie quite enjoyable, I also found it extremely thought-provoking. Or should I say emotion-provoking (I realize that's not a word). What I mean is: the movie made me feel both inspired...and somewhat discouraged at the same time.

I'm not really sure why.

As soon as the movie ended, I sat at my desk, looked up the author (of the book that the movie was based upon), and tried to figure out what the reason was for my mixed emotions that resulted from seeing this story. Finally, after not coming to any real conclusion, I decided to blog about it and see if I could gain any insight in this way.

Perhaps the inspiration was in seeing two women who were trying to find their place in the world...and who committed to something that would help them do just that. And then watching how sticking to that commitment required a lot of hard work and dedication...and eventually paid off.

But why the slightly negative, somewhat discouraged feeling? What's the reason behind that one?

Not sure. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm still kind of at the beginning of my journey...I still have a lot of hard work and dedication ahead of me. But if that's the problem, at least I have the possibility of someday experiencing that amazing sense of accomplishment that accompanies the achievement of a hard-earned goal..just like Julie Powell and Julia Child experienced.

I guess this is a situation where I should just focus my thoughts and energy on the inspirational aspect...because I have to admit, it's pretty awesome to see the realization of someone's dreams...and know that it actually happened!

One thing that I can definitely take away from the movie is the importance of setting a specific goal for myself, setting a deadline, and then committing to the achievement of that goal.

Well, it's getting late and I've got a busy day tomorrow, so I'd better head to bed. Like I said, the movie was very thought-provoking for me.

Have any of you seen "Julie & Julia"?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Learn How To Write (And Sell!) Essays

I've been extremely busy (when am I not?), but wanted to make sure that I posted this information for you...

Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell (aka "The Renegade Writers") recently began hosting a series of free teleclasses. So far, I have been able to "attend" both of them, and have really learned a lot from them. (I'm not positive, but I think you can find links to recordings of the teleclasses on their blog.) In addition to learning a great deal from the teleclasses, I have also found them to be very inspiring and enjoyable.

(By the way, if you have not already checked out their blog - The Renegade Writer Blog - I highly recommend that you do so. There is a wealth of information available in their archives, and the blog is constantly updated with new and helpful information.)

The next teleclass they are offering is "Amy Paturel's Teleclass Secrets to Essays That Sell." The class will be held on the evening of December 15th. Check out the Renegade Writer Blog for all the details. Hopefully, I'll "see" you there! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Freelance Writers Don't Get "Sick Days"

Well, the Thanksgiving holiday came and passed...and I am officially exhausted!

Don't get me wrong - I had a wonderful time with my family and's just that there was a lot of catch-up work to do once it was over. On top of that, my children have caught yet another virus, and have been running fevers and throwing up. And of course, they didn't both get sick at the same time - first, my son started complaining that he didn't feel well a few days ago, and then my daughter's just really kicked in last night. So I have a feeling that this is going to get dragged out for the rest of the week. This has definitely been a crazy flu season around here for us...the worst yet, in fact. Hopefully, we'll be done with all this sickness soon!

In short, my computer time has been quite limited as I've had plenty of laundry to wash (due to non-stop vomiting by people that are too small to understand the concept of leaning over a toilet), soup to make, and sad, uncomfortable little munchkins to tend to. These are the times when freelancing can be tough because I don't have the option of a "sick day" from work. I have deadlines, and clients who are relying on me to meet those deadlines.

Another downside of not having "sick time" as a freelancer is the fact that during weeks like this when both of my munchkins are sick, I spend most of my time taking care of them, and any spare time after that is used to complete assignments...which leaves little or no time to spend on marketing (finding new markets for my work, sending out LOI's, writing queries, networking, etc.). And when I don't spend time marketing, I don't have as much work coming in, which will definitely be reflected in my earnings in the months to come.

Although I have to say that despite these disadvantages of freelancing, I wouldn't give it up for anything. In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the few downsides of this business. The simple fact that I get to spend my days at home with my kids is enough to convince me that this is the life for me.

I would love to hear how you manage to get your work done when you have sick kids at home. Do you just do the bare minimum of meeting deadlines as I do or are you able to squeeze some marketing in, too?