Monday, May 25, 2009

Writing in Chaos

I normally don't have a problem writing with my three-year-old in the house. She'll sit in my home office and play while I'll work. Occasionally, she'll want to play one of the educational computer games we have for and I'll set her up on my husband's computer. It's rare I have trouble working with her around.

My husband has chronic pancreatitis. When he's sick, it does add a degree of difficulty as I'm not only trying to keep him comfortable, but I'm also attempting to keep our daughter and the puppy away from him. It slows down my writing, but generally I can still get some writing done.

However, this weekend has taught me that writing in chaos is nearly impossible. My sister is currently attending college full-time to be a medical office administrator. Between school and taking care of her family, she hasn't had any time for herself in a long time. So when she was offered the opportunity to attend a bike rally over the weekend, I volunteered to babysit my nieces so she could go. They're four and five.

It was a very chaotic weekend. While my daughter is good at playing quietly, my nieces are not. Our puppy tends to sleep a lot, but since my nieces had brought their puppy along, he spent the whole time chasing her around the house while they both barked at each other and anything else that caught their eyes. On top of all the ruckus the kids and dogs were making, my husband got sick and ended up being hospitalized on Friday. Then, my aunt called Saturday night to tell me that my great-grandmother had passed away.

By Sunday, I was ready to pull my hair out. I had planned to write over the weekend, but hadn't had a chance with everything going on. My husband got out of the hospital around lunchtime. On the way to pick him up, my sister called to let me know she was coming back early and ask if I could meet her at three so she could pick up the girls. I ended up rushing home, feeding everyone lunch, then loading them all back in the car for the two hour trip to meet my sister.

By the time I finally made it home Sunday evening and got my daughter in bed, I was so exhausted that I crawled in bed as well. Not a very productive weekend for me unfortunately.

This weekend was a learning experience for me. If I plan to make a career as a freelance writer, I need to be able to work around obstacles that come up.

*Photo by Carl Dwyer

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Free Courses to Help with Your Freelancing Career

When it comes to being a freelance writer , you need skills in writing, marketing and business. However, as a stay at home managing our bills on one income, paying for classes on these subjects isn't an option. So I started searching the web for free online classes.

News University offers courses on subjects ranging from advertising sales to writing. While some of the courses do have a fee, there are several that are offered at no cost. You do have to sign up for a free account to take advantage of the courses.

Suite 101 offers a variety of courses. Be sure to check out the articles on starting and running a small business, professional writing, and writing well.

Writer 2 Writer has a few free courses. However, you should be aware that you will be automatically added to their ezine when you sign up for one of the free courses.

The business courses at Free-Ed will help you learn how to manage your freelance business.

*Photo by Sanja Gjenero

Friday, May 1, 2009

Freelance Progress Report: April 2009

After much research, I decided to start with Associated Content to get a feel for writing for money. I joined up April 20 and wrote 19 articles by the end of the month. Six were assignments; the other 13 I came up with on my own. Of the 13 I came up with on my own, 9 were offered upfront payments, 2 were display only and 2 were denied upfront payment.

The Breakdown
19 articles
6 assignments-$15.75
9 articles offered upfronts-$24.08
total made=$49.83

I know it doesn't seem like much, but it's okay for a start, especially since the month was 2/3 over before I even started writing. Considering I only spent a little time writing and I'm still learning SEO, I'm happy.

*Photo by Channa