Tag Archives: freelance writer

How To Get Better At Your Craft


This week, I received rejection letters in my email for two short story submissions. I thought, Okay, back to the drawing board, people.

I could have used those competition winnings,for sure, but I learned early on in this business, you don’t cry over cryptic rejections. Trust and believe, those fiction pieces will be proofed and re-edited for submission in due time.

Get this: You can become better at your craft!

Those of us in the business of using our creative gifts, in hopes of making a sustainable living , understand this process. It takes time to create something great! Success will not be a walk in the park. But, every writer,  poet, author, entrepreneur business owner and artist, can become a winner if they keep practicing their craft.

The late comedian Bernie Mac learned the lesson of rejection and practice the hard way. He started doing standup in various venues and really won over the crowd . When he got an offer to appear on stage with Arsenio Hall, at a famous comedy club, Bernie knew he had finally made it.

His wife remembers asking him if he was going to write his monologue for the gig, but Bernie reportedly told her that he didn’t have to write any jokes because they were all in his head.

Needless to say, Bernie Mac bombed. He was mortified and it took him four months to regain his confidence and get back to what he loved doing most.

This time the comedian came prepared. He took notes on some of the biggest names in comedy. He studied their movements, mannerisms, timed their improve; took note of their deliverance and zingers. When The Kings of Comedy came knocking, Bernie Mac answered and became a rising star in comedy, film and television.

A participant in the creative arts have to develop a thick skin and persist. Rejection comes with the territory and are mere stepping-stones to seeing that return on your investment. You have to keep going; take classes in your area of expertise and study the experts.

(Study the experts,creative; don’t try to emulate them. Be yourself)

I can’t guarantee continued practice will make your work perfect, but I do know you will become better at your craft.

Today’s quote sort of put things in perspective for me. I hope it brings a smile.


“Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal.” — Timothy Egan

Guest Post Writing Update


“The more you flaunt your success the more apt you are to lose it.”

I like that quote, but I think it depends on how we view success…

Happy Friday to all readers and writers! I’m not spotlighting anyone today, so I thought okay, you haven’t written your memoir (yet) or had your empowerment site for women syndicated (yet) or even gotten invited to a gathering for the big dogs:) (yet) but, you are writing for your life every day of your life and you are enjoying the process of being a writer, so live the moments!

In that vein and because it’s sort of tactless and boring to brag about yourself; I’m far from bragging, but I am in a good creative space right now (blessing) so I’m sharing a bit of stuff with all of my tribe of fellow readers,writers and authors.

I recently became a great grandma (glam to you) and she is so adorable:) at one and half months, 9 pounds 4 oz + Joy for the Holidays!
I recently published a guest post at Nadine Lajoie @ http://keepdreamingkeepliving.org/pages/blog-article?r=QOULD66KO0
I published at Project Eve.com here:http://www.projecteve.com/networking-building-your-entrepreneurial-villagee/
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/2013/11/friday-speak-out-how-to-maintain.html is from WOW Women On Writing. FreelanceWriting.com published my first piece here: http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/FF-generate-more-assignments.php. My second piece is pending.
My article for ejunkie.com will be published at their site on December 17th

I suppose my hardest writing effort in these last two months is here: http://InspireMeToday.com. where I am their Today’s Luminary author. Please visit the site to check it out and offer support.

My comment for this guest post would be in the words of the late Poet Laureate, Ms. Gwendolyn Brooks (to yours truly) in all her wise-doms summed up in three simple words- “Keep-a-Going!”

Okay braggarts, your turn:) What good tidings would you like to share with our clara54 readers? Don’t be shy.

Keep grinding fellow creatives!

To Your Success…

The thing I’ve learned from a Nursing career spanning over 30 years is that life can turn to loss in less than 60 seconds..the loss of life is final and there are no do overs…Life is precious and something that no one should ever take for granted!

I’m going to step away from clara54 for a a few weeks to give myself up to the luxury of living, loving & being a participant in life and thanking The Almighty for the success I’ve achieved from doing the thing I’m so passionate about-Making a difference in the lives of others!

Success isn’t just about how much money you make or how much “stuff” you accumulate. It’s not even about how many celebs you’ve interacted with… in response to the ribbing from a good-natured friend in the blogosphere about that one:)  It’s about making a connection and building on a community of like minded folks; forming friendships on the journey to working toward a common goal. It’s about “contributing” to the change in the world that you want to see.

Here’s my tribute to your successful life:

“As we live and breathe, we also live and learn- don’t rush success. Take baby steps to hone your craft…use your skills…speak and act from the heart… run your own race.” 

Peace, joy and abundance in all things!


Weekend Meanderings

I love that word “Meanderings” and I suppose you can tell, considering how much I use it:)  Basically, I’m moving from one thing to the next in preparation for a visit from my son- coming to the city with the wife and kids… ETA? Soon:

1. Washed & sorted fresh linens for each bed

2. Shampooed & vacuumed every room

3. had light breakfast of toast & cereal…java:)

4. Typed 1 of two articles to go out on Monday….awaiting edit

5. checked emails- too many to read-closed shop

6. Answered comments to website

7. Made grocery list- small forgotten items form prior shopping

8. Pulled out notes to 2nd article-phone within reach

9. Finishing up this quick post and knowing clara54 is in for a looong and lively weekend!


What about you guys? Whatcha doing for the weekend?

When “Trolls” Come Calling!

I’ve been on a roll, so blessed and happy to be doing the thing I love to do! I’m blessed to be able to use my expertise as an advocate for women and women issues, to assist in empowering women on a journey to finding their voice and living their truth. My mentoring skills led me to develop Authentic Woman Networks, which is my business brand.

Empowering women, the theme of my business, is an ‘evergreen’ issue that continues to grow in the States and around the globe since I began the journey to use my voice for the rights of women, children and the elderly in 2006!

Since leaving my life long career as a professional nurse in June 2012, I’ve been blessed with an abundance of friends, business folks and great blogosphere connections. People have asked my assist on their book projects and friends have allocated ‘me’ as the go to nurse consultant, to their friends who need assistance in how to care for loved ones, once they leave the hospital. 

I am working tirelessly on Stepping Into Greatness, my personal development resource book, along with other contributors who share their stories of how they overcame struggle & setbacks to step up in triumph and purpose. 

I’m writing short stories, offering personal mentoring sessions and continuing to network with people in my niche, while spending quality times with family, friends and other folk… 

I am happiest as I continue to do what I’m led to do and yet, there is a downside to this grand life that God has favored me with…TROLLS!  I received a message in my inbox from a fellow entrpreneur who informed me that someone has been posting ‘ugly’ things about me-Word!

I have great news…I ain’t scared of no trolls! 

 And doesn’t it come with the territory? In the words of Guy Finley: “Your opinion of me is none of my business.”

“Trolls don’t want to communicate, they want to dominate!” Holly Jahungiri

How do you handle TROLLS?

Update: Apparently someone had hacked this person’s site & we’re warned if u get such messages, avoid opening. Glad the site was BLOCKED & this incident sparked a post from me to them:)

How to Be an Authentic Leader- By Christine Kloser

Leadership.  It means different things to different people.  The word often gets tossed around loosely in reference to people who are “out in front.”  But, are they actually leading?   From the heights of Corporate America and the leadership of nations, to the pioneers of social movements and the leaders of small business… at this critical time in history, everyone needs to take a look at what true, authentic leadership really is.

Let me share a little about my experience as a leader and the transformation I made last week in this area.  It’ll help you learn more about what I’m referring to as Authentic Leadership, and hopefully offer some insight into your own next steps as a leader in your life. 

I’ve always been a leader, at least since I was 16 when I was voted the co-captain of the Majorette squad in high school.  I stepped into more leadership when I was 18 and began teaching aerobics at the local fitness center.  Eventually my natural ability to lead brought me to being a yoga teacher, retreat facilitator, founder of a 500+ member women’s networking group, seminar leader, author, coach, speaker, and much more.

In the past, I had a belief that in order to lead I had to be “perfect.”  That nobody could know the truth about me… especially if I was struggling.  That I needed to show up and shine and make sure it all looked good on the outside.  In other words, my old understanding of leadership meant that I couldn’t be human, couldn’t be flawed, and couldn’t be seen as anything less than perfect.  For me, that kind of leadership couldn’t last… so it didn’t. 

And, last week, I was blessed to have the experience of an upleveling in my own understanding of Authentic Leadership. 

Here’s what was different.  I allowed myself to be HUMAN.  I let my clients see that while yes, I was their Spiritual Guide and Transformational Book Coach, that I (by no stretch of the imagination) am perfect.  I shared how I, too, sometimes… get mad at my husband,  have a short temper with my daughter, eat too much chocolate, make poor decisions, push myself too hard, drive too fast, slack off on my exercise routine, etc. 

I felt so freed up and powerful in speaking my truth in this way.  Yes, I am a Spiritual Guide and Leader… and I am human.  I swear the heavens opened when I truly “got” that this is the next level of leadership needed in our world. 

What helped me see this was what happened after I shared.  My clients (many of them in tears) shared how they were impacted by what I said.  And, they began to see how THEY could step into a bigger role as a leader while bringing ALL of themselves along… their greatness, Divinity, and gifts… as well as their humanity.  They received “permission” to step up and lead no matter what… because they, too, are human.  It was a transformational shift for everyone. 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen one too many “leaders” who refuse to let their humanity show.  Who insist on being “perfect” and believe their students won’t ever know as much as they do.  I’ve seen one too many leaders who won’t allow for feedback or suggestions on how to improve their leadership ability, or hide their struggling marriage, bad habits or failures in hopes of maintaining their “position.” 

Well, in my experience, this old paradigm leadership simply isn’t sustainable.  Eventually the truth catches up.

So, I invite you to ask yourself how you can be a more authentic, and therefore POWERFUL leader in your life?  Whether you are writing a book, running a business, or leading the Brownie Troop!  Authentic Leadership will help you, and those you touch, co-create a better world for everyone.   


Christine Kloser is a Spiritual Guide, Award-Winning Author, Intuitive and Healer whose spot-on guidance transforms the lives of visionary entrepreneurs and authors.  Her passion is fueled by her own transformation in January 2011 – when after much success as an entrepreneur – she found herself curled up in a ball on the floor sobbing because she had lost it all.   Letting go of the last shred of stability and security in her life was when she discovered her truth.  From that place, she fearlessly (and faithfully) went on to create the most abundant, impactful and joyous success of her life in a matter of a few short months!   Christine knows how to flip the switch from “broke” to “blessed” and shares her wisdom on how to do that in her complimentary Daily Wisdom Reminders.  Go to www.BeyondMindset.com to receive your daily dose of inspiration today!

Heaven Knows by Clara54


I’ve been listening to Jill,

Living my life like it’s


Devoting myself to some

 ”Me” time

Loving the skin I’m in

Spending quality time

with children,

lover & friends

Jamming to for reel sounds

Spreading laughter

avoiding frowns…

Loving the journey


Having conversations with GOD

Picturing the Heavens…

Life is Phenomenal.

Happy Saturday morning ! This poem came this morning and wanted to share!

Have you ever written something on the spur of the moment that felt right?

Why Hollywood Should Honor The “Blogger” Awards!

Red Carpet
Image by mrecuay via Flickr

How many of you watched The Emmys last night? Isn’t it awesome to see all of our favorite celebrities walk the Red Carpet in all of their fashion finery? Talk about their latest picture, who they’re wearing and posing for the GlamCam? Okay, so who watched The Emmy’s last night? I didn’t.  I’ll tell you why.

As a celebrity blogger, I’m knowing I should be front and center, eyes glued to the television screen (next best thing to actually being there) to get scoop for my column…but, I didn’t feel like doing that. Am I a g-mogul? “You betcha!”

Did I feel like I would miss something great by not watching the Emmys? No!
Throughout the years, Hollywood Honors abound: The Oscars. The Golden Globes. The VMAs. The Teen Choice Awards. The Country Music Awards. The Latino Awards. The Soul Train Awards. The list is endless…When will Hollywood honor The Blogger Awards?

Is this a rant? Not really, just an observation. As a blogger and writer whose work garnered an invite to speak in London, I’m just wondering about the big picture of the state of bloggers. I’m sure all of you “big dog” bloggers get my drift:) anyhoo, I didn’t watch the Emmys because I was thinking of this well known little ditty about the Oscar Mayer Weiner in regards to the blogger.

“Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner. That is what I truly like to be….cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner, everyone would be in love with me.”  Or, at least let go of some free “Swag!”

Okay fess up.  Don’t you think bloggers should walk the Red Carpet, or at least get some free swag?

Related articles

A Writer’s Road To Nostalgia

Marvin Gaye
Image via Wikipedia

I got the idea for this fun post from reading my November copy of Ebony Magazine‘s 65th Anniversary issue.This issue celebrates its longevity by having todays stars channel some of the most famous world figures to ever grace the cover of Ebony Magazine. I was blown away with the recreation that includes John Legend as Duke Ellington. Mary J. Blige as Diana Ross and Samuel L. Jackson as Martin Luther King Jr. There are twelve stars paying homage to some iconic world leaders and trendsetters in the Special Collectors’s Edition. 

Clara54’S  special invitation requests your presence as she takes a nostalgic stroll down memory lane during the 70’s where teenage girls celebrated the Age of Aquarius ,rode in cars with boys and partied in tne Psychedelic Shack ” that’s where it’s at!”  Here’s some of what was hot back in the 70’s with a tad bit of research for accuracy 🙂 Stuffy stuff first:

Gaseline was only 40 cents a gallon. The US ended the War in Vietnam. The racehorse, Secretariat won the Triple Crown (sorry to spoil the movie ending) and The Sears Towers in Chicago opened.  Best part of the 70’s?!!

Songs: Tie A Yellow Ribbon by Tony Orlando and Dawn. Bad Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce. Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack and Let’s Get It On by the late Marvin Gaye.

Movies: The Sting. The Way We Were. The Exorcist (my fav at the time) Papillon with the late Steve Mcqueen and Magnum Force…

It’s not often that clara54 take these sentimental journeys, but recalling those long ago wild & crazy times can be fun and so why not share? What were some of your fav memories from those days gone by? Feel free to send an invite!.

P.S. For all of you creatives in the NY/NJ/Philadelphia area, Deborah Bailey will be holding a booksigning for Think Like An Entrepreneur:Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge Of Your Life at Borders Books in Princeton, NY. Go to http://wwwborders.com/online/storedetailview131 for more info. I completed Deb’s eclass  (based on her book) and she still sends encouraging emails!…

Repurposed Work=Maximum Profits

Cover of "Love Jones"
Cover of Love Jones

Ok, I’m still somewhat of a newbie when it comes to getting the most out of my hard work by recycling it toward other markets. However, that being said, I’m making great progress in this repurposing thing. Recently, I went into a stack of old writing material and pullled out quite a few gems, polishing them for submission to carefully selected contest competitions. One piece written when my daughter was a little girl(don’t smirk) was slanted for a children short story picture book competition. Another is a love story written several years ago and that I plan to submit to a romance market.

Just like Fall new beginnings, our old stories, articles and essays need new homes. This can lead to greater exposure, additional clients, and increased profit in our floundering bank accounts. As writers, entrepreneurs and business owners, we’re always looking for ways to create our success. Oftentimes that success comes from thinking outside, around and alongside the four corners of the box! Finding different ways to approach the same subject might become a challenge for those of us who haven’t been putting this strategy to work. It gets easier, really it does. Already after reading some of the old stuff, I’m gaining fresh insights for crafting new stories for more markets.

It’s not hard to find suitable markets for your work. By doing the research, reading & following the guidelines and being savvy with your query, writers get to read the words “I’M VERY INTERESTED” in seeing more of your work! Recycling old material for new markets by using a different slant can only grow your profit potential. Find new audiences for your work. Boost your blog exposure, solidify your expert status and perhaps, land that elusive book deal YAY!

How about you? What’s your take on repurposing old works?

P.S. Did you know? LOVE JONES, the movie starring Nia Long & Larenz Tate is a CLASSIC!