7 Steps to Continue Writing During a (Personal) Crisis

Streetcar Named Desire

Fan Art by me.

Maybe you’re late with the mortgage payment because your paycheck “got lost in the mail.”

Or maybe your mother fell down the stairs and broke a few bones.

Or maybe your father died.

Or maybe you found your husband in bed with another man, he committed suicide in front of you, and the process of you slowly going mad has been suddenly exacerbated by your abusive brother-in-law.

Whatever it is: Something has gone terribly wrong in your life.

You’re going through a personal crisis. And yet, you’re still expected to write — to work.

I know. It doesn’t feel possible. But I’ll try to help you get through this as best I can… By sharing with you the seven steps that I take when my life crumbles to ruins.

1. Take a Break.

Something horrible just happened! Go easy on yourself.

Depending on what’s happened, your break may last an hour…a day…even a week. Take the time you need to recuperate.

Your break doesn’t have to last forever. Just long enough for you to feel a little bit better — a little more yourself. See more ›

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Posted in Freelance Life, Freelancing, Freelancing Advice, Time Management, Uncategorized, Writing

People I Know: Melissa Dominic

Speculative fiction author Melissa Dominic shares how she got her start, why editing is nothing to be afraid of, and how remembering to enjoy yourself is the ultimate key to success.

Melissa Dominic

Melissa Dominic

How I Know Melissa

Melissa is a fairly new friend of mine, but she’s a sweetie.

Like Paris, last month’s interviewee, Melissa writes part-time. In fact, you may have already read a quote from her if you read my article “What to Do When Writing Keeps You from Writing.”

When I wrote my debut novel The Ballad of Allison and Bandit, I was having a bit of trouble getting it published. (I’d had moderate success with short stories, poems, and non-fiction; but zero experience with novels). Ramiro, my significant other, remembered that one of his fans (Magen Cubed) was a writer and so was her girlfriend (Melissa), so he reached out to them for help.

Melissa wrote back, in detail, with a bucketload of immensely valuable information — free of charge! And I said to myself “I want to meet this beautiful human being who was willing to help out a random stranger!” So I did. And we hit it off.

I think you’ll like her too. See more ›

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Pitchfest is Coming! Pitchfest is Coming!! (FWA Interview)

FWAlogo

Hi, Everyone!

I was invited back on The Freelance Writers Academy podcast for another interview this week!

This time I was on to talk about Be A Freelance Blogger’s next PITCHFEST!

Pitchfest

Note: I don’t pay…Sophie does! (If you win!)

Pitchfest is a contest in which writers/bloggers publicly pitch their article ideas for Be A Freelance Blogger. If you win, you get published on the blog — and $100 via PayPal! Woo-hoo!

In the interview, I answer questions like:

  • What is Pitchfest and how did it get started?
  • How has the response been to the contest so far?
  • What are the contest rules?
  • How is pitching publicly different than pitching privately?
  • If you pitch publicly, isn’t there a chance your idea will be stolen by another writer?
  • Are there any benefits to following along with the contest even if you don’t enter?
  • What really makes a pitch stand out?
  • What are some of the biggest “no-no’s” when it comes to pitching?
  • If you pitch during Pitchfest and don’t win, can you still send your idea in later?
  • Where can people find out more information and submit their pitches?

You can listen to the interview HERE or, you can…

DOWNLOAD THE WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT

I recommend the written transcript. It has a bunch of useful links and whatnot added in. ;)

Just a reminder: This month’s Pitchfest starts on June 21st and ends on June 26th. So don’t wait around if you want to enter!

Good luck, Everyone!

–Lauren*

PS: The information provided in this interview is good for anyone who wants to pitch to blogs or magazines, not just people looking to enter Pitchfest. Check it out!

 

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Posted in Freelancing, Uncategorized, Writing

People I Know: Paris Matic

Paris Matic is a part-time freelancer who works as a writer and illustrator. She’s also a self-described “muse” and “Creative Collaborator” who enjoys helping others achieve their artistic dreams via her helping hand(s).

Fun Fact: I uploaded this post a day early so it would go live on Paris’ birthday! ;)

Paris Matic

Paris Matic

How I Know Paris

Like a couple other people in my “People I Know” interview series, I know Paris because she’s a fan of my significant other’s artwork! (What can I say? He has the best fans!)

She was originally just some random chick who ran up to my S.O. for a hug and an autograph at an art/comics convention, but I ended up talking to her and discovered we had some things in common — namely our love for writing.

Paris has always walked the line between “hobbyist” and “professional,” but, as soon as she FINALLY took that first step and got legitimately paid for her wares, I knew I had to have her as a PIK interviewee! Because this series has two rules: 1. The person must be a freelancer (even if it’s part-time) working in the field they love and, 2. they have to be someone I’ve known for at least a year. Paris definitely qualifies! (In fact, I was her first paying customer!)

And although she’s “only” freelancing part-time, I think you’ll be impressed with just how much she’s accomplished! She’s a great role model for those who want to “go freelance” but can’t (or don’t want to) do so full-time. You can still live your dream and get a lot done in your spare moments. See more ›

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Posted in Artist, People I Know, Uncategorized, Writer

How NOT to Get Your Guest Post Published

Editor Facepalm

This is just a placeholder image I drew until Ramiro has the time to draw something better…

Rejection is part of being a professional writer… But, don’t get yourself rejected for any of these reasons.

When you’re a freelance writer looking to get published on blogs or in magazines, the process will generally look like this:

  1. Send in a pitch/query that wows the editor.
  2. Send in your article/guest post.
  3. Get published.
  4. Rejoice.

Or, if things don’t go as well, it might look a bit like this:

  1. Send in a pitch/query that doesn’t wow the editor.
  2. Get rejected.
  3. Think up a better idea.
  4. Try again.

Sure, one scenario is more pleasant than the other; but they’re both perfectly normal outcomes. Getting published is part of being a professional writer, but so is rejection.

Unfortunately a lot of writers get rejected for really, really dumb reasons. See more ›

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Posted in Featured, Freelance Life, Freelancing, Freelancing Advice, Uncategorized, Writing

People I Know: Monique Muro

Monique Muro is quickly becoming an Internet personality to watch! She blogs, she vlogs, and she always does her best to speak (and write) for those who can’t find the words themselves.

Monique Muro

Monique Muro

How I Know Monique

I met Monique Muro in elementary school. We’d always shared a love of writing, but she was a lot less annoying about professing that love than I was (which is probably at least partly why she got picked on significantly less than I did).

We lost touch for a few years, but, by an act of fate(?!) we ended up starting blogs around the same time — and we reconnected! And it’s been a blast. We’re both a part of the blogging world, but we’ve each taken distinctly different paths. And I have a feeling you’re going to love reading about what Monique’s been up to.

Monique celebrating the second birthday of her blog, A Novel Quest.

Monique celebrating the second birthday of her blog, A Novel Quest.

My Interview with Monique Muro

What do you do? See more ›

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What to Do When Writing Keeps You from Writing

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

One type of writing can keep you from doing another if you don’t prioritize. So…How badly do you want it?

Like most writers, I love writing. It’s not just a job, it’s a part of who I am. Pretty much all I do is write! (Just ask my friends and family!).

What I do for work and what I do for fun is the same — the only difference is who I do it for. 

But, the thing is, writing for my clients has always taken priority. Since I started freelancing, I’ve consistently juggled multiple clients, each with a wide range of needs. And it’s friggin’ awesome. But it’s also extremely time-consuming.

Finding the time to work on my own projects can be difficult; and, often, frustrating. In addition to these blog posts, I write fiction novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction books. These unpaid/passion projects have to take a backseat to my “real” work, but they’re still oh-so-important to me. They have to get done, or I’ll go crazy I tells ya!

And I’m not the only writer who struggles with this issue. In order to write this article, I turned to the freelance writing community with a simple question: “How do you find the time to work on your writing projects?”

Here’s what I found out: See more ›

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Posted in Featured, Freelancing, Time Management, Uncategorized, Writing

You Just Lost Your Biggest Client…Now What?

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

And you thought paying your taxes was depressing! (It was “Tax Day” here in the United States yesterday).

When it comes to clients, freelance writers tend to follow a fairly specific pattern. It doesn’t matter how many clients we have in total — there are always two who stand out the most. We have our “favorite” client (the one who treats us with the most respect, offers up fun side perks, and is all-around awesome to work for no matter what the pay scale) and we have our “money” client (the one who pays the most). We often call the latter our “biggest” client because, well, they account for the “biggest” chunk of our income.

Even if your “biggest” client isn’t your “favorite” client, they’re still immensely important. They’re the client who’s funding your dream life — your career as a freelance writer — in the most literal sense. When you pay your bills each month, they’re the one you thank. And each day you don’t have to go back to working the fast food drive thru, you give a grateful hat tip to their mighty wallet.

So what happens when you suddenly lose your “biggest” client?

…Oh, @#$%! See more ›

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Posted in Freelance Life, Freelancing, Freelancing Advice, Time Management, Uncategorized

Book News and New Update Schedule!

ghostwriterHello, Everyone!

A few of you super fans/cyber stalkers already know what I’m about to say…

I’m in the process of writing a book on ghostwriting/ghostblogging!

It’s called LittleZotz Writing: School for Ghosts and it’s coming out September of this year. I’ve already got it outlined, have written several chunks of it, and I’ve hired these amazing artists to draw the cover and inner illustrations:

The book is filled with material that has never appeared on any of my blogs, and never will. It’s fresh, it’s informative, and it’s fun. I’m really excited about it.

And I’d love to get your input! 

I’ve been doing my best to cover everything about ghostwriting/ghostblogging I can possibly think of, but if YOU have a question: Now’s the time to ask it! Send me your question(s) about ghostwriting and/or ghostblogging and I’ll make sure to answer it in my upcoming book!

What Does This Mean for the LittleZotz Writing Blog?

Well, unfortunately, the update schedule for this blog is going to be changing. Here’s how things will work for the next few months: See more ›

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People I Know: Sophie Lizard

Sophie Lizard is the owner of Be A Freelance Blogger, one of the most well-renowned “information for bloggers” websites in existence today. She’s a blogger, a copywriter, and she’ll help you live your blogging dreams…even if she has to kick your butt to make it happen!

Sophie Lizard

Sophie Lizard

How I Know Sophie

Similarly to former PIK interviewee Breanna Armstrong, I was first introduced to Sophie through Muay Thai blogger Mike LeNg. He had come across her blog, Be A Freelance Blogger, and thought that I would love it. He was right.

I became an avid reader of Sophie’s work and an active member in the BAFB community. Sophie took notice, doing a little research of her own…on me! She ended up contacting me in regard to my first free e-book, LittleZotz Writing: Adventures in Freelancing, to let me know she was adding it to her first list of free resources for bloggers.

Not long after, she hired me as BAFB’s “community manager.” And we’ve been working together ever since! See more ›

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