Writer’s block. Blank pages. Frustration. The list goes on when it comes to writing a novel or writing your own story. Not just writing it, but making sure the end product is worth getting. You have a message to deliver and it has to be powerful and have impactl. So why are you struggling to come up with words?
From personal experience, let me tell you – you’ll be surprised.
I will say upfront – you don’t need any type of degree to be a freelance writer. However, there are specific skills that come with this line of work and are required in order to have a significant impact. So the degree is not necessarily required, but education is a must. Here’s why… Continue reading “Does Education Matter When it Comes to Writing?”
It’s not to late to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I must say that 2014 flew by like dust. It’s going to be an entire year since I started this blogging journey and it has been nothing but rewarding. Thanks for your continued interest and support; I hope you’re inspired to do your heart’s desire as you read New3Creation material!
I want to start of with this thought provoking quote from Cheryl Strayed:
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”
~ Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
This is an awesome quote on dealing with fear in a unique way. I’ve previously tackled the topic of fear here on this site and it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to tackle fear from a different angle. We can’t allow it to cripple us and determine our destiny. It doesn’t matter if you want to become a writer, astronaut or business owner – if you’re reading this be inspired by the fact that fear is nothing but an emotion and it NEVER lasts! It also doesn’t matter what type of situation you’re in; fear is not in control. You are…simple as that.
A new beginning
Think about the quote for a minute…what story have you told yourself? As we become older, we realize that a lot of things we thought were true as children aren’t so; ranging from Santa Claus to what a healthy marriage or relationship really means. The fact is that truth never stops revealing itself. It’s a constant organism that’s always at work. I once heard the saying that God reveals to redeem – nothing could be further from that truth. That’s why it’s okay to start over and not be afraid to make a new beginning. It’s easier said than done but you can get rid of all those old things that weighed you down before. You can decide what you will be concerned about from here on out – especially since its a new year. I always talk about creating yourself if you’re not happy with who you are. Not saying to create a facade, but build a new beginning for yourself and use that fear as a motivator. Trust me, when it comes to rebuilding and recalculating your journey, you need to make fear your friend!
When I decided to get back into writing, fear definitely showed up at the front door. I figured since I hadn’t been involved in writing since college, my chances of becoming a flop were very likely. Rejections and setback probably lay ahead and I wasn’t looking forward to any of that. But I had to do something. I had to make a decision. I must tell you that decision has (and continues to) paid off. So many doors have been opened to help me along the way and help create a beautiful future. You can certainly do the same.
Change the script
So what if your story isn’t a great one? Re-create your story to be what you want it to be. Tell yourself a different story and take charge of your destiny. Don’t let fear or naysayers determine it. The road is…different. It doesn’t consist of partying around and a bunch of friends saying great things about you. Writing your new script can be challenging because the atmosphere is quiet and you’re often alone, facing yourself and dealing with who you really are. It’s also filled with eye opening moments of joy that can’t be compared to anything else; installing wisdom in you to last a lifetime. You’ll also be surprised how much your choices and your story inspires others to take a leap of faith! That’s what New3Creation is about, to inspire, envision and be able!
I’ll press the pause button here until next time. But I will leave you with this question: It’s 2015 – what are you going to do about it? Will you let it determine your destiny or will you make a decision to change your story?
Here’s a list of the most popular posts here on New3Creation. It was quite interesting going through the list because the posts that I thought would be most unlikely to be read were liked the most, and vice versa. Check out the list, be entertained…this will likely be the last post for 2014.
I must say there is so much in store for New3Creation in 2015. There will be more features, contests and even podcasts! This was my first year actually exploring the freelance world and I must say the journey has been quite fulfilling. So please stay tuned and don’t be strangers! Your support and interest is much appreciated.
Daily Post – I Would Never do That to You…. – I’m venting about taking advantage of folks who are vulnerable and have certain weaknesses. People’s insecurities can really get the best of them, making them nothing but toxic towards their friends and family.
The Joys of Networking|5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Freelance Business– I have to say I was quite pleased with the success of this article. It’s one of my first “real” articles about freelance writing and it got a good amount of attention from other writers. If you’re writing or plan to get into freelance, this article should certainly help you out for your journey!
Daily Post: Groundhog Wars– I chose to write about my horrifying experience with groundhogs in my yard…I have to say, I used to think they were cute furry creatures that chewed on sticks, but learned some hard lessons about these animals and applied what I learned to daily living…
Don’t Just Talk About it, BE About it! – I should’ve titled this, “Don’t Talk about it WRITE about it!” But hey, you learn as you go along, right? This post gives words of encouragement for those starting out with things they want to do in life.
Back track… – a reintroduction of myself, what I plan to do and what my vision entails.
Poem: I Can Laugh Now – this was my first stab at poetry in years. If you’re in a dark place trying to find your way out, this poem should be uplifting for you.
My plan – a personal look at having a vision and planning. I share the experience of becoming a homeowner.
There you have it. The top 10 posts on this blog. Like I previously mentioned, it’s been a great year. A lot of reflecting, building and of course CREATING went on. Things are certainly in the works for the coming year.
These past couple of months have been really fast-paced. When I first dove into writing, things were moving really slow (of course they were) and some days seemed as if my voice wasn’t getting to anyone. Even though I felt that way some days, I still kept posting and interested readers would trickle in. Well while that was going on I was doing traditional networking and so many doors have opened since then, which makes me extremely excited for the coming year!
Shout out to Kim of Abundant Life Initiative, who provided me an opportunity to share an experience of mine with her audience. I don’t quite remember how we connected, but at some point we were really impressed with each other’s blogs. Check out the post here. There will be many more to come in the near future. =)
There have also been pavement pounding sessions that caused new relationships to form. This is mainly because I’ve chosen one particular cause to cover through my writing. It’s a cause that is near and dear to me as a person and a writer and I intend to raise awareness about it. What’s the point in being a writer if you have no particular passion? When I write about this particular topic I don’t try to impress, I just write. Some folks have noticed this to my surprise and are interested in collaborating with me on different projects which brings an unique type of joy to me. I’ll be conducting interviews, creating new programs and attend specialized meetings because of this topic and the way I chose to go about addressing it with my writing. Check out my posts on Intimate Partner Violence here. I’m not sure if I will post on this particular site about the topic, because it was designed for my freelance experience and work portfolio, but we’ll see what happens.
Moving ahead for the new year…
I’ve continued to have new clients referred to me and more meetings with folks (most of them other bloggers) that are interested in working with me. The opportunities abound!
Of course, there was a lot of cultivation for these opportunities to happen. It’s a very exciting time. Since I’m a strong believer in face-to-face interactions, I recently started a meet up group specifically for career enhancement. In the past several months, I’ve helped quite a few individuals with their career by providing them guidance and sharing my own experience with them for encouragement. So if you’re in the DC area, stop by one of our meet ups! The experience will be a fulfilling one!
From the new relationships I’m forming, I expect more business opportunities to arise for my writing and consulting services. I have to be prepared for that so I’ve been touching up my skills on copy writing and pushing to stay on top of my reading.
Even though it’s been kind of slow around these parts, trust and believe other areas have been very busy! For instance, I still post useful articles on my Hub Pages site, including my first recipe! It doesn’t hurt to step out of the box every now and then, which I plan on doing from here on out!
Deciding to get back into writing and use it for an outward purpose has been a fulfilling experience. Whether it’s writing or blogging, new ideas, skills and confidence levels have definitely developed!
What have you been up to? I’d like to know your plans for the new year.
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!
For the most part, every Freelance Writer’s journey begins with low-end paying jobs. I don’t think mine is any different, especially since I was feeling my way around the dark the first few months of my freelance adventure. Like many others starting out, I stumbled across sites such as ELance and ODesk to get writing gigs and increase my exposure. So what was it like? Was it beneficial? I’ll attempt to answer those questions and more…
In the beginning I was totally unaware of how the freelance writer world works. All I knew was I was eager to get work and prove my writing skills to clients. I came across multiple articles that this field of work is not for the faint of heart and starts out very slow, so I didn’t mind when I came across my first few writing gigs that paid me between $5 and $10 for several hundred words. After setting up my profile on a couple of sites, I searched around and saw that other writers were setting their rates, based on their quality of writing and experience. I wasn’t near their level yet and looked at other profiles that were starting as low as $2 each article! I was ready to start low, but knew right then and there I had to limit how low I would actually start. After a few days of signing up and bidding for jobs, I was able to land a couple of ghost writing, copywriting and content jobs. This lasted for maybe three months before I was ready to throw in the towel.
Why I quit content mills
Besides the obvious low rates, I felt I wasn’t gaining the experience I needed to stand out as a freelance writer, so I didn’t want to make it something I was doing for an extended amount of time. To be honest, I get more out of blogging and contributing writer assignments that have no pay than doing work for a content mill. Others are getting credit for my work that I put a good amount of research and effort into. I don’t see that as an effective way to build my own individual brand. After a few months, I walked away from it entirely and sought other ways to make money off of writing.
Has “free work” gotten me anywhere?
Absolutely. For several reasons:
I venture out beyond content writing mills. This includes subscribing to other freelance writing job sites and improving my profile on Linked In. Not only do I flex through social media, I make sure I reach out to friends and family regarding my services. In fact, one of my first paying clients came through a referral of a friend. It was also my biggest payout I’ve made since starting out as a Freelance Writer.
I continue to work on my craft. Blogging and contributor writer gigs definitely help me develop my brand and challenge my focus. I interact effectively with other writers and bloggers who are going through the same thing as me. I get great tips and advice on how I can improve my exposure and build for future clientele. Even though there’s no pay yet, I have no regrets at this point.
I know my patience will pay off. I was warned several times that freelance writing starts out slow, especially if you’re looking to make money, so I focus on cultivating and building strong relationships that will pay off down the road. What makes it easier to deal with is that I enjoy what I write about. There are topics that I’m passionate about and love to research and share with the appropriate audience. Such things kill the time as my revenue builds up.
Everyone is different
My own journey and experience caused me to drop the whole content mill arena. It wasn’t my cup of tea and I didn’t see significant pay that I thought I should be getting, especially for the type of work I was submitting. I made a total of $70 over the few months I did content mills. My first client I got through referral from a friend was at least twice that amount for half the work. So it’s up to others as how they want to value their time as they pursue profit from writing. Take your focus, goals and self-worth into consideration when deciding whether to do content mill writing.
What about you, do you have your own experience with content mills? How was it? Would you recommend to those starting out?
The past several months of engaging in blogging have been quite interesting. I’ve learned an extreme amount of useful information and developed some great connections. One of the things I’ve learned is the concept of paying it forward; helping others along the way as I was helped in the beginning. So without further delay, here are 5 important steps every new blogger needs to know (shout out to DC Ladies who are hosting Blogtober this month!):
Get acquainted with social media asap
If you already know your way around the twitters and facebooks, you should be good to go. If you aren’t get knowledgeable as soon as possible. You don’t need an account for every website out there, but you should find the outlets that work best for you, your niche and your audience. Some of the solid ones to start out with are Linkedin, Facebook and Google+ ( depending on your niche others such as Instagram and Tumbler may be more appropriate; i.e. photo blogs). They are filled with endless types of communities that can be a stepping stone to building your audience. You’ll also find folks that are willing to share a plethora of knowledge on building a website and becoming an effective blogger.
Find your audience = finding your voice
There’s no point in logging onto your website every day to write posts if you don’t know who you’re writing to. Why did you decide to start a blog? Who do you want to reach? These are just a couple of questions you need to ask yourself when starting out. From there, it will be easier to build and make the right connections. Once you identify your audience, it becomes much easier to develop topics and posts that will gain interest. It may be kind of slow at first, but consistency and persistence will definitely pay off. As your audience is defined, your voice will continue to develop for the better. As this is happening, you’re not just gaining an audience, but you’re building a solid relationship with them, which is important in the blogging world. You’re not only building your voice from posting, but from interacting with audience as well. Answer their comments; start discussions with them – this will help you develop your vision and voice as a blogger.
Familiarize yourself with SEO knowledge, but don’t obsess over it.
As a new blogger, you’ll come across overwhelming amounts of information – especially SEO tips and tricks. While this is helpful, knowing the basics should suffice for your blog. If you get too into it, you’ll spend an endless amount of hours reading site after site about SEO tips when you could be using that time to develop your blog. You won’t be able to obtain that much information overnight. It comes with time and experience. Google AdWords is an excellent place to start to find keywords to use in your writing. This is especially effective once your audience has been defined.
Hook up with writers who aren’t afraid to share information.
Yes, there are writers and bloggers out there who are willing to lend a helping hand. Twitter is a great way to hook up with blogging communities. If you need additional help starting out, check out writing sites like HubPages, Problogger and Facebook. These sites are filled with blogger and writing communities that will provide tips to get started as a great blogger. The ones who have been around for a minute obviously know what they’re talking about! Here are a couple I would suggest:
If you’re serious about blogging and becoming a good writer, these sites provide excellent information and folks aren’t hesitant to share what works.
Don’t overlook original networking – face to face
This is one step that continues to help me again and again. The best relationships are made face to face, in my opinion. In today’s world of internet interaction, physical interaction is not as popular, but it’s very effective. One of the best decisions I made as a young blogger is join a networking group. Taking this step is extremely beneficial; you’ll be surprised at how many people have the same drive and vision as you. They’re also willing to share their experience and information with you which is great advice. You’ll find people who need guest bloggers – which is another great way to build your blog, you’ll also find people who will direct you to avenues that can make you money and so on. The opportunities that stem from networking are endless.
Are you new to blogging? How has your experience been so far?
Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works. – Virginia Woolfe
After reading tons of blog posts and articles, one has to step away from all of that and check out the writer in the mirror sometimes. “What is my purpose”? “Why am I here”? Those questions tend to come to mind time to time and lately, there’s been a real pressing to answer those questions.
An answer has finally been reached
But it didn’t come easily….. some serious searching and acceptance of a few things took place; one being the love and gift I have of writing. I’m not putting myself on a pedestal by saying that. Anyone can write if you ask me. But the point of me making such a statement is because writing is something that’s been embraced for years. It’s served as an avenue of escape and refuge. It’s earned adoration from friends, teachers and families alike. But there is more to it than that. A lot more.
What’s the purpose?
Any gift or talent we have is for a reason. It’s not for us to sit on our whole lives and not share in some type of way, no matter how unique it may be. In fact, it’s that uniqueness that makes it necessary to share, believe it or not. Writing has so many purposes intertwined and my own writing is no exception. This writer has a story to tell. A story with a specified purposes that will help others and let them know they can be set free. As a writer with a story to tell, a responsibility lies within that continues to grow more and more everyday. It has come to the point where it can no longer be contained or stay quiet.
The story involves pain, reality and reflecting. It speaks of a journey that many can relate to but choose not to speak about for one reason for another. Through the channel of literature, this writer will describe this journey and give readers insight, awareness and even hope.
It wasn’t easy for the writer to get to this point, especially since the intent is not to get huge Twitter followers or make money. It was about a need to release; a need to put this story together and share with anyone who will listen. This writer is used to dealing with things and moving on to the next – not telling a story. So there are feelings of excitement, anxiety, fear and curiosity because this is something the writer has no control over. She’s just letting things take their course, which is one of the hardest things she’s ever done…letting go.