Let’s Go Shopping! Support Small Business Day Nov 29.


This may come off as biased but it really doesn’t matter.

I hate holiday shopping. Hate it.

The crowds, the false advertising, the relentless traffic…it all takes a toll after a while and over the years it’s become pretty senseless. Why beat yourself up over gifts that most folks will forget about within the next few months? Trust me, your husband will not be thinking of you and the suffering you went through on Black Friday while watching the Super Bowl and his new 70 inch flat screen. You can always get that flat screen any time of the year when there are probably better deals anyway.

If you want to do real holiday shopping, get a gift that is more meaningful and personal. Here are 7 mind-provoking reasons why you should switch it up this year.


With all the talk of unemployment, it’s easy to overlook how the support of small business can have a faster and direct impact on your neighborhood. It’s been seen time and time again that small businesses stimulate economic growth with one way being hiring those who may not be able to work at big corporations. The local taxes you pay at small business will be visible to you the consumer when that money goes to support local necessities such as firefighters and libraries. Don’t forget local schools as well.

Support the Economy

Whether you realize it or not, the mom and pop shops are the backbone of the U.S. economy. Sure, the big shot retailers bring the money in, but does it go back into the communities? Remember, they were once small shops too who needed your support. Having pride in your community should include supporting the local businesses. Whether it’s getting a bite to eat or doing your holiday shopping, it makes a big difference for your neighborhood. It brings a source of uniqueness and enhancement for your community. Remember, without a local economy there would be no large economy to talk about.

Less Stress

Crowded shopping malls and rude consumers can never be a good thing. Just looking for parking alone is bound to give you a headache. Traffic increases and everyone is just so irate this time of year. It’s sheer madness in my opinion. Keeping it local and visiting the neighborhood shops is much more rewarding and peaceful experience. You won’t have to worry about mysterious dents on your car, or engaging in a parking lot war if you choose the small business route.

Shop Smarter

You may have heard the term “work harder, not smarter”. Nothing could be more true when it comes to holiday shopping. There are tons of unique small businesses in neighborhoods across the globe. It’s a matter of you knowing who you’re shopping for and what they like. For example, is someone on your shopping list on a fitness kick? Well you can get them an app that pays them to workout. Gympact is an online business based in San Francisco, CA that helps folks get fit and stay fit. Is there a person who’s into funky clothes and tattoos? Check out Brightside Boutique and Tattoo in Baltimore, MD where one can rack up on a new wardrobe and flirt around with tattoo designs. They’ll love you for it!

Uniqueness Means a Better Gift

I remember in grade school around the holidays when the Christmas lists were submitted to parents to get the hottest items of the year. By the time winter vacation ended and it was time to go back to school, there was always one other person…with the same outfit as me. Everyone wanted and usually got the same toys and same jean jacket for Christmas. As an adult, that’s kind of tacky, isn’t it? With the exception of smart phones (I won’t even debate with that), why get what everyone else is getting. I would prefer to have something so unique that others would be just dumbfounded when they see it. “Where did you get that”? or “Wow, I’ve never seen that before” are phrases that are so sweet to hear at the office.

Yeah, the electronics are great and have decent sale prices this time of year, but you can always beat the crowds and order it online (for a much better price). Why not get a gift that has a little deeper meaning and can be more appreciative of the recipient?  A massage, a mustache maintenance kit and a tattoo are some unusual but unique gifts that will be awesome for the holiday season.

Way Better Customer Service…Way Better!

Aren’t you tired of dealing with the long lines, rude service and unqualified sales reps? These things just take all the joy out of the holiday season and dims any hint of a festive mood. The intimate, relaxed atmosphere of small businesses reminds us why giving is important. It also reminds us that being kind to others is one thing that wsill never go out of style, no matter how advanced technology gets. Great customer service is ALWAYS appreciated. Don’t you love it when you experience someone who’s actually paying attention to you and what you want?

Will you switch it up this year, or will you take the road that’s always traveled?

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Why You Need to Develop Your Own Voice as a Writer

Unique in his own right: The late great Louis Armstrong
Unique in his own right: The late great Louis Armstrong

Real talk – the freelance business has boomed in recent years and continues to grow at very high rates. For very good reason too; people are becoming tired of the challenges that come with working for someone and desire to be their own boss. So there is clearly a shift in the economy and the workforce which should alert anyone who calls themselves a freelance writer. Continue reading “Why You Need to Develop Your Own Voice as a Writer”

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Build Your Confidence as a Writer| 5 Secrets that Work!

You want to get more into writing, but you’re afraid your work will tank once it’s posted. Don’t have a negative attitude towards your own work. If your writing is not where you feel it should be, look over these 5 ways you can build your skills and confidence as a promising writer.

Expressing yourself through writing is a learned skill.
Expressing yourself through writing is a learned skill.

Writing Prompts

There are writing prompts galore all over the ‘net that will put your writing skills to work. Some sites offer daily and weekly prompts to get you moving in case you’re stuck on what topic to write or blog about. These can serve as great exercises since your writing is put to practice. So the more you do writing prompts, the better. Furthermore, once you link your post back tot he writing prompt site, you’re bound to get feedback from readers that can be really helpful for you (it will also generate a lot buzz on your blog). This is great because you get to engage with other writers who may be trying to improve their writing skills as well. Here are some sites that offer great writing prompts:

WordPress’ Daily Prompt

Writer’s Digest


If you’re not already an avid reader, you should start developing this habit. No, you don’t have to go through a whole set of encyclopedias and grab a pen a paper, but its important to keep your brain engaged by reading more than you often do. The newspaper, short stories and the latest novel will definitely get your writing gear motivated to get productive. Being exposed to different types of writing can only serve as inspirational for your own work. Not only will you see different ideas and expressions, but you’ll also be exposed to new types of vocabulary and sentence-structuring. Your brain loves this kind of stuff. Besides, the material you read will provide you with plenty more prompts to blog or write about. This creates a better atmosphere of engagement with your audience as well.

Keep a Journal

Not that you have to disclose the details of your private life tot he world, but having a notebook is handy when certain thoughts come to your mind; many times we’ll come across something that will prompt us to write but by the time we sit down to do it the thought has gone. Keep a notebook to jot down ideas and thoughts that hit home or you may want to share with your readers. Write what you observe about life or people and incorporate that into your writing. Over time, you can go through the journal and see how your voice has progressed on paper. This is a definite confidence booster and will give you more things to write about.


As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. You have to develop a habit of writing on a regular basis. Your skills will build and your voice will definitely develop. The journal and writing prompts mentioned above will definitely help build consistency. The more you practice, the stronger your writer voice will develop. You’ll also be more inspired to write – to the point where you won’t really need prompts anymore. You become more in tune with what actually motivates you to write. This is also where blogging comes in as a handy tool. As a writer, you have to keep your blog up to date (if that’s something you chose to do; not for everyone) so maintaining a blog helps with building consistency with your writing skills.

Get Constructive Feedback

What’s the point of writing for a platform if you don’t have feedback? If you don’t want to ask friends and family, there are plenty of places online that will provide constructive feedback. If you’re on WordPress, they have a community specifically for those who want their writing critiqued or they’re blog posts reviewed and discussed before posting them. Writer’s Digest also has forums where you can bring up your work for review. Whichever route you chose to use, make sure you get some type of feedback for your writing. It has to be honest, constructive feedback so don’t give your writing to someone who will automatically say it’s superb.

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The Joys of Networking|5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Freelance Business

Source: Pixabay photos
Source: Pixabay photos

Are you trying to expand your writing business or get noticed? What steps are you taking beyond sitting behind the laptop? Yes, social media has its advantages but getting out there and getting involved definitely has it’s benefits.

Sometimes, it takes going back to the basics. Yes, we’ve read endless blogs on how to make connections for your business via Twitter and Facebook and this and that. All of that is good and true. I can personally attest to how Twitter alone has boosted my business, but in my opinion real groundwork still has to be laid before reaping the benefits of social media. Here are some ways your writing business can grow:

Small business meetings: These types of groups are all over the place. Every city, town and neighborhood has some sort of meeting group for small business owners, where a set schedule, they meet and share advice and pitch ideas to each other. It’s very beneficial and quite important for anyone starting out particularly in the world of freelancing. As you can see on my page, I am a part of Femworking which consists of women business owners who are looking to thrive in their talent. It supplies endless resources from folks who are more than willing to share what they know.

Running your mouth on the phone: I got one of my first decent paying clients by chatting with a former co-worker one evening. We were catching up and I was telling them of my latest venture as a writer so if they knew anyone who needed service, send them my way. I didn’t even take myself seriously when I said it. A few days later, I get a phone call from someone who was referred to me by that co-worker. I was elated and was able to formulate a great deal for myself and the client. Everything is not done via the laptop. Getting out there, chatting and communicating with those right underneath your nose just might lead to your breakthrough in writing. Let those close to you know what you’re up to.

Word of mouth: With the example provided above, I can’t help but emphasize even further. One thing that folks are good at is talking. Now is a good time to put gossipers to use! Once your service is out, it’s bound to spread. That’s definitely what happened to me. Word soon spread about my services and what I was offering. It was especially attractive because the prices were fair and reasonable.

Mixers: Another form of face-to-face networking. I’m pretty sure they hold networking meetings in your town as well. It doesn’t have to be a specific freelance or business network. It could be on the topic you blog or write about. I recently attended a mixer on public health. I stood out in the best way because I was the only one walking around the room with the title “blogger” underneath my name on the name tag. This got people’s interests immediately and I made great connection that way. It wasn’t a freelancing event, it had to do with an area that I was familiar with and figured I could someway tie it into writing since I cover health and wellness topics. Whatever your niche or passion may be, find a social event or forum being held in your area and attend, representing your website or business. Nothing but good can come out of it.

Explore your neighborhood: Check out the small businesses in your area and find out if they need a way to communicate with their customers on a regular basis. If so, don’t hesitate to tell them what you can do. You’ll have to convince them that they need you – which they do because every business needs to keep their customers engaged. Stop by, give them a business card (and/or resume) and let them know you can write for them. You can also visit the local newspaper offices, libraries and community magazines. All of those outlets involve writing services. If you get rejected, that’s okay since it’s all part of the process. Keep getting out there and engaging until you land some potential clients.

What steps have you taken so far? 

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Chronicles of a Freelance Newbie: Being Yourself Pays Off


So early last week I was on my way to the train station to start my commute home. I was in usual fashion, bag in tow and headphones tucked comfortably into my ears when all of a sudden someone grabs my arm.  I looked and noticed a young lady I met a few weeks ago. Obviously she noticed me first and was so excited to see me. “Do you remember me?” she asked. There was a community service meeting we met at and I pitched my blogs and vision to everyone there. Afterwards, I pretty much went about my business, so it was quite surprising to see her in the middle of the city this particular day. She asked me for my contact information which I was more than happy to provide for her. “Wow”, I thought to myself. I was actually starting to get noticed in the street based on my blogging! For someone who’s still in the early stages of their freelance journey, this was pretty exciting.

Maintaining blogs, networking and researching take up a lot of time. Sometimes I don’t get to update the blogs as much as I would like to, but I constantly keep things in perspective because the purpose of New3Creation is being established. There are definitely goals set in place because right now, everything is not where I would like them to be – but that’s okay. In the meantime, I’ve learned not to rush or present myself as something that I’m not. When I introduce myself to someone I come across in the blogosphere, what they see is what they get; I don’t present crazy services that I have no experience in just to get their attention, and I don’t boast anything else that is unrealistic for me (or them). It’s hard at times because I see other established freelance writers who’ve been in the game for a while and offer fantastic services to their clients and have expanded their business at impressive lengths.

It makes it kind of intimidating.

There’s that “in the meantime” moment where you have to continue working towards the next level of success. It hasn’t been a year yet, but I think I’ve made some pretty decent achievements since investing more time towards my writing:

Contributor positions – I’ve received a few offers and accepted them. Is there pay involved? Not at the moment, but I get more exposure which leads me to more potential clients, so  the pay does come eventually. Plus, I get to sharpen my writing skills and gain practice being on different platforms to different audiences.

Guest blogger – I didn’t realize how gracious folks were in this area. Not only are they willing to let you post on their page – exposing you to their own audience, but they’re also willing to offer great advice on your own growth and bring up ideas of possible collaborations. All of this has been beneficial to me as a writer. Be sure to check back here soon for upcoming guest posts of my own and other up and coming writers!

Paying gigs – I have to say that real money finally started coming in (now it just needs to be consistent!) and I have to give credit where credit is due. Not social media, twitter, facebook…no; it came from good old-fashioned mouth-to-mouth networking! It really caught me off guard because I’ve been grinding on social media trying to get new clients. Low and behold a friend of mine referred someone to me for service. So never forget the more traditional way of communicating, which is meeting and talking with folks, chatting with friends and spreading the word among family. You’ll be surprised at what doors will open by taking this route!

Hopefully this helps provide some type of encouragement to those who are still looking to make their first break. I’ve provided another take on the freelance journey over at Hub Pages were I get more specific on starting out in freelance writing – click here. And don’t forget, I’m also blogging on health and wellness. Check out New3Creation Wellness and let me know what you think.

Last but not least, if you’re looking for writing services at reasonable rates, give me a holler!


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