Only a mere few days until my story is published on Anotherealm! Be sure to check back on Friday for the link!
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Monday, 20 June 2011
And I’m writing about this terrible boss, because she is still my boss, and she’s probably yours too.
That’s right; it’s me.
This morning, I had a project to do, so I got myself ready, booted up my computer, and sat down. After I set up my document, I stopped, because my boss said, “You know, this is a hard project. It’s going to take you ages, and what makes you think you’re qualified to do it anyway?”
My confidence left me. I stared at the blank screen, and couldn’t do a thing.
“See,” said my boss, “you don’t even know how to start, do you my dear? Why don’t you just run along and do something easier?”
Sometimes, I listen, but today, I decided not to. I straightened my posture, put my hands on the keyboard, and did the project anyway. It took me just over an hour, and really wasn’t that hard at all.
I think there are lessons to be learned there. Firstly, no-one is ever harder on you than you. Secondly, if you don’t have faith in yourself, who else will? And thirdly, and probably most importantly, always treat yourself with the same respect you would treat others.
And there ends my lecture for today.
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
But there were two little obstacles I had to overcome; I had no experience and no contacts. No-one was going to take me seriously because I had no previous work to show them. I had to find someone to hire me to write for them, and trust that I could do as good a job as I promised I could, without having anything to show.
The first words I wrote.
I have always been a writer. For years, I wrote nothing but fiction, but it wasn’t until I had one of my short stories published in an online magazine that I started to believe that I was any good. I wrote more stories, and got no bites. I felt disheartened. I tried my hand at writing a factual story, about the sinking of the famous ship, the Lusitania, and sent it to a magazine. They didn’t publish it, but I did get a handwritten note from the editor, saying although he like the story, the magazine had already published something about the Lusitania earlier in the year.
I wrote some more short stories, and eventually got an email from Another Realm magazine, who wanted to publish. That story, ‘Time Waits for Norman’, is due to be published next month.
But in order to get noticed as a freelance copywriter, I needed to write more factual articles.
I had a few ideas, so I wrote articles around them, and submitted them to Squidoo. I intended that these would at least provide a place to point to, should anyone wish to see samples of my writing. As it turns out, I haven’t had to use these yet, but they are there online, if I need them.
Finding my first clients.
I read a lot of different blogs about freelancing, and the one question that gets asked time and time again is ‘how do you find clients as a freelancer?’ I don’t really know the answer to this question, I’m still trying to figure that one out, but I can tell you how I got my first three clients.
I had this idea that I wanted to work with people who lived in my local area. As far as I know, there are not many freelancers offering what I offer where I live, and I didn’t know how to get people and businesses to understand why hiring a freelancer is a good idea. Because I didn’t have a portfolio yet, I knew I’d have a hard time finding paid work, so I emailed my local Parish Councillor, and asked if I could be involved in the Parish Newsletter. To my surprise, he asked me into his office the following week, where we discussed how I could help to edit the quarterly newsletter, and how I could get involved in writing for the website.
My next project came when I bid for a job on people per hour. I was lucky in that I only applied for this one project, and it so happened that the lady was looking for someone based in the UK. I was the only UK bidder. She wanted someone to write blogs for her online store, wowthankyou.com. As we speak she is setting up a new website, and I will be writing a regular blog for her.
My third job came when I was looking at other UK based freelance writers’ websites, to get an idea of what they offered. On a whim, I emailed one of them, and asked for her advice, and if she ever hired other writers to help out with surplus work. Almost immediately she emailed me back, saying she’d keep me in mind for some projects she had coming up. I have since written a few articles for her, one of which she has published on her own blog, and have also helped her by creating a couple of databases.
The next step.
My fourth client? Well, I’m still working on that one. But at least now I’ve got a little more experience, a few more things to show, and a teeny bit more confidence.
In my opinion, this is all just a game of chance. There is no right or wrong. But I’ve learned that you get nowhere if you sit back and wait for jobs to come to you, you have to be prepared to get out there and look for opportunities. And you have to have the courage to ask stupid questions, and the cheek to ask for work. The old saying is true – if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
I'm writing another article this week for Cosy Home Blog, giving information about the pros and cons of both charcoal and gas barbecues. I was sitting here on my laptop this morning with the TV on, and overheard that it's barbecue week this week! And with the promise of nice weather this weekend, perhaps I should get David to drag our barbecue out of the shed. Yum!
I also heard on the news this morning that this worry about mobile phones and cancer has reared its ugly head again. I remember that this was a big worry when mobiles first became popular, but it seems to have been forgotten about for quite a while now. It makes me wonder, really, after all this time, and with the millions of people who are using mobile phones these days, surely this issue must have been researched and improved by the mobile phone companies? Where is the evidence that there truly is a link between the technology and the illness? This article from the NHS website seems to think that it's all been blown up out of all proportion - what do you think?
Anyway, lots to do! Bye for now,