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Freelance Writer, Indie Author, Life Experience, update

1/16/2018

A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Writer/Indie Author/Artist

I feel like this is something I have to describe to new people in my life far too often. If you’ve never worked from home as a contract writer/artist/whatever you might not understand what it’s like to do it. I get that. We all live different lives, and different things work for different people.

Anyway, this is the last time I’m explaining. Now it will be right here online, easy to find. This is a look at my normal “workday.” I don’t get in a car and commute to an office, but I still have a job to do. I don’t have set work hours, but I still have assignments and deadlines.

My Day

Wake Up– Most of the time I sleep until noon. It’s the life of an artist. I don’t need to be up to punch a clock at 6 am. And, I like the nighttime, she’s my muse. I go to bed by 3 am, most nights (unless I’ve been sucked in by a review book).

Gig Hunt– If I am not making a substantial amount of money a month (meaning I am bringing in less than $3000) I am gig hunting. Freelance gigs don’t last forever, contracts end. Gig hunting and applying is something I try to do every day, Monday thru Friday. Some days I don’t find anything to apply to, some days I find a dozen perfect gigs. Some respond quickly, some never respond. And some days I have test articles to due (paid and unpaid).

Deadlines And Assignments– Not all assignments come packing a deadline, but I try to set myself deadlines because I don’t get paid if I don’t turn in the work. I treat my writing like a full-time job, even when I don’t have a full-time schedule of articles to work on. If I don’t have the paid work I have stuff I do that doesn’t pay (because I enjoy it, because it allows me to help friends out sometimes, because the more you write the more you learn). This is my income, this is my life. If I don’t work every day I don’t make money, which means I can’t pay my bills.

Hobbies– When I don’t have work to do, in my spare time after my work is done, I work on my own books, write poems, create art, practice music, listen to music, watch streaming TV or movies. These are the things I enjoy. These are the things I do instead of going to a bar and wasting money on alcohol or going to the theater and spending way too much to see a movie and eat some popcorn.

I know some people might see all this as a recipe for becoming a recluse. I still make time for friends, when they need me. I still go to Dale’s gigs from time to time to get out and be amongst the living. This is the life I live, this is the life I love.

I rarely get burned out these days. I take breaks when I need them. I focus on one thing until I get it done and then move onto the next project unless I need a break in between. This life works for me. I get to do what I love for a living and sometimes my words even help people.

Books, Freelance Writer, Life Experience, update

1/9/2018

Happy New Year! I thought now would be a good time for a goal check-in. We’re over a week into the new year and I am oozing success! So far:

  • I have submitted one article a day to Vocal. I am even switching up the types of articles I do just to make it fun. One of them made “Staff Pick” already!
  • I am 2,000 words into my dissertation. I also just made the final payment. 8,000 words to go, with 3 weeks left on the deadline… I got this!
  • I made a new goal sheet for my wall. It’s a “daily & weekly” list, since some of the things I don’t need to do daily!
  • I haven’t stopped working IN my office yet, aside from reading review books in bed at night.

I’d say I’m #winning.

I’m winning so much that I signed a new contract with the gift shop at the UICA today. Now all four of my books are available there. I had two phone interviews today and a test edit for one of them. Got that one with flying colors. I am still waiting to hear from an editor with my test article assignment for the other one. Oh, and I started another new, steady, writing gig on Friday. Things are looking up.

There is a one-page interview with me, about my books, in Grand Rapids Magazine this month. I will post a scan of it on the website in February (I don’t want to discourage anyone from going out to buy a print copy).

A few months ago I entered a short story in the Write Michigan competition. Today they announced the ten finalists… I wasn’t one of them. Rather than let that discourage me, I submitted my story (a piece of work I am extremely proud of and fond of) to a literary magazine. If they don’t grab it up I will submit it to another, or enter it in another contest. My goal is to have it win something or come with a paycheck for getting published. I believe in it, and I believe in myself.

And, on that note, I hope your new year is as amazing as mine so far!

art, Books, Freelance Writer, Life Experience, update

12/29/2017

2018 is just around the corner and, like many of you, this has me thinking about the new year, fresh beginnings, and new plans. In fact, I’ve been thinking about these things so much lately that I started writing out the things I want to get done in 2018. These include things I’d intended to get done in 2017 that someone slipped by before I could get to them.

This brings to mind ways to make sure I accomplish 2018s goals better than the ones I set for 2017. That means I am giving myself deadlines, even for the most personal and menial tasks. When you create for a living, whether it’s art or writing or even music, and you only have yourself to complete the work for it can be easy to get off track. My 2018 will be all about deadlines, instead of just goals.

Another couple things I intend to focus more on in 2018 are creativity and motivation. Goals, Deadlines, Creativity, and Motivation. I feel like they all work well together and I hope they will all work for me. I already have some deadlines written on my calendar. I will hold myself accountable this new year.

Where I am at so far:

  • Submitting an article a day, minimum, to Vocal.
  • Turning in my dissertation by the end of January.
  • Following my daily goal sheet that hangs on my wall.
  • Submitting the manuscript for The Jealousy Remedy by 2/12 (so it’ll be out by Valentine’s Day).
  • Submitting the manuscripts for my next two poetry books by 3/18 (so they’ll be out by spring).

I also intend to ONLY work in my office for 2018. That means keeping that room neat, clean, and organized.

What are your goals for 2018? How are you going to make sure your 2018 is a success?

 

 

update

12/22/2017

Christmas is almost here, as is a new year. I already started thinking about changes I wanted to make for the new year. I’m not a fan of resolutions, I simply try my best to do good for myself and others. With the thoughts of the new year come thoughts on changes, like the changes I made to my website this past week and the changes to this blog that once had a few posts and now has this…

In place of traditional blog posts, stories of my life, tips on writing and creating things, I am simply going to use this blog to keep my readers updated on what I am working on. I won’t post on a set schedule, and each post will be titled with the date I posted it, just like this one. On with the updates…

I really hope you’re taking the time to check out my articles through vocal.media. I’ve read both good and bad things about this outlet, but I really enjoy it. As a well-educated and experienced writer, I like having a place where I can still be free to write about what I want and have a chance to get a larger audience than a personal blog would. For a while, I was mostly doing music reviews on their Beat site, but now I am focusing more on other subjects, as you’ll see if you go visit my profile there. I write about writing, wellness, staying organized and happy, and more.

It’s been a little bit since I published my last book, Reconnecting With Yourself, and I have a few works-in-progress saved on my computer with more joining them far too often. I have no intentions of publishing anything else this year, but for 2018 you can expect the following from me (at least):

  • A book of Haiku about life, from childhood till now and about nature, as well. The working title is My Life In Haiku.
  • I am hoping to also complete my poetry book about the state I live in. The working title for this one is The Nature of Michigan.
  • Poetry is only one of my passions. I love helping people and I have a few books in the works that fit under wellness or self-help, which I’d LOVE to get out sometime in 2018. They are The Jealousy RemedyClean Up Your Life, and You’re Not A Victim (And Neither Am I).

I also have some fictional books I am working on, but I don’t have high hopes for getting them out in 2018 (a romance, a horror, and a collection of scary short stories). I also have a new project I will be working on throughout 2018 and then publishing late January or early February of 2019. I also really want to get another children’s picture book underway (I really miss my Frankie the firefly). It’s a good thing I LOVE writing!

On top of all of that, I have a 10,000-word dissertation I am writing in order to earn my D.D. in Spiritual Counseling. Once that is done and graded I will be turning it into a book. It’s about positive thinking, of course!

That’s where I am at right now. Aside from writing, my mind is mostly on Christmas and New Year’s Eve right now. In fact, you probably won’t hear from me again until 2018. Have a blessed Yuletide and a Happy New Year!