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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Working Exercise Into Your Day

Do you take the time to work exercise into your daily routine? If you are like me, a good part of your day is spent sitting at a desk, and meals are often just to keep you going. I don't often watch what I eat, even though I make sure the kids get balanced meals.

For a short period of time last year I made a commitment to exercising twice a day, and the results were wonderful! I had more energy, my clothes were getting looser and I just felt better all the way around. Then I got sick, and I stopped. It's past time to get back on track and get healthy! I know, you don't have time to exercise. That's what I said too. But you do have time. A good friend of mine is very dedicated to working out, and has in fact lost a ton of weight because of her commitment. And she is one of the busiest people I know! She is always going, and always has time in her day to do one more thing when you need her. If I had half of her energy, I believe I could accomplish it all with time left over!

The best advice she ever gave me was to start slow, just commit to 5 minutes twice a day. So that's what I did, and before I knew it, I was doing 15 minutes twice a day. Then I started getting on the stationary bike twice a day for 15 minutes plus using the cardio fit once a day as well. And you don't need equipment to get started. There are many sites with free exercise videos available and if you have a service like netflix, they have videos on instant view that cover every type of work out.

Today my challenge to you, and to myself, is to commit to just a few minutes a day. Get up, get your heart rate up and work up a sweat. It will be tough in the beginning, but soon the benefits will ensure that you want to continue exercising each day!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Consumer Love

Consumer Love is a blog owned by a fellow writer, and is a definite must read for anyone who is interested in ways to save money and live more frugally. In today's economy, that is pretty much everyone unless you are one of the lucky few who has a million dollars languishing in your bank account!

As a freelancer, your income may vary widely from month to month, making it necessary at times to pinch pennies to make it through. This is where Consumer Love comes in handy. There are tips available for saving money on food, services and cleaning your home frugally. Check it out, you won't regret it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Companies Who Hire Freelance Writers

With so many new content companies popping up, it can be hard to keep track of where you applied or want to apply. Once you apply and are accepted, it is often hard to keep track of where you have articles due! Here is a list of reputable companies that hire freelance writers:

Demand Studios DS pays writers between $7.50 to $15 for articles on a wide variety of subjects. Special projects are also available at times with a higher pay rate. Writers are paid twice a week through paypal.

Break Studios BS writers make $8 per article and are paid twice a month. The article subjects are geared towards men and range from vehicles to relationships. Writers are paid twice a month through paypal.

Internet Brands Pays writers $4 to $10 per article on a variety of subjects. There are channels dealing with particular topics and you will be chosen to write for one or several. Writers are paid once a month by check or direct deposit.

Need an Article Pays $5 and up for articles of different lengths. Payment is every Friday.

Bright Hub Bright Hub pays $10 per article plus a percentage of the ad revenue and has a variety of channels to write for. Payment is made once per month through paypal.

Star Reviews Star Reviews pays between $8 and $10 for blog posts and articles on a variety of subjects. Payment is made twice per month.

Textbroker Textbrokers pay ranges depending on the client and the level of the writer. Payment is made to paypal twice a month, but is not automatic and must be requested.

Writer Access Writer access also has varying rates according to the writer's level. Payment is made during the first week of the month to paypal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Expanding my horizons

My agenda for the last week, other than writing every article possible for my existing clients, has been to gather more clients. I firmly believe that you can never have to many eggs in your basket and my basket was looking rather slim. This way, when one client doesn't have anything available that I want to write, I have other places to turn to. And since Demand Studios has been really bad about getting articles edited so I can get paid, I definitely need other options!

So I have applied to various other online content companies, as well as sending out resumes and writing samples to private clients found on craigslist and freelance writing sites. So far I was accepted to Bright Hub and Internet Brands. I am having issues with BH since I signed the contracts and then apparently got lost in the shuffle because I never heard anything else! I emailed them, but still no reply a week later, so I just don't know what to think! Just sent in the contracts for IB so hopefully I will get started with them soon.

I also got partially finished with my new blog. It is for clients to view some of my work and find out about my rates, etc. It isn't finished, but it will be soon!

What do you do to try to fill your basket with eggs? What companies would you recommend to other writers looking for more work? I want to hear from you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Inspiration

I admit it. This blog did not get off to a very good start. It just was not a priority in my life. I have been so busy concentrating on the writing that brings in the money that I have pretty much let everything else get pushed to the side. Instead of expanding my business and my blog I have been caught in the trap of working constantly. I soon found that writing was now a job rather than something I loved to do.

Then, while researching something else, I stumbled across this and it was my wakeup call. If foul language offends you, do not read that blog! But if you can handle a few F bombs, I highly recommend it. This blogger gave me the slap that I needed. Writing is what I do, by necessity rather than choice. It is not a career choice for me, it is a passion. But it is fast becoming a job that I dreaded going to each day.

So today, it changes. I created a new blog for potential clients that will show samples of my work, etc....when I finish it. Which will be before Monday, barring any unforseen events beyond my control. And I will spend more time on my fiction writing, I miss my book. I miss my grouchy private detective in my short stories. I miss writing for the enjoyment of it rather than the deposits in the bank account!

On the personal front, things are going well. Yesterday was hubbys last day of school and he has job offers already! I'm proud of him, but dreading the day when he has to be gone for days or weeks at a time, leaving me seriously outnumbered!

My oldest child turned 16 yesterday, which brings on a ton of mixed emotions for me. I am so proud of the young woman she has become. She is one of those rare people who is so caring and kind that she just radiates goodness. She is consistently kind to every person or animal she encounters and everyone who knows her treasures her. Not to mention, she is drop dead beautiful...I really need to buy more bullets! But I cannot possibly be old enough to have a child who is old enough to drive! There is no way. What happened to that tiny little nearly bald baby girl that was just born? Has it really been 16 years??

Okay, enough rambling...I am off to work on my new blog. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Writer Access

I am trying out a new company, Writer Access. I applied last week and was accepted as a level 4 writer. Levels go from 2 to 5 with 5 being the highest paying. So far I have written one short tip, but I plan on doing more. The site and guidelines remind me of textbrokers site. So far pay seems to be monthly, but since the site is new that could change in the future.
I found out about the site one my favorite forum, work place like home. There is always a ton of information and support there and I have been a member for quite a few years. I will be sure to update when Writer Access pays and how the editing and approvals go for me.
As for my Demand Studios goal of $1200 for the month....I did it! And the month isn't even over yet, which leaves me more time to check out other clients and writing sites.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What is your parenting style?

What is your parenting style? Every parent has a different way of doing things, and there is no right way. There is only a right way for your family and it will not be the right way for someone elses. Some parents must schedule every moment and have very strict rules that must be followed. Other parents, like myself, are more laid back and let most days flow in whatever direction they choose.

I like to think of myself as a good mother, most days anyways! Unless we have specific plans for a certain day, I don't schedule things at all. And I try to make sure that the kids have fun and enjoy their childhood. We enjoy simple activities such as baking cookies or making homemade Christmas decorations. Or we hop in the truck and go splash in the river for a few hours. Sometimes we take walks in the woods, and a lot of days the kids just go in their own directions and do whatever seems right at the time. It works for us, I am not stressed by following a schedule or having to do something right this moment. I have that stress enough when I am working, like this morning when I awoke to realize an article I have been putting off writing was due today.

I have a friend who is the exact opposite of me in every aspect of parenting and at times I envy her spotless house and perfect organization. And then I realize that she is constantly going and I cannot remember ever seeing her just play with her kids and enjoy watching them enjoy simple pleasures. I could be wrong, but most of the time she seems really stressed to me. That's not to say that I am not stressed, but hanging out with my munchkins is the best stress relief for me. Her parenting style works for her but would drive me nuts. And I can guarantee our laid back days would send her screaming in frustration. Perhaps, since I work from home and she works as a homemaker, we should switch styles for a few days to see what results? On second thought, that would mean I would have to actually be organized...not happening! :)

So, tell me, what is your style?


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Makeover time!

For this blog that is, although the owner of this blog seriously needs one as well!

I have high hopes for Freelancing Parents, but I have been neglecting it really badly. I want this blog to be a place where parents like me, who balance working from home in whatever capacity and raising children, can gain ideas and support. I want the kind of blog where readers comment with their insight and we all work together to achieve our goals. I would love to have a whole freelancing community so that we can share any and every thing.

In order to do that, I have to quit neglecting my blog! Yes, I am taking all the blame, I'm a parent, so I'm used to it! ;)

So today is makeover day. From now on, I will be a more active blogger. I will do more book reviews, write more about the parenting aspect of this blog and think up a good idea for a regular contest. Maybe I can even bring in a guest blogger from time to time to liven things up.

As far as my monthly goal goes, I am still right on target. I have made $660 so far with Demand Studios so I am pretty sure I will hit $1200 by the end of the month. It has been hard to adjust to not having help with the kids. Starting this week, they have started staying with a family member on Mondays while hubby is in school. That gives me the whole day to write. It worked out perfect this week and I am hoping it will be the same next week. I also catch up on Fridays when hubby is home.

The rest of the week I hang out with the kids and have started a major decluttering around here. I fit in writing when ever the munchkins are occupied playing or in the evenings. It's working out pretty good so far. And I really am enjoying doing more with the kids and doing things around the house. Except the dishes....I hate dishes. :(

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Update :)

I am slacking on posting, and for that I apologize. It is really difficult to find time in the day to take care of all the kids needs and write what I need to each day to reach my goal. So far, I am doing it but it doesn't leave much time for anything else!

I am trying to work out a schedule that will make the day easier on all of us and allow me to accomplish more. I haven't accomplished it yet, lol, but I am making progress!

So far I have managed to write 4 articles each day except for Saturday and Sunday. I wrote nothing over the weekend, but that's okay. I am still on target. $240 of $1200 done. I can do this!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Days 1 & 2

I can do this. :) If I write 4 articles a day, and take weekends off, I will hit my goal. Even with the kids around I can do 4, and anything that I might write on weekends is just icing on the cake.

I wrote 4 yesterday, even with a brief drive to the river to cool off. I have 2 down so far today. I need to go fix a friend's computer and get some paperwork done today, but I still shouldn't have a problem finishing another 2 articles before the day is over.

Of course, hubby is still here to help out right now. Time will tell how well things will go after Wednesday when I will start flying solo!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Goal time!!

Tomorrow is the start of a brand new month, so it's time to start a new monthly goal! I love goals, even if I don't hit them they still serve to motivate me to try a little harder.

I am shooting low on this months goal because I am losing my help. One week from today, my husband is starting classes at the local college to obtain his CDL's. The class is only 7 weeks long, but after it's over he will hopefully be going to work! Since he has been out of work for almost a year now, I have really depended on him to keep the kids out of my hair and keep the house running somewhat smoothly while I work. Soon, it will be just me most of the week, and if he goes over the road once he graduates it will be just me most of the time.

I am going to be seriously outnumbered around here. :(

My monthly writing goal for this month is going to be $1200, mainly with Demand Studios although I am going to count income from any other clients in as well. I am going to be really limited in the time I can write and most of my work will have to be done at night and on the weekends.

I also want to add at least 10,000 words to my book this month, but that is a secondary goal. The writing that pays me right away is what is most important right now.

I would love some company on this months goal, so if you want to set your own goal as well, please do! I will be happy to share the journey with other writers through emails, instant messages or just right here on this blog, so leave me a comment and let's hit these goals!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Distractions!!

In ways, working at home is much easier than leaving the house to go to work each day. Your schedule is your own, and can be adjusted when it needs to be, without having to consult a boss or find someone to cover for you. It's much easier to be there for your children and spouse when you are needed because you are at home.

But in many ways working at home is so much harder. The same children and spouse that you work from home to be nearer to often do not understand that you are in the middle of a project and think that you can just drop anything to do what they need. The ability to set your own schedule is often a bad thing since there are so many other things you want to do besides working, and often working falls into last place.

Then there is the Internet. Social networking sites like facebook are time drainers and logging in just to see what everyone is up to can easily turn into an hour of wasted time playing games or chatting. This is one I am guilty of myself. I definitely have an addiction to facebook, mainly because of games! If I spent the time writing that I spend farming on facebook, I could buy my own farm!

I am striving to limit my own distractions since I will be starting a new monthly goal in just a few day. What are your distractions? What are some ways you have found to limit them and be more productive in your own freelance career? I want to hear from my readers on this, not only to help myself but also to help other readers who are dealing with distractions of their own.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Writing for print publications

Seeing your name is print is a thrilling experience, and every writer can vividly remember the first time they saw their name next to something written by them. Getting your name in print in the first place is the hard part! There is stiff competition in the writing world with so many talented people vying for attention.

Newspapers are a good place to start since many of them use freelance writers for smaller pieces rather than paying the higher cost of employing more staff. Check with your local papers by sending the editor your resume and a few writing samples, you never know what could happen.

In my search for magazines that accept submissions from freelance writers, I concentrated mainly on magazines that I enjoy reading as well as magazines that focus on parenting. I came up with quite a few that I will be querying and wanted to share them with my readers to give them a place to start. Just click on the magazine names to view the submission guidelines.

Parents magazine accepts submissions through mail only.

Cat Fancy, a specialty magazine for cat enthusiasts, also accepts queries by mail.

The Writer magazine is written almost completely by freelancers.

ADDitude Magazine is written for children and adults dealing with ADD and other learning disorders.

The Saturday Evening Post accepts submissions by mail, including photos and feature articles.

Now there is nothing stopping you, start submitting! And don't give up just because your articles aren't a huge hit right away, just keep trying!

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's that time again!

Goal time, that is. I need to make some new goals and get back on track! I am inspired today because the words have just flowed like a fountain for me all day. And I ended the day taking the munchkins to vacation bible school at a friends church. Not only did they have a good time with other kids their ages, but I had a good time with my friend and met some other wonderful ladies as well. It has just been a good day!

There is less than two weeks left in this month, so it really doesn't make sense to set a large goal until a new month is started. But I do have several smaller goals that can be set now. I want to begin sending resumes and writing samples to at least 5 companies each week, preferably to print publications. I also want to spend more time working on my book, not daily, I know that is impossible, but at least several times a week.

And I want to be more productive and focused in my work. If every day went like my day did this morning, I could churn out a days worth of articles in a matter of hours and spend more time enjoying my munchkins and everything else that life has to offer.

But right now, my immediate goal is more than 3 hours of sleep, for once. And on that note, I am off to bed!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thumbing Through Thoreau

"I am convinced, that if all men were to live as simply as I then did, thieving and robbery would be unknown." Henry David Thoreau

I recently read the book entitled Thumbing through Thoreau that was written by Kenny Luck. Mr. Luck has a fascination with Thoreau that I can easily understand. He was a fascinating man with enlightening ideas. His writings have become great favorites of mine, and many of my favorite quotes come directly from his books.

The book is a compilation of his quotes, separated into sections such as Government and love. I am a collector of quotes myself, but Kenny Luck has gathered quotes from Thoreau that I have never seen anywhere else other than his books. A lot of work must have gone into this book in order for it to so thoroughly cover so many quotes!

The beginning of the book shows the talent that Kenny Cook has for writing as he tells of his journey while compiling quotes. His description of a visit to Walden Pond was so vivid I could almost see the mist over the water, and I wished to be standing there myself, perhaps to write, as Thoreau did, or maybe to take a dip in the cool waters.


Some of my favorites from Thumbing Through Thoreau:

"It is astonishing, as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest man thinks he must attend to in a day."

"My pulse must beat with nature."

"Great thoughts make great men."

If you are a lover of quotes, I highly recommend reading this book! And if you are not fond of quotes, you have even more reason to read it. The quotes within will inspire you and change the way you view life.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jumping back in

After an unintentional long vacation from blogging, I am jumping back in with both feet...or at least attempting to! Life has a way of getting in your way and the hours in the day never stretch as far as they need to, so sometimes things on my daily to do list just keep getting readded to the list every day instead of completed.

There are so many things that I have wanted to blog about over the past few weeks that I don't even know where to start!

I will start with something useful...a short list of a few reputable places to find freelance work. I firmly believe that you can never have to many clients, that way if one falls through for some reason, you have more to fall back on. So here is a few:

Media Bistro

Online Writing Jobs

Writers Weekly

Absolute Write

Poe War

There are more, but these are good places to get started.

Summer is not a good season for writers...not this writer at least! The sun is calling me, and it is very persistent. I want to lay outside and bask in its rays. And I want to be in the water! It is hot, we have hovered at 100 degrees the past few days. I even went so far as to print out research for several articles last week and wrote them sitting in the sand watching my munchkins splash around in the river. In between articles, I splashed with them! It was a perfect day. I could easily live right there on that sand, coming home only to send in articles a few times a week. But for some reason my husband is against that idea.

I will never understand that man. ;)

I think I could finish my book, that invasive labor of love that keeps me awake at night begging for my attention, if I could just pitch a tent at the nearest body of water and stay there. Nothing but water, sun and my notebook. If I ever disappear, call off the search party...I am simply hiding away on a sand bar deep in the woods and I will return when I am done. Of course if I disappear in Winter, I am snuggled up in front of a fire in a tiny cabin in Asheville.

Speaking of reclusive writers....I will be reviewing a book of quotes from Henry David Thoreau on Friday. I not only have a passion for quotes, but I am also fascinated with Thoreau. What an enormous strength of character it must have taken to live without the most common conveniences of life, to hide yourself away from the world. I am really looking forward to Friday!

Ok, I am off to write a hunting article...I have never in my life hunted, and never will, so this should be interesting!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Complete Randomness

Things are going a bit better, I am recovering slower than I would like but I am getting stronger every day. However, I am quite unhappy about this annoying drain that the surgeon left in me. The rest of the pain is pretty bearable but the hole in my abdomen where the drain tube is just stings constantly. Its not serious pain, but it being so constant just drives me nuts! Oh well...hopefully Tuesday he will remove it.

I am really trying to get back into the swing of writing. I am getting a little more done each day but slow review times are really keeping me unmotivated. I don't have a choice but to keep going, this is the only income we have...but I sure do want to curl up somewhere with a good book and just not think about working for a few weeks.

Ok, that is all the whining I am going to do...it's not going to make anything better!

I have decided to start reviewing books on here once in awhile. I love to read so I think that telling others about a good read or warning them about a not so good one would be a great addition to this blog. I won't do this until next month though, somewhere in the middle of the month most likely.

I have also decided that I like branching out a little bit. I find it so hard to concentrate lately that I keep bouncing around on the Internet to various writing sites rather than focusing mainly on Demand Studios like I usually do. I have written a few articles this week for a new private client. The pay was lower than what I am used to, but the work was super simple and the pay was really quick for the first batch. Still waiting on payment for the second batch but I am confident that I will get it. It is the weekend so most people aren't working.

I also wrote an article for textbroker. I have been with them for quite awhile but never really put in an effort. Once again, the pay was lower but the article was easy as pie and was accepting in less than 30 minutes. Demand Studios is still my main squeeze but it is nice to have other places to turn to when I need something simple to do! Maybe it is time to pick up a few more private clients to fall back on when I get into a rut.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wow...what a trip!

They say that if you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans. My plan, as you all know, was to write $2000 worth of articles for Demand Studios in the month of April. Someone up there with a little more control had other plans for me, and I did not make that goal.

I have been bothered in recent months by a burning pain in between my shoulder blades and in my chest along with stomach upset. It generally only lasted a day or two and I chalked it up to Acid Reflux. I toyed with the idea of going to a doctor, but decided instead to buy some Zantac. It seemed to work at first.

The weekend of our towns Sweet Onion Festival, it flared up really badly and was pretty much continuous for days. Then it eased a bit. By the next weekend, it was worse than ever and never let up. I could not eat, sleep or concentrate on anything. I made a doctors appointment for the following Tuesday but by Thursday I was in so much pain I decided to go to the ER. At the ER they ran what seemed to be a thousand tests and decided that I had stones in my gallbladder and that it was infected.

They scheduled me for surgery the next morning, and I was not overly worried. Gallbladder removal is generally done laproscopically and involves several small incisions. Having had some experience with that type of surgery when I had my tubes tied I knew that the recovery would be difficult but short.

It turned out that my gallbladder was so badly infected that there was gangrene in and around it, and E Coli in my bowel....gross, I know! They had to do more extensive surgery to remove it and that involved an incision that runs half the width of my abdomen under my ribs and two smaller incisions.

I woke up in the recovery room to see my sweet husband sitting next to me and hearing the voice of his aunt, one of my favorite people in the world. I felt like I had been run over by hubbys big truck, had two I.V's and a catheter. But the overwhelming pain in my back and chest was gone....I was grateful for that!

It has been almost two weeks since the surgery, and the staples from my incisions were removed yesterday. The drain tube is still running into my abdomen and parts of the incisions are still slightly open. I still feel like I have been run over, but it is getting a little better each day. And I am alive. The gangrene in my body could have easily killed me, according to my surgeon. I will not make the mistake of ignoring my health again.

To make an already long story short, I didn't make my April goal and I am not prepared to set a goal for this month because I am still trying to heal and get back to work. I have managed to write a few articles since coming home, but the most I have done is two in a day. Next month I will set another goal and get back to business. Right now I am to busy spending time with my precious munchkins and enjoying the flowers that are blooming in the yard. Life becomes a lot more beautiful after it is threatened and I intend to enjoy every minute of it from now on.
I learned that lesson once before when my wonderful father in law passed away. I wrote about it here. Writing the article was great therapy for me, and maybe I need to read it more often so that I don't forget that lesson again!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Writers Block

I once read a quote that stated "Writers block is what happens when the voices in your head quit talking to you."

I don't remember who said it, or even where I read it. I love quotes and tend to look them up randomly at times.

The voices in my head are all mad at me, and have said barely a word to me in the past few days. Normally I can just switch to a different type of writing for a little while and be fine when I return to what I need to do. That isn't working this time.

No matter what I try to write, the words just aren't flowing. I have managed to force myself to write some Demand Studios articles, but not many. I tried to work with some of my fiction and sat here staring at the keyboard in frustration. I haven't even updated this blog in days. A simple email seems to be the extent of my writing ability.

Not to mention we are halfway through the month, but I am not halfway through with my goal. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Another favorite quote of mine: Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

In my case, I am off to stare at a blank computer screen and wait for the drops of blood to appear. I have to write, not only to fulfill my goal for the month and pay all my bills. I have to write because it is what I do, what I have always done, and I am never truly happy unless there is a story floating around in my head.

My ticker is not impressive today, and I have been so neglectful in keeping track that I actually had to go through and count the articles I have written this month and put it in there. I don't even know how many articles I have written since it was last updated!

I am a slacker at times, I established this in an earlier post, remember? :)

Here it is:



Pitiful, I know. But I will hit my goal. I only need to write roughly 86 articles before the end of the month. I can do it, I hope!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Goals are a good thing!

Setting this goal for April has already shown quite a few benefits, even after only 9 days. I can't wait to see what the rest of the month holds!

Both my writing partner and myself have noticed that we seem to have more time, even though we are producing more content. Because we are so focused on writing what we need each day to hit this goal, we are focused and get right to work. No more playing around on the Internet or doing things around the house until work is done. As a result, we actually have more hours in the day to do those other things.

The other day, the kids got a new movie from netflix. Normally, they would watch it while I sat at the desk and worked. This time, I was almost done with my daily goal so I was able to sit down and watch the entire movie with them. It was great to snuggle up on the couch with them and not feel like I was losing money because I chose to spend time with my munchkins!

It was stormy and icky here for most of the day yesterday. I spent most of the day battling with my Internet connection, and it won. I got two articles written yesterday and only one submitted. Before setting this goal, that would have made me feel like giving up from frustration. But because I have been pretty good about writing what needs to be written each day, it's not that big of a deal. I am back at work this morning, the sun is shining and I will be caught up in no time.

I will definitely be setting a goal next month as well! Did I mention that it is Spring break at my house? And yet I am still doing what needs to be done with a houseful of kids, because I am focused.

Here is my slightly behind ticker for the day.



Hopefully it will be a lot higher by tonight so that I can take a few hours off tomorrow and go watch trucks play in the mud...the boys in my life are dragging me to a mud bog. Some days I really wonder how a girl who grew up in the city fell in love with a country boy and ended up living in the woods, driving a pickup and going to mud bogs. Life is funny sometimes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 6 of April Goal

After a very unproductive weekend, I am back on track today with 7 articles written. I almost lost my drive after the fifth article, but a quick ranting email to my writing buddy and a short break from the computer cured me and I managed to hit my goal.

My hubby was called out three times to fires today, so that made concentrating a bit difficult at times. But I managed, and when he wasn't playing hose jockey, he was here to help, with the kids at least.

Why is it that men have completely different ideas about what a clean house means than we do? It seems to me that if they can wade through a room without to much effort, then they think it is clean. I can handle some toys on the floor and some dirty dishes. I have kids, messes are a natural part of every day. But wall to wall toys and books plus a sink full of dirty dishes?? I cannot function in a house that looks like that. Our house is to small, and when it is cluttered it seems even smaller. Anyone have any ideas for getting a house husband to actually do housework?? I would love some advice! :)

Anyways, ready for the ticker? Drum roll please....




Only $1,610 left to go! I really feel like I am making decent progress, but I would like to step it up a little bit so that I have a cushion in case any issues pop up later in the month.

Off to get my beauty sleep now. It is very, very needed!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wow..what a weekend!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Ours was great, but very busy and tiring. We were literally not home for the majority of it. I did manage one article for Demand Studios, but that was about it.

I have done six today, so I am catching back up now. I will most likely not write any more today since I am battling a case of lazy. :)

I took a ton of pics over the weekend, as always. But there are several that were just so adorable that I have to share them:



My two littlest munchkins..they are all dirty from playing and are attempting to hide from me in the grass. My heart just skips a beat when I look at that smile!



This little beauty belongs to my husbands cousin. Not as sweet and innocent as she looks, she keeps up with my little trouble makers with ease!



This smile makes my heart all skippy too. :)

Here is my updated ticker. I am officially a little over 1/10th of the way to my goal!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Motivation Partners

We all have goals in life, some monetary, others based more on dreams and wishes. These goals give us the drive to go after what we want, to do everything possible to make that goal a reality. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have a person, or persons, who help to motivate us in reaching that goal. They may be a loved one who wants you to achieve your dreams because your happiness is important to them. Or it may be someone who shares your goal. The two of you become a team of sorts, both working towards a similar goal and helping to encourage and motivate the other. This kind of person is a partner in your motivation, as you are in theirs.

I have such a person in my life, a new friend, but one I treasure already. Through several emails each day, we cheer each other on, complain when things go wrong, and compare ideas and strategies. Our lifestyles are different, and we both have different challenges to face every day to attain what we strive for. But despite our differences, we continue to encourage each other daily. I don't think I would have even set this goal, or continued this blog, if it weren't for her. I think every freelancer would benefit from such a motivation partner, someone who truly understands what you are doing and why.

I am still getting used to this whole blogging thing, and sometimes things don't work the way I want them to on here. I tried right before this post to delete 2 comments because for some reason one comment posted 3 times. Instead, I managed to delete them all! The comment was a kind one, from the writer of the Moxie Gardener, an excellent blog that focuses on urban gardening, but is useful no matter what type of garden you may have. This time of year, it is a blog we all need to read. Check it out, you won't regret it.

As for my goal, I managed one more article after last nights posting, and 6 more today. That brings my grand total to $180 if I am adding correctly. Math is my weak point, so I could be wrong. ;)

Tomorrow will be a tough one, as will Sunday. We have an early Easter dinner and egg hunt at the home of dear friends who I am closer to than my own family. On Easter day, we have my mother in laws in the morning and the other side of the in laws in the afternoon. I am looking forward to two of these weekend gatherings, one I could do without! But I will find time, somehow, to write a few articles and update this blog at least once. And to add pictures...I am the crazy person at every family gathering who is seen with a camera permanently attached to their face.

Here's the ticker for today:




I hope everyone has a great Easter!! Don't eat to many eggs :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Todays Progress

Today I wrote 20 articles for Demand Studios, leaving me with only $1700 left to make for the month. At this rate I will be done in 6 days.....





You do know what the date is, right??
Sorry, I have not managed to fool anybody yet today, so I had to get someone. :)

In reality, thanks to glitches with Demand today, combined with sunshine flowing in the window and causing me to spend precious time gazing out, I have written 5. Of course the day isn't officially over for me yet, but I wanted to post on here before I was completely drained of energy. Whatever else I write tonight will be added in tomorrow. So here's my ticker:




Not all that impressive, but it's only day one. And I do intend to knock out a few more tonight, once I let the frustration wear off a little bit. I have no patience for tech glitches.

My first article was accepted at Examiner, and is actually doing quite well. I thought it might, because Savannah has a lot of dog enthusiasts, but it did better than I expected. Especially since I didn't think it was very good. I am my own worst critic though, so I try not to listen to myself. I would love opinions on it though, it is the Savannah American Amstaff Examiner. I want to interview some shelters as well as some owners of rescued Am Staffs sometime in the near future.

For now, I am off to write some more for Demand Studios. I still have a lot of money to make this month!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm a slacker, I admit it

It has been days since I posted on here and tomorrow is the 1st, which means that it is time to get started on my April goal. As of tomorrow morning, I will be working to hit a goal of making $2000 in the month of April only writing for Demand Studios.

My sometimes lovable husband was kind enough to spend the last two days rearranging our bedroom to make more room for a tiny little desk and a chair, so that I can work in peace. This will make it a lot easier on me! Now if I can just convince the kids and fur babies that it is off limits to them.

I wanted a way to track the progress on my goal on here regularly so that it was easy to see and easy for me to update. I went to ticker factory and got one of their cute little tickers. This is it:





I will update it daily...or at least every other day, slacker that I am :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Passive Income

There are many writing sites out there that pay you per page view. You write the articles and maybe promote them a bit and every month you get a nice little deposit for the views. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It's not.

The pay for page views is pitiful. And if you do not actively promote your articles, chances are your page views will be few and far between. I have been experimenting with various companies and so far I have made about $5....time to go shopping! ;)

Associated content was the first of these companies that I tried. I actually got an upfront fee for one article, and the other 3 are page views only. I have not promoted them at all, other than sending a few friends to read a particular piece. One of my articles is a fiction short story and one was written in memory of my amazing father in law after he passed away. On these 4 articles I have made...are you ready for this....a whopping $1.68. Two of these articles have been up forever. A few more months and I will be able to buy a new car! ;)

Helium is next in line. I joined in October 2009 but it was a month or two before I posted my first article. I now have 5 articles on the site, each under a different category. The articles have been up for a much shorter time than the ones at Associated Content. Grand total so far....$7.01 but that includes a $5 first article bonus. Still way ahead of AC.

Now for Ehow. I posted my first article on 02/02/2010 and so far have 4 articles up. Two of them were just published in the last two days, so they really haven't done anything yet. So far I have earned $1.21 on Ehow.

Ok, so my initial estimate of $5 total is a little low. I have actually netted a grand total of $9.90. Of course I have yet to hit payout on any of the sites, so none of the money has actually reached my hands.

I applied to Examiner.com this morning and got an acceptance email a few hours later. I will be writing about American Staffordshires...more commonly known as Pit Bulls. I have heard both good and bad about Examiner, but of course I haven't had time to form my own opinion yet. I figure I get to write about one of my favorite subjects, and they don't seem to be overly strict, so it might just be fun.

I really want to get a good stream of passive income coming in. I know I won't get rich doing it, but it's always nice to check your paypal account and see a little extra in there. So I will keep on trying with these sites, except for Associated Content, and see where it leads.

I am getting really excited about my April goal. A friend who is an extremely talented writer herself is joining me in going for the $2000. The extra motivation of having her to hold me accountable and cheer me on while I do the same for her will be a tremendous help. I am hunting for a tracker that will show my progress on the goal, I will have one before the first!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My April Goal

I mentioned in a previous post about setting a goal to make a certain amount of money in the month of April. I have been giving serious thought to what that goal should be. I want it to be something that I can accomplish without killing myself, but I also don't want it to be an easy goal. If I can do it without trying hard, its not really a challenge.

And I had to consider the fact that I will not have a lot of help around, and will have a 3 year old at home. Hubby has been really busy with his fire department lately, and may be going back to work soon. If he does, he will be working 12 hour days, so no help from that direction.

I have decided to set a goal to earn $2000 in the month of April, with just one company. That company is Demand Studios, and I have made that amount in one month with them before. But only a few times, and only when hubby was home and doing pretty much all the kid stuff and cooking. To do it next month, with everything else that is going on, will be difficult. But hopefully not impossible. And if I get to stressed out about it, I can always go walk in our woods....



I love our woods, just me and my faithful canine sidekick in blissful silence, surrounded by trees. It is heaven on earth. Sometimes I walk, and sometimes I just find a comfortable log and sit....pondering life, love or nothing at all. I want a little shack back there, with nothing but a comfy chair and a notebook. The things I could write in a little hideaway like that! Until I got my first visit from a snake, then I wouldn't like my hideout anymore. Country life does have its downfalls.

And, I would miss out on this....



My littlest munchkin is snoozing on my lap as I type this. Moments like this make motherhood worth every minute.



Break Studios

Break Studios is fairly new to the writing scene, but they seem to know what they are doing...so far. When I first heard about them, I decided to give them a try. You can never have to many places to write for, in my opinion. That way, when one is slow or just plain getting on your nerves, you have something to fall back on.

The application process was fairly simple. They want a resume and two writing samples. I applied on a Sunday evening and got an approval email the next day. The main site that writers for Break Studios supply content for is Made Man which is basically an online mans magazine that covers everything from cooking to cars to sex. Of course, sex. What else are men interested in, after all? :)

The guidelines are pretty easy to grasp, and the editors that I have encountered so far have been wonderful. And the best part...there is room for creativity. You can inject a little humor here and there, and let your "voice" shine through. That is pretty unique when it comes to writing website content, for the most part.

So, if you are a new writer looking to get started, or an established writer looking to spread your wings a little, give Break Studios a try.

Believe it or not, that is all I have to say today! My pillow is calling me, loudly. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time drainers

You only get so many hours in a day to accomplish what you need to. A lot of these hours are spent earning money, whether you are a freelancer or work outside the home as an employee. When I worked outside the home, it was easier to focus on work because my home life stayed at home. Now, my home and my work lives are intertwined and it's often hard to separate the two. There are several things competing for my attention at any given moment and that makes it easy to find myself at the end of the day having worked for 8 hours to accomplish the work I could easily do in 3 if I had an office.

I know my fellow freelancers know exactly what I am talking about. If you don't, this example should explain it all! :) I woke up this morning at 3 am because our foster puppies were making a racket that you would never expect from such small creatures. When they want food, they mean now! So I drug myself from my nice comfy bed and made bottles, fed the little monsters and changed their bedding. I then made a pot of coffee and played on facebook until I was awake enough to focus. I wrote one article and then it was time to get kids up. Now the kids morning routine is my hubbys job, since I normally write late at night. But since I was already up, I let him sleep in. We live in the middle of 5 acres, and our driveway is looonnnggg :) Normally I would have enjoyed the stroll to the road with my 5 year old chattering away next to me. But at 6:30 am it is dark in the middle of the woods...and I do mean dark! I don't like dark, or rather I don't like what could be in the dark. That was the first time in years that I have wished we lived in town!

Once I get back to the house my little guy was awake, so I made him breakfast and got some kisses. He still has those fat little baby cheeks at 3 years old, so his kisses are extra sweet! Sat down to write another article, but the pups decided they didn't get enough to eat the last time. Back to making bottles and feeding squirmy little furballs. Once I got that done, my hubby made his appearance, so I was ready to get to work....

Yeah, right. Little man has a lot to say this morning, and he only wants to say it to mommy. Try writing a factual, well researched article while pondering the questions that a 3 year old can come up with. I dare you. My second article sits there with only the first few words written.

By the time I remember that I promised to fix my friends computer and bake a cake for my 5 year old and actually accomplish both, it is 3 pm. I have been up for 12 hours and have only finished two articles. I am actually amazed that I got that much done! Now I have an hour before the school bus stops at the end of the driveway and the noise level around here hits headache inducing levels.

This is why it is 1 am, I have been up for forever and I just finally finished all my work 30 minutes ago. I am capable of writing at lightening speeds when I find quiet with no distractions. The problem is, I only find that about once a year. And I am tired. Days like today make me want to go get a job somewhere that isn't here. Or at the very least to rent an office somewhere to do my writing in. What a nice dream that is. I think I will go find my pillow and dream about that....right after I feed the puppies.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Todays Ramblings

I feel like I ramble a lot on this blog, just typing in whatever thoughts may be floating around in my head at any given moment. That may not make for the best blog, but I find it amazingly therapeutic. This is the one place where I can just let loose and say what I want to say without fear of editors and guidelines.

Our puppies are 2 weeks old today, and doing really well. They are growing fast and finally have all their eyes open. They are also more active, which means more lost sleep for me! But they are so adorable that I am incapable of holding it against them.

I have read several forum posts and blogs in various places that are based on personal challenges and it has caused me to think about doing one of my own. As a freelancer, the amount of money that I bring in each month varies widely. Some months I end up with an impressive amount, while others seem like I hardly worked at all. This month is halfway over, and will be one of the bad ones. So, I was thinking about setting a personal challenge to earn a certain amount of money in the month of April and sharing my journey on this blog. Not only will it be inspirational for me, but it may also inspire someone else. I am just not sure what amount of money I want to go for. If I choose an amount that is to low then it will not be much of a challenge. On the other hand, if I set my goal to high then I will be faced with public failure. I figure I have a week or so to decide, since I won't be starting until the 1rst.

I have written mainly cooking articles today, and now I am starving, so I will end this now and go raid the kitchen. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Motivation...or lack of it

Every freelancer knows about motivation. It keeps you pushing forward to meet that deadline or complete that assignment so that you can keep the dollars rolling in. It's something we have to have.

I lost mine at some point today. One of the companies I write for has had technical issues for the past week or so, and I have watched my bank account suffer because of it. But I persevered and they eventually got it all fixed. Now that I don't have to battle to submit every article, I seem to have lost my drive. I just do not want to write. I need to write, the people who send me those lovely bills each month are not going to be happy if I try to tell them they will have to wait because I am just not feeling it this week. Logically, I know I need to write, write and write some more. Yet I sit here and stare at the screen.

I have written today, I wrote a few things that were due today and tomorrow, and I worked on a short story I have been playing around with. And of course, I am writing this blog. But I really need to write several more articles before I call it a day. I just can't seem to get the words from my brain to the keyboard. There is a short somewhere.

I know other freelancers know what I mean, and I would love to hear how you conquer a lack of motivation. That is if anyone is actually reading this thing! Hello...anyone out there? :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

What is freelancing?

The dictionary defines a freelancer as a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.

Any freelancer will tell you that it is so much more than that. A successful freelancer must be very disciplined with time because it is extremely easy to get sidetracked when you do not have a boss watching out to make sure you are doing your job. And if you are a parent as well as a freelancer, that becomes twice as hard. Kids don't understand deadlines! I once attempted to explain to my three year old that we could not go outside to play because I had to meet a deadline. That went over really well.....it ended with my sweet baby having a complete melt down and me feeling like the worst mom in the world. The poor little guy was bored, he is here alone with no other kids all day. Mom looks like a perfect substitute, but mom won't leave the computer and go push him on the swing. A deadline means nothing in the face of boredom.

Organization is another key. If you have multiple clients, you have to keep very close track of what you are doing for each one, as well as when it needs to be done. As a writer, I have let a client slip my mind, only to find that five articles are due....tonight. It's not a nice feeling to know that I will be burning the midnight oil once again.

I cannot tell you how many people have come to me and said, : I want to work at home too, hook me up!" Yeah, right.....a few weeks later I hear about how you can't make money working at home, it's all a scam. I do not help anyone get started freelancing any longer. This so called "scam" work pays my bills quite well. It has even kept us living the way we are used to when my husband has been out of work for over 6 months. But I work hard for the money I make. I not only put in a lot of hours producing quality work to ensure that my clients will continue to want my services, I also balance this around my home and my family. It would be so much easier to go to a quiet office each day, work my 8 hours and go home at the end of the day. Freelancing is not easy, not even close. But last week when the school called because one of my children was running a high fever, I didn't have to clear it with a boss, or worry about missed hours on my paycheck. I just simply saved what I was working on and headed out the door. For me, that makes it all worth it.

This is not how it was supposed to start!


I created this blog several weeks ago, with the intention of posting brilliant thoughts and information about the two things I know best, parenting and freelancing.

Somehow making that first post eluded me. I started it, but got sidetracked and finally deleted it to post this. What ever point I was trying to make in my original first post has long been lost.

So, I will start with a rather unconventional first post which will have little to do with freelancing or parenting, unless you consider hand raising a litter of puppies to be parenting. I spend a lot of my free time...all two minutes a week....on rescuing animals. Mainly dogs, and my husband is a huge help in this endeavor, although to say he is enthusiastic would be pure fiction. This is what has kept me from blogging, sleeping and sometimes eating for the past 10 days. This sweet, lovable mama dog was way to old to be having babies and she died when the pups were just a few days old. The actual diagnosis was milk fever, which can quickly kill a young, healthy dog. She never stood a chance.

Now I am a foster mom to four little ink black balls of fluff. Long after my days of midnight feedings are over, I find myself once again waking up several times a night to make bottles and feed hungry little mouths. At the moment, it is a little after 4 am, the kids have to be up in a little more than an hour and I am sitting here waiting for a plastic tote full of squirmy, whiny critters to drift back off to sleep so that I can do the same. Their tummies have been filled, their bedding changed and now it will take at least 30 minutes for them to arrange themselves in a perfect pile and wander off to puppy dreamland.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I will be back to post all those brilliant thoughts about freelancing. Right after I get all the kids off to school, get the little one settled down so I can work, and hit a few deadlines that are staring me in the face. And of course, feed the piglets....I mean the puppies :)