Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I may still solicit over there, and hope that companies know that they get what they pay for, and forego those who are willing to work for pennies. I've garnered some excellent, excellent clients from elance. But, at this point, I'm not planning on renewing in March.
Here's a post from The Golden Pencil:
Friday, December 14, 2007
1) GWP rates will remain the same into the new year. I believe we've reached a sort of equilibrium and am quite happy with it.
2) Outsourcing will be more selective. Speaking of equilibrium, I think I've got a good idea of how much I can take on without generating overflow and late deadlines. As usual, your project with GWP will never be outsourced without your knowledge and permission.
3) Holidays: I will be away from the computer the 23rd through the 26th, but after that, operations will return to normal.
4) Upcoming time off: Orlando in late March, Tucson in late April and NYC in early June. All trips have family and work components, so if you're in those areas, I would love to meet with you! We will not be going to Mexico in Summer 2008, sad, but at least I won't suffer internet withdrawal like last Summer.
As usual, I thank you so much for your business and confidence, and can't wait to see you in 2008!
Friday, December 7, 2007
My editors: Such great support and encouragement. One actually told me yesterday that being an editor requires that "you can see through all kinds of bullsh--." I found that hilarious.
My true friends: The real ones make themselves well known and obvious.
My husband: Also my accountant, business partner, and sometimes-work-from-home buddy- is on the lookout for me all the time. I call him the Enforcer. What I say "I'm going to make xx dollars this month," he makes sure it's so. When I say "I'm not going to waste time doing xx," he makes it so I don't have to. I love this man.
My kids: Provide incredible material! Where else can you hear that "men have a penis and women have a China"? I mean, I can't MAKE this stuff UP!
My family: One side spans two nations and two languages, the other side spans over 30 years of history.
I couldn't do this job so well without a supporting cast like this.
I will advertise the website asap, we're in the midst of an overhaul, but once it's up :) it's UP!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
. . .you will not regret checking them out. Just do a "random browse" for more stories like these:
I sometimes wake in the early morning & listen to the soft breathing of my children & I think to myself, this is one thing I will never regret & I carry that quiet with me all day long.
I've always liked the time before dawn because there's no one around to remind me who I'm supposed to be, so it's easier to remember who I am
they only look small, she said, if you're someone who's fond of being bigger than everyone else
There are lives I can imagine without children but none of them have the same laughter & noise.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Some forums I have a soft spot for, and some I just want to grab and shake by their lapels, but all have good and bad sides...and all tend to suck hours away
Here's to selectivity!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Great things happening here at GardenWall...
First, rough week last week as I ran the Scholastic Book Fair at my child's school.
Second, I've found a return rate on jobs applied for of about 5%--- HOWEVER, this past week I've got a couple bites from potential clients that I first approached in the Summer. So that return rate may be heading upward.
Third, I am quite happy to see an incredible repeat rate with some customers. I think this is a very positive testimony to potential clients, so I will soon be adding a portion to my website that details those who keep coming back :)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
- The colors now match my branding.
- The blogs on the blogroll to your right are the best out there.
- You can now subscribe via RSS.
- The picture with this post is added simply because it is from the most beautiful place on the planet: Alberca de Los Espinos, Michoacan, MX.
Potential clients: if you're considering me for a project, please be advised that I am at my most motivated this month!:)
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
- No whining when you're bored.
- Please stop jumping on me.
- Don't make sudden, loud noises. I am often in a state of deep concentration, and they tend to scare me.
- Quit looking at me expectantly everytime I stand up. It is not game time.
And, since he doesn't understand me, would you please kindly tell the cat to stop laying in front of the monitor? I mean, I know it's warm and all, but come on. It's really hard to write with his 20 pound mass sitting right in front of my screen.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
This is because I've found that, even for a smallish project, I have to invest a minimum amount of time setting up the project in my records, communicating with the buyer, and getting the specifics of the project. So a project worth one hour of pay actually takes two hours.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Read it! It's funny!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
“I Stop Writing the Poem”
to fold the clothes.
No matter who lives or who dies, I’m still a woman. I’ll always have plenty to
do. I bring the arms of his shirt together.
stop Our tenderness.
I’ll get back to the poem.
I’ll get back to being a woman.
But for now there’s a shirt, a giant shirt in my hands, and somewhere a small
girl standing next to her
mother watching to see how it’s done.
I feel that perhaps this poem has something to say about gender roles, ? maybe...feminism? I like it.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
This is because I witnessed a lot of needs. Now, I am taking philanthropic needs, yes. But I'm also talking about my need to go back, and my (husbands) family's need for a little luxury now and then down there.
Before I can meet other peoples needs, I have to pay my mortgage. I have to get to my writing income goal. Then, I will finally be able to start helping with others needs, and, as I wrote about in my other blog, the very first place I'm going to start is here.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
It is the responsibility of society to let the poet be a poet
It is the responsibility of the poet to be a woman
It is the responsibility of the poet to stand on street corners
giving out poems and beautifully written leaflets
also leaflets you can hardly bear to look at
because of the screaming rhetoric
It is the responsibility of the poet to be lazy to hang out and prophesy
It is the responsibility of the poet not to pay war taxes
It is the responsibility of the poet to go in and out of ivory
towers and two-room apartments on Avenue C
and buckwheat fields and army camps
It is the responsibility of the male poet to be a woman
It is the responsibility of the female poet to be a woman
It is the poet's responsibility to speak truth to power as the Quakers sayIt is the poet's responsibility to learn the truth from the powerless
It is the responsibility of the poet to say many times: there is no freedom without justice and this means economic justice and love justice
It is the responsibility of the poet to sing this in all the original and traditional tunes of singing and telling poems
It is the responsibility of the poet to listen to gossip and pass it on in the way storytellers decant the story of life
There is no freedom without fear and bravery there is no freedom unless
earth and air and water continue and children
It is the responsibility of the poet to be a woman to keep an eye on
this world and cry out like Cassandra, but belistened to this time.
Monday, September 10, 2007
But while GardenWall is growing, I am attempting to get used to a new keyboard (not good for typists that usually type 120 words a minute!!), dealing with a new school year and schedule, and attempting to catch up from my grueling 17 days training with About.com. . .which started right about when I was almost caught up from out vacation in Mexico.
Which brings me to some HAPPY news: I have been hired to serve as the freelance writing expert at about.com! About.com is a New York Times owned company, and the contract provides great pay and a lot of exposure in the writing world and among freelancers. It is a great honor!
Now, if I can just catch up and take a breath, we could get on to the new season and the new opportunities!
edited to add: This post is whiny! I am grateful for the success and the opportunities. I have several GREAT contracts, several GREAT clients and an incredible family that is supporting these growing pains. Let's move on:
“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity”
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
So, I timed it like this: Here, Spongebob is on at 3:30... In LA that would be 12:30. So perhaps this particular client was out to lunch and I could really quickly slip away and leave him a quickie voicemail. I even took the kids for a long (hot) bike ride so they'd be ready to chill out and fall under the squeaky sponge's spell.
Well, sure enough, (many of you moms know whats happening here), my son's spidey senses went off. Most preschoolers come with this mechanism that emits an alarm sound in their head when mommy gets on the phone...So he comes wandering over, talking very very loudly about the dogs least appetizing habit...which includes the words bum and other interesting colloquialisms.
Of course, I hear him coming and panic just as the client picks up his phone! (Hello, don't you people do power lunching over there on the West Coast?)
I panic, and look around...can't close the door to the office...that's like a big fluorescent sign that says Come over here and bang on me loudly! So, I do what any sane writer would do...I dive into the closet, while talking to my client and securing the account.
I closed the door and heard my four year old wander into the office and...whew...wander back out when he couldn't find me.
I completed the phone call in the pitch dark, sitting on a pile of shoes.
Only 5 more days until school starts....
Thursday, August 9, 2007
And another here: http://xfep.com/problogging/cons-of-being-a-problogger/
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Now, I'm not sure how long he's been doing it, but it looks like, from his comments, that he doesn't have any magic formula or secret website. He's using the same sites and competing for the same gigs as the rest of us (GAF, Journalism jobs, etc). I do wonder how many hours he gets to work per day though...
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Ok, I am lying a little. I'm not doing the entire daily update. However, I do want to note that between yesterday and today, I've submitted to 20-30 contractual jobs (including elance) and already got three bites back.
Now, I'm not bragging. But I am noting that I have only been growing this business aggressively since Memorial Day weekend.
Today we finally made arrangements to send the children back to their childcare arrangements for 2 days per week.
I have the contracts to cover the cost, but I lack the appropriate time to devote to them. This 2 day a week reprieve will allow me to go after more of what's out there.
I have been thinking about fear and risk lately. I have this idea, one that would be more appropriately covered in my humanitarian/service blog, but I also have a wee bit of this fear of risk. But I need to mentally coach myself to look at GardenWall, look at what's been accomplished in a short time. The first time someone paid me for my writing, my jaw almost fell flat. When I interned at FAITH magazine in 2005, I recall being vaguely jealous of my boss, who had told me that she'd made $50 on a short story she wrote. Even though she was so demure about it, I recall thinking that it was an incredible accomplishment.
I feel accomplished now. I can say by the age of 30 that I set up something that I was passionate about, and that it had at least the beginnings of being successful.
Cliche, yes, but look here it is anyway: The world is an open door.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
However, I know many writers are not fans of these sites. While it is true that many of the jobs go to those willing to aggressively undercut their pricing, that does not mean that you and I have to stoop to undercutting our prices. I've won a lot of gigs for a fair price. Even some for more than a fair price! For example, I proofread a 317 page book for 1200$ Easy!
http://www.ifreelance.com/: while the interface is lovely and allows you to upload a good deal of "stuff," I have found that this site is the #1 place for employers looking to just "get a feel" and not really hire someone. Doesn't cost to join.
http://www.getafreelancer.com/: I have got tons of jobs with good money on this site. However, I am not a fan of its interface- you can't upload a lot of clips or photos or your logo. Doesn't cost to join unless you upgrade to a gold membership. At this site I won a gig to write 5 press releases (which are naturally short) for 150$
http://www.elance.com/: One of the most competitive. Great profile builder, you can upload a lot of clips and etc. I just started at this one so I can't say a lot. It does cost to join.
http://www.rentaghostwriter.com/: Not a lot of traffic. Difficult to use and not intuitive. I got an ongoing blog gig for $75/month on this site.
http://www.guru.com/: I don't like it or use it much.
(EDIT: Guru.com very proactively contacted me after this post to inquire as to how they could improve their service. Really, I think such great customer relations bodes well for the company. In addition, I feel I should have supported my comment a bit: I don't like Guru simply because there are not a lot of projects open to writers who have not upgraded to the paid membership. I feel the cost to upgrade is too much compared to their competitors. I get a lot of good paying jobs at sites that cost far less.)
http://www.rentacoder.com/: Didn't like it or use it much.
Please feel free to comment or add any to the above.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Writing Low: Talking with Husband about some of the issues I've had lately- 12 hour days, too many simultaneous projects, distractions
Money Out: None today
#Jobs Considered: About 25
#Jobs Applied For: 2
#Jobs Received: 0
#Jobs Lost: 0
What I worked on today: Law document edit
On my to-do list: Finish the edit and move on to retail site content. Plus WRG. Plus hubpages.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I am an active member of a forum that focuses on working at home moms. I am not fully on board with the WAHM thing, but I do find the writing moms forum there to be an exhasutive resource on writing. Many of the women there desire to stay at home with their children, but bring it "extra" money. They would probably say that WAH is their dream job.
What is yours? Do you have one?
I have struggled with this very question for close to a decade. I honestly have. After having my daughter 7 years ago, I began to consider finishing my BA. I looked into several areas...Education being one of the biggest. I knew then (and fully admit it now) that a teacher can change the world. That's almost a given. Maybe not any teacher, maybe not every teacher, but it sure is possible.
Close to ten years it's taken me to shape my purpose in life. It really has- most of my 20s. And theres been even as much soul searching AFTER I 'finished' my education as before and during.
It always comes back to this:
I want to help others. I don't want to spend my writing talent on helping someone's bottom line. I actually pretty much turned away from a position that offered just that. I had spent hours on their website trying to justify taking the job to myself. But I couldn't.
I want to write. It is my talent, my passion and my life. I am a writer. I have always been a writer.
So I want to write in a way that helps others. That's it. That's the description of my dream job.
Some of my writing with GardenWall does that, and I am happy with it. I like what I do here. I do spend a lot more time helping others bottom lines, but that's not all I do.
It's worth it.
I think that we need to fully explore what we want to do with our lives from the end backwards. I had an epiphany of sorts when my grandmother died in April, at her service. The things they said about her...made me think...What will be said about me? What do I want to be said about me?
Career wise: That I cared for others. That I used my life to help them. That I used and developed the talents I was given.
Friday, June 22, 2007
I have accepted some positions which are lucrative, but taxing. I feel as if I work 12 hours per day. When I am not working, I am thinking about working. Part of me missed the exact line between Work Hours and Home Hours.
I am tired and I miss my family. And yet, we need my pay.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Now, even just two weeks it took me three hours to get through these. I was not very picky about jobs, could not afford to be, and if I could write it, I applied for it...even if it was not necessarily interesting, well paying or...well, etc.
This is not to say that this is a "new job" for me. GardenWall has been around for years, but always part time, always on the side, and always for a few select people. In fact, I can honestly say that the inspiration for GardenWall was all my fellow students at MSU who so desperately needed proofreading!
But, I do admit that GardenWall has grown exponentially in the past couple months. The website got a perk up. I joined the Freelance Writers Union, and several freelancers profile sites. My clips built and built, because, like I said, I accepted just about 90% of the jobs offered to me.
Today, though, I applied for 2 jobs off of Deb's blog and 1 of the Morning Coffee offerings. These are ones that I am truly interested in, know I could fit in my schedule, and know I would not dread.
My point though, other than the great links I've provided today:) , is that the jobs will come.
And you know when they will come? They will come when you put the right amount of effort into getting them. Daily effort. Unique effort. And dedicated effort.
So here's a cliche for any new freelancers or work-at-homers: anything, ever, worth doing is worth doing well!
Friday, June 15, 2007
Pretty good, right? Interested?
First and foremost, I highly recommend this designer. His name is Steve Butler and he is out of the U.K. (firstname.lastname@example.org). He was so easy to work with, seemed to read my mind, and even educated me a bit on graphic use and lingo.
But, more generally, how do you get anything you need for your business without expending dollars that you just don't have? The answer is BIDDING SITES!
Think eBay, but for services as opposed to goods. "Providers" compete to get your business by submitting cost bids, showing portfolios and sending you PMB's (basically just private messages).
You can find incredible providers like Brian in the graphics areas, or reliable writers like me and my associates in the writing areas! I have got a whole heck of a lot of jobs from www.ifreelance.com and www.getafreelancer.com.
So next time you need a job done that you can't do yourself, be sure to check out a bidding site like these. Unless you need writing work done- then just contact me!
Monday, June 11, 2007
But what do freelancers do, given the proverbial "feast or famine" nature of monthly earnings?
One possibility is to base your numbers on percentages instead of hard amounts. If you have an outline of a budget, this is very easy. Instead of committing $100 to gas out of a paycheck of $1000, commit 10%.
Here's what this would look like:
Of course, I fully admit this is very idealistic, and assumes that there is a second income in the family. But it's what I've thought of so far.... So how do you manage your earnings?