Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm Going Cold Turkey

So, tomorrow I'm going Cold Turkey.

No, not quitting smoking (although that is soon).  Not giving up coffee (do I look crazy to you?). Not giving up sweets (although I am, but that's not really a big deal to me).

I'm talking about Cold Turkey - the Internet blocker.

I'll be the first one that I have a bit of a problem with focus.  I can bounce around between a dozen tabs all day long and get almost nothing done. Even when I'm trying to actually work, I'll still bouncing around.  And that's just not good for productivity.  Anyone that actually makes decent money will tell you that you have to have some self-control when it comes to things like Facebook and Twitter and other sites. Either that or you need something to control your Internet time for you.

That's where Cold Turkey comes in.

You decide which sites you need to stay off of and when you need to block them so you can work.  You set it up, turn it on, and you get focused.

Tomorrow I'm going Cold Turkey.  I'm scared.  I really am!  But now that there is no reason for me to have to go to Facebook all the time (it's not part of my job) there's no excuses.

Have you tried anything like this to force yourself to be more productive?

Tuesday - Friday this week!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Changes - I'll Show You!

Changes can be rough.  They usually aren't expected and they can really mess up your plans.  But if you don't learn to adapt to them quickly they can really tear your world apart.

This is especially true for the freelance writer. I've seen it happen over and over again with my peers. They depend on a certain content mill for work and then the mill closes or changes and BOOM! There's no more work!  No what?  If they aren't prepared for it, this kind of thing can make them seriously doubt their profession.

Until yesterday, I had never had to deal with this. I'was lucky.  I had a contract with a major business to do blogging and social media.  And until recently, I was really the only one that knew what I was doing or understood it.  I was almost "the expert".  But then...things changed.

The company decided it was time to ramp up their marketing efforts. Part of that was creating a new team with "real" experts.  Part of that was bringing everything in house - everything.  I get the social media part but I'm a damned good blogger.  If my experience and my work doesn't speak from itself I don't think that there is much I can do to convince them that it shouldn't go in house.  I've been given the opportunity to do so - convince them I mean - but if they aren't convinced already and don't see the value of keeping me on as the blogger for the team, I think I'd be wasting my time.

So, changes.  Ya. I went from having one solid gig that brought in about 50% of my family income to...the likelihood that it will be gone before the year is out.  I haven't gotten a date yet of when I'll be finished (although that income has been cut in half immediately) but I have to adapt and I have to do it fast.

My first thought was to start applying for jobs out of the house.  You know - a "real" job.  But I've tried that a couple times in the past year and I know that this is just not for me.  I mean, if I had no other choice, I'd deal with it and go work for minimum wage or whatever, doing a job I hate.  I have a choice though.  So, I'm not doing that.

I started looking for jobs immediately, feeling out the market, seeing what's out there.

I have a couple content mill places that I can use if I'm desperate.  But I've never been a content mill kind of gal.  I  prefer to work with people.  Clients that I can have a meeting with or a good chat via email.  I found a couple and put in applications last night.  I've already gotten a solid yes with a start date of mid-November.  She's a really nice lady and we've already chatted and I think we'll work together just fine.

This by no means replaces the income that I've lost but if I can get one gig in a couple hours I'm sure that with a little work I can replace all of the income that will be lost in a matter of a week or two at most.  By applying for jobs, contacting past clients, and thinking creatively, I'm sure I'll be fine.

So, changes?  Bring 'em.  I'll show you how a professional  handles changes.  I'm not going to sit her and cry about it (ok, so I shed a couple tears right after that meeting - I'm over it).  I'm going to get out there and find something better. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Can't Do It All

I am finally coming to realize that I can't do it all.  No one can.

Despite the fact that there are many things that I want to do, I can't do everything. That means I'm going to have to put some things aside so that I can focus on a few things and do them well.

That's a really hard decision for me to make.  Because I know that one of the things that is going to have to take the back burner for awhile is writing fiction.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not going to stop entirely.  But I need to choose my priorities.

Obviously, one of the things that has to take priority is earning enough money to pay bills and such.  And since we're planning to move in the next year, we are going to have to have some money set aside for that.  So, yes, I'm going to be putting more focus on earning money immediately, instead of some long term things I was doing.  And yes, that means I'll be taking on new clients.

I'm going to put up my price info and stuff like that again here soon.  The testimonials, price packages, etc.  They do seem to help when it comes to bringing in clients.

I'm also going to write for some content mills.  As much as it is not my favorite thing to do, it does pay the bills.

The other priority is my two residual writing sites.  Writedge and Daily Two Cents are growing so fast and they are at the point where we are finally starting to see some income for us.  Between me and my business partner, Michelle, we easily put in 6-8 hours of work a day on the sites so it would be nice to start earning accordingly from them.

Fiction writing is going to still be there.  But I'm thinking of working on some longer works that will have more shelf life.  The short stories that I've focused on can bring money in fast but the money only continues to come in for as long as you are putting out new stories.  I'm not sure what I'm going to work on but I'll think about it. :)

Do you ever find that you are trying to do too much and as a result nothing really gets done?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Successful Blog Move and Rambles

Well, that was not so difficult! I managed to get all the posts and pages moved over and a new pretty theme installed. Got the domain pointed in the right place, too! 

I have a few more things to do but for the most part I am pretty happy. :)

This week...

Has been nothing but crazy! Besides the fact that all my sites were hacked and redirecting to adult sites if you viewed them on a mobile device and hostgator has not responded to my ticket yet (closing in on 72 hours now), there has been lots going on.

My daughter and granddaughter have been here all week. Don't get me wrong, that's a good thing. I love having time with this sweet face! means I have gotten very little else done. Much less than usual even and in not the most productive person at the best of times!

So, come Monday I think it is time to get it together.

Not just with work but in the personal life, too.

I'm going to start getting up at a decent time so that I can be productive in the morning. I'm going to use Cold Turkey to block certain sites while I am working.

I'm also going to eat breakfast and start spending some time on the treadmill that is currently just taking up space in my living room. I downloaded the C25K app on my phone and I'm going to start using it even if I have to do each week several times over before moving on.

I'm also going to try to quit smoking again.

Why am I doing all this you ask?

Because my husband and I have decided to move back to Winnipeg next summer so we can be more involvedin our granddaughter's life. We don't want to miss out on all these great years. And to be involved like I want to be I need to get in the habit of taking care of myself!

So, that's what is going on!

Moving the Blog

Well, I'm attempting to move my main home blog from my own WordPress hosting to Blogger hosting.  Why?

Because HostGator sucks!  So big time.  For the second time in a year my sites have been hacked and it has been over 48 hours with no response to me ticket.  So, I'm giving up on paid hosting.

One of the reasons I'm not moving to another paid host is that I just can't justify paying for it when most of my blogs don't make that much in advertising.  But I like blogging and I don't plan on giving it up any time soon.

So, hopefully, I'll have my whole blog imported over here soon.

Picture belongs to me, please don't steal it.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

31 Videos in 31 Days Challenge

I've always loved making YouTube videos.  In the past I've been all wrapped up in this idea that I have to have a niche.  And yes, that's the best way to do it if you're really focused on making the money.  But how about YouTubing just because it is fun?  Just because you want to?  Just to talk about things that are important to you?

And that's what I decided to do.

I'm going to try to do 31 videos in 31 days on whatever topic I happen to feel like talking about at the time.  It might be a rant one day or a "how-to" video the next day.  I think it will be interesting to see what happens - if anything.

I won't lie and say the money doesn't  matter.  It would be nice to see my YouTube income grow a bit.  At one point I was up to about $15 a month or so, which added nicely to my Adsense income from blogging.  But I haven't made a lot of videos in the past year or so and that made it drop drastically.  So, it would be nice to see that increase again.

Of course, I'll put all my videos here, too, so put your email into the subscribe box on the front of the site or click the Join My Email list link either at the top of the site or at the bottom of this post.

So, I've done 3 so far.

A couple things I've noticed:

  1. I blink - a lot.  Isn't that weird?  I have no clue why I do that and I didn't really notice it before.  LOL

  2. I need to start getting dressed and doing my hair and putting make up on more often!

  3. I like the sound/quality on my iPhone better but I hate the way it shows in that tiny little bar.  I wonder if it would be better if I turned it sideways or if the video would just be sideways?

  4. I need to try my camera again that I bought specifically for the purpose of making videos.

Here's day 1-3 of the videos (and no, I'm really not sick in the third one - late at night, no makeup, and bad lighting!):

Friday, September 26, 2014

I'm In Love With Fall!

This is my favorite time of the year!  I love everything about fall.  I love the colors, the smells, the weather...

If I could find a country that had fall most of the year I swear I would move there.  Unfortunately, fall seems to get shorter and shorter every year.  The leaves turn colors and fall off the trees so fast that if you blink you might miss it!

Right now, everywhere I go I see gorgeous colors.  The weather here is a little warmer than I like it but it is still nice because I know that pretty soon the leaves will be gone and the snow will come and it will all be over for another year.  So, I'm trying to enjoy it!

A couple of Instagram pics for you (please follow me on Instagram!  I'm kind of lonely over there!)