Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Blog is Moving Home


I’m moving WriteSuccess again. This time, I’m moving it home—to the home URL, that is, .

For the better part of the last nine years, I’ve published WriteSuccess as an e-zine. That format suited me, as well as a core following of readers, just fine for the longest time.

But I’ve found lately that the amount of time it takes to put each issue together, even an imperfect issue, versus the percentage of people who actually open it when it lands in their inboxes, hasn’t felt productive for me. Moreover, I noticed that even my own online reading habits have changed—I am now much more likely to crack open e-mails that I know will be quick reads than those that are jam-packed with articles, links and other information. And when I have a few minutes, I’m more likely to check for personal and professional updates on Facebook and Twitter than log into my e-mail inbox. It’s just the age we live in.

As the popularity of social networking sites like the ones I mentioned above has exploded, and as blogs have become the main article publishing format for millions of people, I knew that I needed to reformat WriteSuccess if I wanted to continue to connect with writers online and keep delivering links, information, resources and inspirational pep talks as I’ve done for nearly a decade.

In short, it was time for WriteSuccess to go Web 2.0.

So from now on, you’ll find us in our new blog format, at our same old URL. Over time, I will stop sending WriteSuccess via e-mail completely, and communicate solely to those who sign up for the blog feed, or to those who stumble across the site via my referrals from Twitter or through their own searches for writing information. I urge those of you who continue to want to be notified of WriteSuccess updates via e-mail to unsubscribe from this newsletter and subscribe to the feed at the sign up box on the home page at .

I will post more frequent but generally much shorter updates on the WriteSuccess blog containing links to useful sites, resources and articles, interspersed with articles of my own, than I did when I published in e-zine form. My aim is to make WriteSuccess a more valuable source than ever of information for writers who are trying to build successful writing careers.

I also plan to continue to publish your WriteSuccess Stories—announcements about books or articles you’ve written, writing jobs you’ve landed, and/or writing contests you’ve won—so make sure to keep those coming.

As always, I will welcome your comments and feedback. In fact, my hope is that this blog format will make doing that even easier for you.

Here’s to your writing success.

Mary Anne

P.S. I also invite everyone to follow me on Twitter, where I send out links to writing jobs, writing contests and writing articles nearly every day. To follow, go to , or narrow your search to my posts only by entering "WriteSuccess" on .

Friday, August 14, 2009

Let Your Writing Light Shine

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

--Marianne Williamson

I generally opt for pithier quotes than the one I selected above, but as I skimmed through Web pages of inspirational words, this one stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought about editing it a bit, you know, making it a little shorter...but to me, every word of it counts.

If you skimmed past it, I ask that you go back and read it. If you read it quickly, I urge you to take it in a second time more slowly. And if you're already familiar with the quote, I encourage you to take it to heart, perhaps even memorize it.

What is it about these words from Ms. Williamson that strike such a chord in me? From a personal standpoint, I often find myself "playing small," justifying the mundane actions that I prioritize as necessary, while postponing the ones that just might make a huge difference in my life or in the lives of others. I don't tackle the great novel because what if I never finish it? I put off working on ideas I have to help certain kinds of writers find lucrative work because what if it fails? Or worse yet, what if it takes off and I don't have the energy or ability to keep it going effectively?

These self-doubts plague many of us on different levels. We writers, who so often bare our souls and expose our vulnerabilities, may wrestle with them even more than other people. When I journal about mine, I generally think that they stem from feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure. Or I sometimes wonder, who am I to pursue a greater destiny than the one I am currently living?

What captivates me about Mandela's words is the challenge that they present to all of us to be our best selves and give our lives and work our best efforts. He syas in effect, "I dare you to step into your greatness. In fact, you not only do yourself a disservice by 'playing small,' you are letting down every single person who needs you."

All I can say to that is, "Wow." Because here's the thing--people need us writers for so many things. They need us to keep them informed, make them laugh, motivate them to make a change, guide them in learning a new process, entertain them, get their messages across, promote their products and services, influence others to take some action, or tell their stories for them. Rich and famous people need us, companies of all sizes need us, our readers need us. Ours is a marvelous, important profession. We must never think of it as being otherwise, or belittle our calling by placing it behind all other things on our "to do" lists.

For whatever reason, we've been called to be writers. Let's not "play small" --let your writing light shine.

Here's to your writing success.

Mary Anne

P.S. If you don't already do so, come follow me on Twitter! I send out links to writing jobs, writing contests and writing articles nearly every day. To follow, go to , or narrow your search to my posts only by entering "WriteSuccess" on .

Friday, July 31, 2009

What Makes a Freelance Writer a Freelance Writer?

Earlier today I read this blog post at Ghostwriting-The Hidden Writer, which posed questions we should ask ourselves in order to determine whether or not we are truly freelance writers. The test questions were split into two categories--the first five we were meant to say "yes" to and the second five we were meant to say "no" to if we really, really, truly consider oursleves to be freelance writers.

The "yes" questions spoke to what some might consider our higher selves--do we write because we're passionate about it? Because we can't see ourselves doing anything else? The basic gist of the "no" questions fell under the apparently less aesthetic motive of "are you doing this for the money?" category.

My immediate reaction, and eventual comment on the blog itself was, does being a freelancer have to be an either-or thing? Can't we love it and still want to write for a living? And can't we loathe coming to our keyboards on some days, but make ourselves get to work because we need to if we want to pay our bills?

I think Amanda's point was that she does not consider those "writers" who swarm on the job bid sites to make a dollar an article to be truly freelance writers. But aren't they? They are writing, albeit not up to any standard that I would consider professional, and they are getting paid for it, sort of. Is the writer who has never published a word somehow a writing saint, while these writing, um, bottom feeders are the sinners?

Frankly, whether we write chick lit, fillers, blog posts, brochures or true literary masterpieces--or boilerplate articles--I think we all fall under the freelance writer umbrella. We are simply appealing to different markets and audiences. As for me, I continue to lean towards continuing to call those writers who want to or already do make a real living through writing as "writerpreneurs."


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wow, Where Did July Go?

I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted a blog entry--and most professional bloggers recommend posting two to three times a week! If I hadn't come here to check just now, I would have let the entire month of July go by without posting. Where did the last four weeks go?

I'll be better about maintaining this blog going forward. Not because I feel I have to, but because I want to. This blog is an important part of my communication strategy for some exciting things I have in the works for writers, and I need WriteSuccess followers to keep coming here now and then. I may eventually move it from this free platform and put it right onto the main WriteSuccess site, but for now it's here, so here is where I need to come on a much more regular basis. After all, I don't need to write an epic each time I post an entry; I just need to post some thoughts and news that might be of interest to you.

My apologies for being so lax about this. I really am working on some exciting stuff that will help some of you develop profitable and successful writing careers. So you are in my thoughts more than you know.

In the meantime, I urge you to follow me on Twitter at , where I post links, jobs and quotes for writers pretty much every day. To narrow down your search to my posts, just type the word WriteSuccess in the new search box on the home page.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Are You a Writerpreneur?

Writerpreneur (n) - One who writes for a living; a writer who considers writing to be a profession or business, and constantly seeks new ways to earn money as a writer.

No, I didn't coin this term, unfortunately. From what I can tell via Google, Gregory A. Kompes came up with it to describe his writing life. I took to the word immediately, and decided to formally define it. I think it embodies what a lot of us dream of being or already are. At least it does for me.

By the time I graduated from high school, I already knew I wanted to be a writerpreneur (or, as I stated in my yearbook, a "professional freelance writer"). But coming from a working class family and neighborhood of mostly blue collar fathers and stay at home mothers, I hadn't the foggiest idea how to treat writing as a business, and instead clung to the safe route of "real jobs," dabbling with writing on the side. While I am still employed full-time, I can at least now say that I do enough writing to consider it a steady part-time job, and still plan for the day when I can write, and support myself by doing so, full-time.

Not all writers are writerpreneurs. Some write solely for the joy of it, or for self-discovery, or for creative release, and there's nothing wrong with that. My guess is, some of the world's best writing never gets read by anyone but the author. And not all writerpreneurs are good writers; I see examples of that nearly every day. What binds writerpreneurs, however, is the drive to make writing a career, not a hobby.

Writepreneurs come in many varieties. Some, like Bob Bly and Peter Bowerman, freelance as copywriters. Stephen King, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Sue Grafton and many others make a more than comfortable living writing fiction. But these represent only well-known writerpreneurs; many, many people you may never hear of do ghost writing, copywriting, article writing, songwriting, speech writing, and supply an endless stream of scripts, screenplays, greeting card verses and Web copy. Others run their writing businesses based on information products, ebooks, or by developing niche Web sites.

True, the internet has proven to be both a blessing and a curse for writers. Too many sites look for free content. Too many internet marketers look for cheap writing labor. And too many people are willing to take these cheap or free assignments.

On the other hand, the industrious writerpreneur can use the internet as part of a profitable marketing, networking and job search strategy. Never before has it been so easy for a writer in New York to do work for a client in California, or for writers in Australia and the UK to submit articles to American and Canadian markets. Never before has it been possible for good writers to make commission by promoting the products of others as affiliates, or by blogging, or by teaching online courses.

For the resourceful entrepreneur, opportunities abound. It takes effort and persistence, just as getting published always has, but I firmly believe that making a good living as a writer has never been more doable. In fact, a lot of writers already do so.

Here's to your writing success.

Mary Anne

P.S. If you don't already do so, come follow me on Twitter! I send out links to writing jobs, writing contests and writing articles nearly every day. To follow, go to , or narrow your search to my posts only by entering "WriteSuccess" on .

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Simple Way to Manage Projects and Tasks

By guest blogger Steve Slaunwhite

Have you ever had a task fall through the cracks? Then scrambled to get it done? Or misplaced important information you needed to finish a project, and wasted precious minutes or even hours trying to find it?

Few things will torpedo your productivity more than disorganization. That's why having an effective system for managing your projects and tasks is so important.

I define PROJECTS as those activities that typically take longer than 20 minutes to complete. For example, writing a brochure for a client is a project. So is putting together a new website or doing your taxes.

A TASK, by contrast, is any activity that takes less than 20 minutes to complete. It's a traditional to-do item. Over the course of a day, you might have several tasks that need your attention (or, in some cases, scream for it) such as paying a bill, returning a phone call, or ordering a new toner cartridge for the printer.

Over the years I've experimented with many systems for keeping track of projects and tasks. I've tried software programs, online to-do lists, project management binders, the works.

What ultimately worked best for me? Some file folders, a stack of 3x5 index cards, and a wall-mounted cork board!

Yep, I know that's about as low-tech as it gets, but the system works. Let me walk you through it. Here's what I do when I get a new project from a client:

  • First, I pull out a file folder and label it with the project name. That's where I'm going to put all the printed project information. I use an accordion-style legal-size file folder because it holds a lot of stuff and prevents papers from falling out the sides.
  • Next, I make a corresponding computer folder -- using the same project name, of course -- to hold electronic project information, such as documents and emails.
  • Finally, I write the project name and any key dates, such as the deadline, on an index card and pin it to the cork board adjacent to my desk. The cork board gives me an at-a-glance view of what needs to get done: projects on the left, tasks on the right.

That's it! When I "go to work" each morning, I simply look at my cork board, decide which project I want (or need) to work on, and simply pull out the corresponding file folder and open the corresponding computer folder. Everything I need to hit the ground running on that project is now at my fingertips. I'm working productively in about 15 seconds!

I have a similar system for completing tasks. If there's a phone call I need to return, for example, and I can't do that right away, I simply:

  • Pick up an index card from the stack I keep on my desk.
  • Jot down the task. "Call Michael back to discuss the revisions for the new website.
  • Pin the index card to the cork board.

When I have a few moments, usually while I'm taking a break from working on a project, I just look at the cork board, pick a task and, as comedian Larry the Cable Guy is famous for saying, "Get 'er done!"

My cork board of projects and tasks helps me gain a big picture of what needs to get done and ensures nothing, especially tasks, falls though the cracks. And it sure feels good to take down an index card and toss it in the recycle bin when a project or task is done!

Try this low-tech system for staying on top of your projects and tasks. It works!


Steve Slauwhite is the author of Start & Run a Copywriting Business (Self-Counsel Press) and The Everything Guide to Writing Copy (Adams Media). You can sign up for his free newsletter for copywriters at

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some Questions to Reignite Your Writing Flame

Do you ever feel so paralyzed by writer's block or procrastination that the very thought of sitting down to write seems downright repulsive? When cleaning out a closet or organizing your DVDs alphabetically sounds more attractive than setting aside time to write?

I'll admit that I have felt that way. Generally speaking, I love to write--I enjoy the entire process, from sitting at my laptop or PC and clicking away on the keys to stringing words together that best capture my message or mood. I relish the editing process as well, changing or restringing those words until I am satisfied with the result. And I definitely love the feeling of fulfillment that comes from completing an article, chapter, blog post, essay or issue of WriteSuccess.

But sometimes...I lose sight of what I love about being a writer. And if you're struggling to complete something you're working on--or to even begin developing in writing an idea that's been floating in your brain--chances are you've lost sight of why you've wanted to write as well. When this happens, perhaps taking some time to ask the following questions, and even writing the answers in a journal, can help replenish our writing energy and restore our writing resolve. Here are a few of the questions we can ask to stoke our writing fires once more:

*How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a writer?
*What was the first thing you remember writing that you were proud of, and why?
*What is the most recent thing that you've written that you're proud of, and why?
*What do you want your writing to accomplish?
*What is it about the writing life that most appeals to you?
*How would you like your writing to be remembered, known or recognized? Why?

Answering questions like these can help us rediscover the joy, fun and/or fulfillment that we sometimes lose along the way during the course of building our writing careers. They can bring us back to our writing roots and provide us with a fresh sense of purpose. In other words, they can help us remember why we chose to become writers in the first place, or why we keep coming back to writing again and again.

Here's to your writing success.

Mary Anne

P.S. Come join me on Twitter! I send out links to writing jobs, writing contests and writing articles nearly every day. , or search WriteSuccess on .

Monday, June 8, 2009

Writers: How to Land Online Radio & Podcast Interviews

Mary Anne’s Note: The following article is actually part of a free report I received from the editor of one of the ezines I subscribe to. While the author wrote it for internet marketers, I think it contains great advice for writers trying to publicize their books and/or writing services.

By Nicole Dean

Imagine being a talk show host for a weekly podcast. What’s the one thing you need every single week? Guests. Lots and lots of expert guests.

You think finding content for your website is hard? Trying pinning down guests each week for interviews. My good friend, Kelly McCausey, has been recording an online show since 2003 – every single week at That’s a lot of guests.

I recently interviewed Kelly to ask the question "What makes a good guest and what makes you want to invite someone back?" Here are some pointers to increase your odds of getting on a show and being asked back:

1. Actually listen to the show a few times before even thinking of contacting the host as a potential guest. Make sure your concept fits into the market that the show reaches. If the show is about Health, then don’t pitch your candy-making cookbook on there.

2. Do something newsworthy or interesting. Are you having a special event for charity? Have you recently won an award? If your idea is timely, you’ll stand out and the host may contact you sooner rather than later.

3. Have something interesting to say. If you just plan to talk about your products, then don’t ask to be a guest. Buy an ad instead.

4. If you have sample interviews or media exposure, tell the host about it in your inquiry letter. Direct her to your media page where you link to past interviews, if you have them.
One Good Turn Deserves Another

With the Host or Hostess giving so much to you, what are you expected to do in return?

• Provide a list of questions in advance.
• Send a sample of your product to the host before you appear on the show.
• Tell your newsletter list about the interview and where to find it. Your host will be more
likely to have you back if you are willing to publicize your interviews.
• Blog about your interview.
• Be a gracious guest and be sure to say "Thank you" when the interview is over. (A gift
is also nice.)

Hot Tip! You may also ask the host for a copy of the interview that you can add to youraffiliate center.

The author’s Web site is

Speaking of Web sites, be sure to 1) subscribe to my free ezine of information, inspiration and resources for writers at . Also, for the latest links to writing jobs, writing contests and writing news, follow me on Twitter at .

Monday, June 1, 2009

What Do You Want as a Writer?

I think it's been 20 years since I've listened to audio cassettes by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, but I remember this quote of his, in that Southern drawl, as clearly as though I'd just heard it yesterday:

"In order to get what you want, you need to help others get what they want."

At that time, I had pretty much abandoned my writing aspirations and was concentrating all of my efforts on the "practical route" of clawing my way up the corporate ladder. I read and listened to everything I could get my hands on regarding leadership, good management, networking, goal setting, and a host of similar topics, which eventually led me to Ziglar. Zig had a delivery style as cozy as a hand-sewn quilt and as warm as homemade bread, so you felt as though you were sitting on his front porch listening to him while spun tales that incorporated his business philosophies.

I learned so much from him, things I tried to apply on the job. But I didn't actually work with, or for, Zig. In fact, I felt as though I worked with and for people whose motivations and goals I either didn't understand or couldn't agree with, and found it difficult to reconcile Zig's philosophies with my reality. After awhile, the corporate ladder for me turned out to be a slippery slope, one I could never firmly grasp. This turned out fine, as I returned to writing, using my management and corporate experiences to break into publication as a business article writer.

But as I recalled Zig's words recently, I realized that they apply as much or more to writers as they do to those aspiring to management positions. No matter what kind of writer or what kind of writing I applied the quote to, it fit. For example:
Do you want to get published in magazines? Then come up with the kind of article ideas (including titles) that editors crave, ones that would entice readers to pick up their magazine at newsstands.

Do you want to write novels? Write for your readers, not just yourself. Develop characters that readers will remember, create settings they can feel, see, smell and taste, concoct page-turning scenes and plotlines.

Do you want to be a sought after copywriter? Deliver your best work to your clients at all times, adhere to deadlines and make reasonable revisions when asked.

Can you see the pattern here? In order to get to where you want to be as a writer, give editors, readers, agents, publishers and clients what they want. Mr. Ziglar had it right all along. I was simply applying it to the wrong career for a while.

Here's to your writing success.

Mary Anne

P.S. Come join me on Twitter! I send out links to writing jobs, writing contests and writing articles nearly every day. , or search WriteSuccess on .

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What Keeps You from Living the Writing Dream?

Question: If I could wave a wand and transform your writing life into everything that you’d ever want it to be, what would that life look like? What would you need more of, or less of, to get you from where you are now as a writer and where you would like to be?

For me, the issue had always been lack of time. I never felt as though I had enough time in my day to write. When I was younger, I often worked two jobs to make ends meet. Who had time to write then? As my income began to rise, I was eventually able to drop the second job, but often came home exhausted anyway, or facing a list of non-writing chores to tackle, or deciding to spend the remaining time with family and friends. I just never seemed to have enough time to pursue my writing on a regular basis.

I also felt I lacked the right tools to be a successful writer. Maybe once I saved up for a better typewriter (remember those?), or a car so I could conduct in person interviews, or a tape recorder with one of those tape recorder suction cup doohickeys so I could do telephone interviews—then I could get more writing done. (That same line of thinking carried me off and on from the 1970s well into the 1990s, when I got my first PC and, later, internet access).

Then I decided that, if I could become financially successful, I could ditch the day job and have all the time in the world to write. Yes, that was it—what I actually needed first was more money, so I could buy more time to write (as well as the latest essential writing gadgets, of course, including a cell phone and Palm pilot). So I looked for ways to move up the ladder at work, and started side businesses in order to make more money. But these pursuits only tired me out, and brought me nowhere near the income I would need in order to make the leap into full-time freelancing. I could now afford the gadgets, but still never seemed to be able to put in a reliable amount of writing time.

Now that I do write on a pretty consistent basis, and have been for a number of year, I realize that I could have been a writer all along. While having a decent PC and access to the Web have opened up writing avenues for me, and having unlimited wealth would be awesome, I never needed more time, more money or more equipment to be a writer. All I really needed was more discipline, and the steadfast ability to commit even a handful of minutes per day to honing my craft, looking for markets and submitting my best work. That’s what I eventually began to do, once I stopped making excuses. And that’s when I began to get published.

Now then, let’s go back to that question I posed at the beginning of this post. I’m waving the wand—what are you asking for now?

More discipline, I hope. That’s the key difference between most aspiring writers and actual writers.

Here’s to your writing success.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April WriteSuccess Stories

Have you published a story, book or article? Do you have a blog? Have you landed a juicy writing job or won a writing contest? Whatever your writing success, e-mail me at and tell us about it!

Here are the WS stories I received during the month of April:

Great news! My next novel, set in Bryson City, NC, How Sweet It Is, will be released May 2009. My editor shared the cover with me and I'm extremely happy with it. Life is sweet!

My debut novel, Rain Song, is a finalist for a 2009 Christy Award. The finalists were announced in Dallas in March and the winners will be selected in July. A listing of all nominees can be viewed at this Web Web site:

Alice J. Wisler

Darrell Lindsey recently won International Second Prize in the 2008 Mainichi Haiku Contest. He also has a poem in Issue #17 of OG's Speculative Fiction.
Dear Mary Anne,

You were with me when I published my first article in a magazine. Now I am happy to say you are with me when I published my first book!

My first book, a novella entitled "Angelic Memoirs" has been published by officially. I even Googled my book and found it on the Google search engine!

This is the link to check it out:

I also created my own personal author's Web site!

I have taken my first step; it might not be much but it's a start and I hope to continue it. Thank you for your wonderful Web-zine! Its helped me a lot and made me not give up hope.

Bless you!

Janis Cramlett

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You Just Never Know

It all happened within a few seconds.

One moment, I was cautiously navigating my car down a village street, willing it to get me to my destination only a few short blocks away. The next, my car and I had come to an abrupt halt on cement steps leading up to a house, airbags deployed, windshield splintered, wisps of brownish smoke slithering from somewhere behind the dashboard.

In the moments before those two moments, during the last mile or so of my drive, my car’s brakes had begun to suddenly feel strange, soft, spongy. I vowed that once I parked the car, I would leave it there until I could call John for advice or get it towed to our mechanic’s shop. But how bad could the situation be? The brakes had worked fine on the way to work this morning, as well as when I’d first left the office this afternoon; now, so close to getting to where I wanted to go (a hair appointment, of all things), driving a good ten miles an hour under the village speed limit, and keeping a few car lengths behind the vehicle in front of me, I believed I was taking all the right precautions.

Then the vehicle ahead of me stopped to make a left hand turn. I gently braked, but this time my foot went to the floor with absolutely no resistance. As I headed towards the vehicle’s rear end, I yanked the steering wheel to the right with the hope of bringing my car to a stop along the curb. Instead, it jumped the curb and tried to ascend a set of cement steps leading to a house, where it came to the abrupt halt described above.

In the moments between those two moments, I thought about my upcoming Florida vacation, that I’d be late for my hair appointment (yes, really), and, oh crap, that John would think this was my way of getting a new car.

This accident happened to me a week ago, and I actually walked away from the incident with only a couple of minor aches, some funny tales to tell, a whole lot of gratitude (it could have been worse in just too many nightmarish ways), and a new experience to add to the lifetime of real and imagined experiences that I already draw form when I write (or, for that matter, when I dream). More silver linings than clouds, don’t you think?

As for my hair appointment? My stylist squeezed me in once I’d arrived, a mere half hour late, via a squad car. I made it to that evening’s live performance of Sweeney Todd as well (talk about the dreams I had that night!). Today I bask in the Florida sunshine. And I should have a new car by next week.

You just never know when and where inspiration to write will strike.

Here’s to your writing success.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

11 Blogs (Besides Mine) That Freelance Writers Should Follow Religiously

About Freelance Writing ( sets the bar that we mere mortals can only aspire to. Regularly updated, this blog carries everything from freelance writing job opportunities to industry news.

All Freelance Writing ( comes a close second. A very close second. Great articles, tons of job postings and lots of resources,. What’s not to love?

Freelance Writing Scene ( is not as pretty as the first two—in fact it sort of looks like "Twitter for Writers," which means frequent updates to useful or interesting links.

Freelance Writing Jobs for Web and Print ( bills itself as "the number one online community of freelance writers;" if that’s true, it’s with good reason. Very nice, indeed.

Daily Freelance Writing Tips ( contains mostly short, to-the-point posts on the various aspects. challenges and opportunities facing today’s freelance writers.

The Ups, Downs and Sometimes Insane World of Freelance Writing ( Frankly, the name alone makes this one worth checking out. I enjoy Jon’s writing style, too, but think he should put his full name somewhere on his blog—at least on his profile. My two cents, Jon.

The Bigge Idea (, freelance journalist’s Ryan Bigge’s contribution to the blogosphere is often irreverent, generally thought-provoking, and never predictable.

Angela Booth’s Fab Freelance Writing Blog ( is all about making a more than decent living as a freelance writer. She’s doing it, so she should know.

Freelance Switch ( is actually geared towards all freelancers, not just writers, but you won’t mind once you see how info-packed it is.

Ask Wendy-The Query Queen ( contains contest news, advice, links to Wendy’s book (smile) and happens to be one of the more attractive writing blogs out there.

C. Hope Clark (, publisher of the ezine Funds for Writers and herself a prolific author, provides more writing awards and other funding information and news on her blog.

So there you have it. Read them and reap.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Boomer Writer Tries to Keep Up

Sometimes when I’m online, I feel like I’m on an ice skating rink for the very first time, shaky on my feet, while seasoned skaters whiz by me doing effortless triple salchows and those cool looking sit spins. I’ve particularly felt this way more and more lately as I’ve begun to wade into Web 2.0 waters, having just recently signed up for Facebook and Twitter accounts. And now I’m launching this blog.

I’m hardly an internet newbie. Those familiar with my work know I’ve had an ezine for nearly a decade and a Web site for almost that long. I’m no stranger to forums, IMs , Webinars or online shopping. I rarely write a paper check these days if I can help it. I consider Google and email to be basic necessities.

But this recent onslaught of communcation options has this middle-aged head reeling. I am especially overwhelmed by the rapid development of numerous Twitter tools, having only just begun to dip a toe into the Twitter pool (or should I say raging flood) itself. The problem is, I love learning new things. I never needed to be the first kid on the block with the latest toy, as long as I eventually got to own one. I feel that way about many, if not most, current technological advances and Web-based tools. But things are just moving way, way too fast for me now. There’s so much to read, learn, explore, try. And still only 24 hours in a day.

I guess it all comes down to deciding what’s most important, and making choices. We can allow oursleves to drown in tweets and pokes, or we can take a step back, realize that it’s okay not to be able to keep pace with every single change, and make time for what really matters. For me that includes family, friends, writing, reading good books, gardening, and–-when I can–-finding time to learn a little more about these new-fangled ways to reach out to other people, especially writers, around the globe.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always choose wisely. Real time flies in cyberspace. But I do strive for balance between the global community and my local one.

So as the young skaters fly past me, I try not to envy them too much. Thirty to forty years from now, I’m sure they will feel as befuddled as I sometimes do now. Not that I wish that for them; it’s just the natural order of things. Instead, I’ll simply admire their prowess, and try to learn a little from watching them. Who knows? Maybe some of them will take pity on a doddering baby boomer, and pull me along for the ride of my life.