Freelance Writer & Social Media Assistant

If you'd like to get to know me better on a personal level, please visit my other site: Dani.Space

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Words Are for Hire - Will YOU Be My Next Client?

Hi everyone!

I haven't posted in ages because I've been so busy!  I started a new blog that I am using for fun and for rambles.  That way I can keep this blog just for my professional stuff.  I'm slowly going to be moving all non-professional, rambly type of content from her to my new blog.

If you want to join me there for "fun, inspiration, and randomness" you can find it here:

I'll also be using it as a home to promote my fiction written under Dani Gibbings.

Are YOU Looking for a Writer?

The other big thing that has happened is....



Yes, you read that right.  After all the turmoil over the past six months, trying to decide what to do, I just did it.  I put in my two weeks notice and my last day was this past Sunday.

Incredible relief.

Don't get me wrong - I was getting to be very happy with the people and my new bosses.  But in my heart I know that I should be writing.

So, yes, I'm taking on new clients.

If you're wondering what I do I will write:

  • blog posts
  • articles
  • ebooks (non-fiction)
  • ebooks (fiction - romance from sweet to very, very steamy)
  • social media updates/posting (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tsu, Instagram)

My prices vary by the project so send me an email to danielle.mcgaw (at) gmail (dot) com with details of your project and we'll discuss and come to an agreeable price.

If you'd like to see samples and testimonials from past clients (including a very nice one from Pat Flynn) visit my Hire Me page.

Continue Reading…

Saturday, March 7, 2015

6 Things That May Be Stopping You from Being a Successful Writer

All of her life, she dreamed of being a writer.  When she was a young teenager, she wrote stories of love and romance.  She wrote hundreds of poems.  She wrote in  her diary every night, even when there wasn't anything exciting to write about.  She read every book that crossed her path and fell in love with the characters. Then she grew up and people told her she should pick a career where should could have a stable life.  "Writing is not stable," they would say to her.  "Be a teacher or a business woman." So she did.  And she had less and less time for writing stories, poetry, and even for reading.  But she still dreamed of being a writer and it broke her heart that she wasn't doing what she really wanted to do.

Does this sound familiar at all?  It happens to the best of us.  The world tells us that we can't possibly be successful as a writer.  So very few are.

But they lied.  There are lots of people today that are finding success as writers. They are even supporting themselves on the money that they make from writing.  You might not know their names because they are either not very famous or they use pen names but they are out there.  They are sitting next to you on the bus and in the next cubicle at your job and watching their children at the park.  They are people just like you and me.  And if they can do it, so can you.

So, what things do they do that you don't?  Every writer is different but the majority of writers have some things in common.  If they did these things, they likely wouldn't be as successful as they are.

#1 Waiting for the muse

Do you wait for inspiration to hit you?  Are you waiting for your muse to come along and hit you upside the head with fabulous ideas?  If you are, that likely means that you aren't writing very much.  Muses are a myth.  The best writers will tell you that they don't have one. They write until the good ideas come.  They throw out what doesn't work.  And they aren't afraid to ditch big blocks of text in favor of the stuff that really works. It all leads to the ultimate goal - writing something you can be proud to publish.

#2 Giving up reading time

Writers read. Why?  It's a teaching tool. The more your read, the more you understand how great books are created.  You learn how to plot.  You learn how to create great characters.  You learn how to build dialogue that works.  Read as often as you can. Read the kind of books you love. Read the kind of books you want to write. By reading often, you will improve your writing.  It's part of the job.

#3 They focus on traditional publishing

For some people, getting an agent and getting your book published by a traditional publisher us the answer.  It worked for J. K. Rowling (I just watched the Lifetime movie of her life and it was fabulous!).  But it doesn't work for everyone. Consider self-publishing through Amazon.  I now know many people that are finding success by self-publishing through Amazon and many of them are hitting the New York Times Bestsellers list.  Many of them are not but they are still making good money with their book sales. You can even publish print copies of your books through CreateSpace and get them in libraries.

About a year ago I joined a membership program called Kindling and it changed the way I looked at things.  Besides being filled with more information that you could possibly dream was out there on self-publishing, it is also filled with people that are actually doing it and serve as a great reminder that self-publishing is a viable option.  I've watched people go from $0 to $10,000 a month in 6 months!
Check it out here if you like and feel free to ask questions in the comments if you have them.

#4 They strive for perfection

No one is perfect.  I'm not telling you to just slap something together and publish it but once you've written and edited and maybe had someone else edit it, get it out there and get ready for feedback from readers (which could just come by the way of a lack of sales - be prepared for that).  Do your best but don't hang on to that manuscript for years for fear of it not being perfect.

#5 They have no clue what their audience wants

What genre do you write in?  Don't know? Well, it is time to think about that. You need to know what genre you write in so that you can figure out who your audience is. Find a few books that are similar to what you are writing.  What genres are they classified in?  Now look at their reviews. What are people saying that they like about their books. What other books have those reviewers read?  How about those book covers?  Notice anything common in the books in those genres? Covers mean something. What are people complaining about?  That will tell you a lot about who the audience is and what they do and don't like.

#6 They treat writing like a hobby

Hobbies do make money sometimes but most of the time it is something that people do for fun. If you're just looking for a hobby that's fine, but be aware that you'll likely never make much money from it. If you want to make writing your sole source of income, if you want to be able to just write and not have to worry about the day job, you need to treat writing like a business.  You need to schedule time to write, do research, learn about your craft.  If you don't you might find that it takes 10 years to write that novel.  Why should it take that long.

The great majority of people have ways they can block out time in their lives. I have one writer friend who has a busy life being a mom of young children and working a job.  She takes care of the household, does all the cooking, and chauffeurs her children around to various lessons and events. How on  earth does she find time to write?  One thing she does is she makes use of the tools that she has.  She has an iPhone and it goes with her everywhere. When she's waiting in line or at a doctor's office, she whips out her phone and writes a few well thought out lines (or maybe not so well thought out but they are there!).  When her children are having fun kicking the soccer ball around the field at practice, other moms might think she's on social media but she's really writing her novel.

Other people, get up earlier than everyone else in the house or stay up later.  They might have a netbook on their kitchen counter and write a couple paragraphs while the beef is simmering. They might give up watching television or even write while their children are watching a movie.  The bottom line is that the find time. Time is there if you look for it!

Time to Wrap It Up

I could go on but here's the takeaway:

If you want to be a writer, be a writer.  Write daily, read good books, and find a way to get your words out to the world.  If you are determined, nothing can stop you.  If you make excuses - those excuses will build up into a big wall that you won't get around.

Write.  Right now.  Get off the Internet, turn off your phone, and write something, even if it is only a sentence.  Write. Because that is what writers do!
Continue Reading…

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.
Continue Reading…

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?
Continue Reading…

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