Welcome to my blog!

This is my personal blog. I blog about writing and social media a lot because - well, that's what I do. But sometimes I get a little more personal, too. Comments are welcome! Say hi if you're reading!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

What Are You Doing Up so Early?

It's way earlier than I would normally be up on Saturday morning when I don't even have to work but I fell asleep so early last night and then woke up after some strange dreams.  Once I was awake I just couldn't go back to sleep so I figured I might as well get up and get some work done.  I can always have a nap later if I'm tired. :)

So, last weekend I spent waaaay too much time sitting at my computer.  I think that was why I suddenly started having some back/hip pain.  So, I've been trying not to sit at the computer as much this week. Even when I accomplished my big 12,000 word day of writing, I took my netbook out to the living room and sat on the couch.  That seemed to help.  But, I've been bending and reaching and twisting in my cooking job and I'm sure that didn't help very much.  It does seem to be getting better though so I'm hoping to stay out of the computer chair as much as I can this weekend.

Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not working. :)

I've got 8 articles to write this weekend (yay) so I'm going to do my research for those, put it on my pen drive, and do the majority of my work from the couch, since that seems to work for me.  I'm also going to be working on some fiction this weekend, which I can do from the couch as well.

What do you do when you have been sitting at the computer too long?

I swear, one of the first things I'm going to buy when I start making real money from fiction is a new computer chair.  And maybe a standing computer desk and lap top.

This would be ideal! Anyone want to buy it for me?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Harlow-McGaw Media Launches New Site

Totally excited! Check it out here!

I Hit a New Record For Words Written in One Day!

Facebook Page Woes - I Got 'Em - Do You?

Do you have a Facebook Page?  If you're a professional writer, fiction writer, or blogger, you most likely do. At one time, Facebook Pages were THE way to reach a bigger audience. It was a must.

But I'll be honest.  I'm seriously thinking of doing away with my Facebook Pages - if I can find something to replace them.  At least the more important ones.

This year I've been culling my personal Facebook friends list.  I wanted a place where I'd have only personal friends.  People I actually know. And the odd few people that I need to stay in contact with for various reasons.  So, I went from over 700 friends to just under 300.  I haven't really noticed a difference.  Most of the people that I unfriended weren't even showing up in my newsfeed and the vast majority of them never comment on my stuff anyway.

I invited people I didn't know that wanted to stay connected with me to come and like my Facebook Page instead.  A lot of them did.  I don't have a huge page - just over 200 likes - but they are real people. Which is good.

But when I make a new post, no more than 20 people actually see it. Yes, I know, I can increase who sees it by promoting posts.  Sorry, but I really have no desire to give Facebook my  money.  I'd much rather have them see it naturally.

I've read all the posts about getting more exposure. Use pictures, use less links, blah, blah, blah.  But the truth is that all of that has very little impact on the small Facebook Page.

So, what is a girl to do it she wants to have a place where she can have conversations with people who want to stay connected with her?

I've thought about doing the mailing list thing but that's fairly one sided.  An email goes out, some will read, some won't, and that's it.  There's no conversation.  :(  That's not good.

There is Google+ but the fact of the  matter is that most of my people are not on Google+ - or Twitter or Instagram (which I love anyway).

This blog is great for longer posts like this one but...what about a short form post?

I'm seriously thinking of starting  my own social network.  Like Twitter.  I don't know. It's really  just a thought right now. A social network just for writers, bloggers, and people that love social media. Would you be interested?  Should I play with the idea more?

Monday, February 23, 2015

What Do You Do When Income Dries Up?

As some of you know, I've been going through some rough times in the past few months.  I lost a major gig that made up 60% of my income.  About 6 months before that I lost another contract.  Our income decreased by about 75% over a year. Because I had this major gig, I didn't have to do a lot of marketing for years. I had some people that came to me.  I picked up the odd job here and there.  My husband's income made up the rest of it. We weren't rich but we were ok.

Now, things are different.  I've taken a part time job cooking at 1/3 of my previous pay for what I was getting for writing.  And I haven't been able to replace the writing work.

I've been trying to get some residual income sites off the ground but that's a slow build.  I know they'll start making a profit but that doesn't help me right now.

So what's a freelance writer whose income has dried up to do?

I figure I have two option:

A. Write fiction like my life depends on it (it does)
B. Re-brand myself and start with the whole marketing thing again and find some new sources of income.

I started off this post thinking that I was going to write about re-branding and finding new income.  But as I type this I realized (again) that this is not what I want.  I don't want to work for other people to make money off my writing.  I want to work for me.

So, that is what I shall do.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day. I'm behind on a ghostwriting gig.  I have to write 12,000 words tomorrow.  Only 2,000 words more than my record.  I wouldn't want to have to do that often but I can do it for a day.

Then I'm done with ghostwriting.

Starting on Wednesday, I write for myself.  I'll write a couple articles a week for my own sites likely but other than that it is going to be fiction all the way.

I've got to stick with this because - well, my life, my future, and my sanity does depend on it.  I can't cook for long. I can stick it out for a bit but I know that I can't do that for the next 22 years.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

What's the Difference Between a Job and Working for Yourself?


  • Pays by the hour.  No matter how hard you work or how much effort you put in the hourly pay is still the same.
  • It's not usually very stimulating.
  • There's not end goal in sight - you show up, do your work, and then it starts all over again
  • It's rarely something you look forward to
  • You rarely leave feeling like you've really accomplished something.

Working for Yourself:

  • You can work smarter and make more money per hour
  • You can work harder and make more money per hour
  • You're usually doing something you love
  • You have goals that you can work towards
  • Each day can be different
  • It's challenging
  • There's a sense of accomplishment when  you look back and see how much you've done for yourself
So, why am I still working a job?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Freelance Writing vs the Job

Every day I am torn, trying to figure out what is the best option for me.

In October of 2014 I lost the main contract that brought in a good portion of our family income - about 60%. I tried to find other jobs for awhile.  I didn't have much luck. I'd been out of the game - I hadn't had to apply for jobs in a long time.  I got discouraged.

By December I decided that I would be better off taking a job - a "real" job where I had to leave the house and go to work.  I got a job cooking.  It's only part-time but I'm still at it.

It's not a bad job, but I have to tell you, every day when I have to go to work I sit here, trying to do my "real" work, and think about how many hours, how many minutes I have left before I have to go to "the job".  Because it is a job to me.  The whole time I am there I'm thinking about how many hours, how many minutes until I can come home and get back to my "real" work.

That can't possibly be good can it?

I picked up a job writing blog posts for someone who outsources content. The pay is decent.  Not great but decent.  More than double what I'm getting at "the job" though.  And when you add in the conversion from US funds to Canadian funds it's close to triple.  I've done two assignments for him so far and I like the posts.

So, what do I do?

I should likely see if I can get more writing jobs and then quit "the job".  But I've got some guilt going too.  I promised them I would be around until late summer/early fall.  And I get why they would want that.  It costs time and money to train a new employee.

So the question is - should I stay or should I go?

Sorry for the ramble.  Just some thoughts that I figured some of you would relate to.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Are you a Pantser? Or a Plotter?

A what? you ask.

A pantser.

Lots of writers are.  It's nothing to be ashamed of.  If it works for you then that is great!  Some people can sit down with only an idea and pound out 5000 words in no time.

On the other side of the scale is the Plotters.  They outline the details of their story.  Some in a little detail, some in great detail. Some outline the characters, too, going far back into their history.

I used to think I was a pantser.  And the funny thing is I always wondered why I couldn't finish anything.

Then, I decided to try plotting.  It was weird.  I actually had to do some research on how to do it.  I had read about it before but I'd never tried it.

Once I started plotting though, I was hooked.  I found that I actually enjoy the thought process of plotting.  I liked figuring out what goes where and thinking of all those little details that would make my book come together.  Yes, it took time, but it got me ready to actually write stuff.

And then, when I did start writing, the writing went so much faster because I knew what was supposed to come next.  If I got stuck I'd just go back to my notes and then I'd know what was next.

If you're a pantser - or you think you are - try plotting.  See how that works for you.  It can often get the juices flowing again.

If you're a plotter and you're stuck, try pantsing.  You don't have to stick with it if you don't like it. You don't have to actually keep what you put on the page.  But sometimes pantsing is good for getting those creative juices flowing.

Writing is writing and whether you're a pantser or a plotter, getting the words flowing is the most important thing.

Don't be afraid to jump back and forth between pansting and plotting.  It's not a marriage!