Tag Archives: freelance writing

Six Positive Tips to Becoming a Writer-In-Demand


So, you’ve been told that you have a way with words or that your burning passion to create something meaningful should be explored and that you should, and this is a normal refrain “write a book.”
If you really want to become the writer that you know you can be, then it’s time to set about learning the intuitive basis of freelance writing that can help you become a prolific and sought after writer .
Here are five positive tips to get you started on the road to becoming a prolific freelance writer.
1. Your love affair with the written word will cause you to want to devour books in every genre. You won’t like the works of every author out there, but reading other writers with a critical eye helps strengthen your writing power (Not saying you CAN’T read for pleasure here) 🙂
2. Read and write outside of your passions. If you write children stories; you’ll also need to try your hand at writing mysteries, plays, short stories of fiction and non fiction. I once took a creative writing course where the instructor told me the great news that yes, I was indeed a writer, but now I had to explore writing with all of my might and that meant taking classes in journalism, scriptwriting, play-writing and theater. The more you read, the more prolific you become as a writer.
3. Be prepared for criticisms and disbelief from naysayers. When you tell people you are a writer, many people will examine you for that extra head you’re sporting, or, at the very least think you’ve lost your mind and that you will eventually wise up and “get a real job.”
4. If you taken the necessary steps to achieving your ‘writer status’ then you must decide if you’re going to write full-time or part-time and this is a great decision to make because writers need to have a survival plan in motion to stave off that starving artist mentality when writing jobs seems to dwindle.
5. Write every day. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you place fingers to key board, or pen to paper to begin the process. You can write gobbledygook to strengthen your writing muscles and get your creative juices flowing if you like; whatever works to get and keep you in the habit of becoming a writing habit.
6. Become a life long learner to hone your writing craft. You can add substance to your work by taking advantage of online writing classes or join a writer’s group. There are valuable gems to be gleaned from your efforts.

I am still reeling from, and implementing some valuable writing tips I got from recently completing two free online classes. You can search prior posts where I talk about my experiences and provide links to free online classes.
The late South African author, activist and Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Nadine Gordimer, said in an interview, “Writing is a necessity.” Have you considered the depth of your need to create? If so, then it’s time to let the world know of your brilliance. And when you achieve that “writer-in-demand” status, pay it forward and help another writer by sharing gems from your journey to success.

What frightens you ,but also challenge your growth as a writer?
Side note: I apologize to my readers for the lateness of this post, but I celebrated my birthday, people! Thanks to all for the well wishes and the lovely outing!!


Working hard to bring your inner writer to the forefront can deplete your energy so take time out for you and always treat yourself special.

30 Years as a Successful Author: Tips from Marianne Williamson

In 1992, Marianne Williamson published her first book, Return to Love. The book became a best-seller and catapulted Marianne into the spotlight after an appearance on Oprah.  You probably know these lines from that book:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Since that first book, Marianne published nine other books and many audio programs.  Four of her books have become New York Times best-sellers. Newsweek Magazine listed her as one of the fifty most influential Baby Boomers.  Clearly, she has been around a long time in her role as a successful author. After so many years, you may think that she would be tired of talking about her work.

Watching Marianne present a workshop was inspirational and instructive.  She used no notes, no power point presentations or props, and held the audience spellbound from 10 am to 5 pm.  What was so riveting was her powerful grasp of her material, her passion for helping people understand her message, and her ability to dance with any questions that the audience members put before her with grace and ease.  Her presentation was well researched and coherent.  She was so well prepared that it appeared that she had not prepared at all.

Even though she was teaching material she developed more than twenty years ago, she was passionate and excited to share it.

What can you learn from Marianne’s example and use in your own work?

Try these ideas:

  • Become highly passionate about your message.  Only consider writing books on topics that you love enough to talk about for the next twenty years.
  • Learn your subject area deeply, even the opposing viewpoints.  While Marianne spoke from a certain religious perspective, she quoted holy books from all the major world religions.  She is quite liberal in her politics but was able to discuss positive contributions of conservatives as well.  Because of her in-depth knowledge of her subject area, she was able to easily manage questions with confidence and grace.
  • Present authentically.  Marianne shared personal stories of her triumphs and challenges, even a few embarrassing moments.  These stories created a bond with her audience and were endearing.  While listeners may have felt in awe of her knowledge, the stories she told expressed her humanity and equality with the audience.
  • Love the opportunity to serve.  During this workshop, Marianne held the attention of the audience with her heart.  It was apparent that she enjoyed sharing the material and wanted everyone in the audience to benefit from it.

You may be thinking that Marianne Williamson is far beyond you.  However, she was an aspiring author once too and learned to find her way to the success she enjoys today.  You can use her example and inject more passion, knowledge, authenticity, and love into your writing and presentations.

Then you will shine and be fabulous, just as you were intended to be.

Lynne Klippel is a best-selling author, publisher, and book coach who specializes in helping non-fiction authors write books that build their business and transform the world. For a f.r.e.e. assessment that will help you see your author strengths and opportunities, visit http://www.BusinessBuildingBooks.com

Clara54 Celebrates Her Blogosphere Birthday!

I don’t mean to brag but…it’s my Birthday! Yep, four years since clara54′s inception into the wide, wide world of blogging! My first post, “Welcome To My World” in June 2008 was an intro into one transitional nurse-freelance writer wannabe’s life! Let me recap a few highlights of a trip down nolstalgic writing lane:

Before Clara54? Doing the nurse thing while writing columns for free sites: alumbo.com, ezinearticles and Useless Knowledge… What I gained from writing for these sites? Experience!

Exposure! The renewal of The Writing Bug!

Confidence in my writing ability surges and clara54 moves to query online websites and print magazines- yay! My first freelance writing contract came with a $15.00 pay off from a premiere issue of a fashion mag. Next came a $250.00 gift card for winning a contest at a myithings.com competition where I would place in their 10 top article category again & again…

Ultimately, my veteran nurse experience kicks in & clara54 takes a gamble by applying for nurse advice columnist for a nurse magazine and gets the gig- it’s great to know and do better:)

Somewhere along the line of clara54 doing book reviews, celebrity interviews and entertainment copy, gaining awesome connections, becoming part of a bodacious writing community; she began to reflect upon the true meaning of this gift for gab via the blogosphere-  For clara54, it’s become about truth seeking. Making a difference and shining her light!

Clara54 is four years old people! She’s become wiser, humbled, focused and commited to paying it forward… I suppose she’s grown:)

Look out world- clara54 is coming at ya!

How about your writing growth? Please share guys…

Whatcha Doing Clara54?

Happy Monday! I love writing the “Whatcha Doing” segment at clara54 so much:)  I’m soooo glad to wake up this morning and NOT feel like I gotta do or be somewhere:) It’s heaven to bask a bit in the warmth of contentment. I’ve done a few things I’m proud of and I’ve also failed at a few more things this year. Hey people, life is like a crapshoot;sometimes you win- sometimes you lose!  Anyhoo, I recently entered a songwriting/lyric contest at www.songoftheyear.com. I didn’t even place- but, no worries, I did place in their 2005 competition as ‘selected artist’ so I’m not discouraged.

My celebrity/gossip/entertainment blog with a focus media out of Chicago, is doing very well…it’s only been in production 5 months max and already surpasses clara54’s traffic! In a word, the g-mogul is flourishing-without the stigma of negativity that folks seem to associate with everything “gossip.”  Beverly Johnson, the first Black supermodel to grace the cover of Vogue, along with other celebrities became Twitter followers … Published a couple of guest posts over at Anne Wayman’s About Freelance Writing.

I’ve also made a decision to not write for free unless it’s for a great cause/organization in efforts to make a difference in people lives-I am open to guest posts to bring awareness to the people. My decision to end my writing relationship at city-connect. org’s online magazine as their American Correspondent in entertainment news was a hard & sad decision to make; oftentimes it’s not always about prestige and Alan? City Connect’s Editor is a great gem to work for!  

Authentic Woman, my motivational website is making awesome connections. Women with stories of struggle and triumph are shining their light and making their voices heard by sharing  their stories. Experts in every field for encouraging growth & development in others, have come aboard to help motivate folks to find passion, purpose & truth on the journey to awareness… feel free to read  today’s “From The Experts” post here:  http://authentic-woman.net/guest-post-from-the-experts/

I’m considering offers of collaborations on future writing projects and getting testimonials from established businesses who can appreciate my efforts to bring awareness to others working to make a difference. I’m preparing to attend my son & daughter-in-law’s wedding as they’re planning to re new their vows- I have to let go of the jeans & tee”s and be fitted for a proper dress for this one- classy chick? I can do that:)  hmmm, If it wasn’t for love…

Finally? I’m taking 2 weeks off from Clara54!

 I’m hoping you guys read my last interview with Mahru Ghashghaei, author of NINE RUBIES.? If you haven’t picked up the book, checkout the interview and please purchase a copy. I’m an expert in these book things:)  

So readers, whatcha doing?

In 2 Weeks: Guest post from a Marketing expert!

Guest Post: Marcie Hill

10 Ways to Keep Your Freelance Writing Mojo Going

In 2008 I left my human resources career to pursue my passion of writing. I was published in a local magazine the following month. That was a great start to my journey, which seemed very promising. I thought that one success was going to get me published in my “dream” magazines without having to query first. I was wrong.

I submitted a few query; received either rejection letters or no response at all; got discouraged; and gave up freelancing completely. During that time, blogging became the “hot” thing to do, and I was drawn to it like a magnet. That was a blessing and a curse. While it helped to improve my writing skills, it took my focus away from what I should have been doing all along – freelance writing.

To keep you from making the same mistakes I did, I would like to share 10 things ways you can keep your freelance writing mojo going. These tips apply whether you are a full-time or sometime writer.

1.      Write out your story idea. Flush out your story as much as you can during your first few drafts. Be sure to identify the central point. This will make it easier to select audiences.

2.      Who is your audience? Think of all of the audiences that may be interested in your story. Some will be more obvious than others, but after a little brainstorming, you will have a pretty full list.

3.      Which online and print publications cater to these audiences? To find print publications, use Writer’s Market. You’ll find information categorized by topic, genre and name of publication. They also detail the audiences served, topics accepted, and the best way to submit your story. Conduct a search for online magazines or visit Twitter to find online publications.

4.      Review the writer’s guidelines for each publication. You will find these guidelines by doing a general Google search or going to the websites of the individual publications. Be sure to write and submit the story as specified. Sometimes publications want the entire story, but query letters are preferred in many cases. You may even be asked to mail your submission.

5.      Write query letters. When writing query letters, share your idea and tell editors why their audience would care about the story. To get better results, specify in which department your story would fit. If you have an editor’s name, use it. If you don’t have the editor’s name, find it. Also, keep your query letter to one page.

6.   Be sure to submit your query letter. This may sound obvious; it isn’t. If you second guess or doubt yourself at ANY time, your dream of seeing your name in a byline will continue to be just that – a dream.

7.      Wait. But don’t wait too long. Some magazines will tell you when you should hear from them if they are interested. Others won’t say anything at all. If you don’t hear anything within a month, follow-up.

8.      Follow-up. You want to do this for two reasons: 1) to confirm that your story had been received, and 2) to let the editor know you are serious. If you don’t hear from the publication at all, move on. There are more audiences waiting to read your story. Continue to submit future stories to that publication, though.

9.      Have a tracking system. Keep a log of the date you sent the query letter, the title of the story and the name of the publication. This makes it easier to follow-up on your submissions and to see additional opportunities with other publications and audiences.

10.  Keep on moving. Laugh in the face of rejection. Keep submitting stories to the publications in which you’re really interested; they will notice you. Also, continue to build clips and credibility by submitting your work to smaller, lesser-known publications.

If being published is your desire, keep on writing, even if you only have a little time. This will build your confidence and credibility.  Most importantly, though, writing often will help you keep your freelance writing mojo going, which will ultimately increase your visibility and profitability.

Marcie Hill is a gifted writer and blogger who loves sharing stories, educating her audiences with little known and unknown facts, and giving people a platform to tell their stories. Find her at www.marciewrites.com.

Guest Post: Heather Green

Make Your Dream Career a Reality

If you hate your job, or you think it is just okay, you may want to take the time now to pursue a career you really love. If you think about it, you spend the majority of your day five days a week at work. This is a lot of time to waste on something you are not passionate about. It may take effort, and you may need to make drastic changes in your life to make it happen, but the work will be worth it.

Decide What You Want to Do

Often people go to work every day to a job they hate, but they do not do anything about it, because they have not idea what they want to do. The first job in changing to your dream career is to figure out what it is you want to do. Start by making a list of five things you love to do. These should be things you would do even if you never get got paid to do them. Then from that list find three or four different jobs for each on item on the list that would allow you to spend a great deal of your time doing that thing. Look over the list and decide on two or three that make you the most excited and research what you need to do to pursue that career.

Make a Plan

Once you have a career idea in mind, you will need to research what you need to do in order to pursue that career. You need to find out the education requirements, work requirements, and any other experience or knowledge you need to pursue that job. Break those requirements down into steps and create a plan to reach that dream job. For example if you love to read, and you would love to become a book editor, you will need at least an English degree, possibly a Masters degree in publishing or editing. You will also likely need to work as an intern while you are in school or when you first start working in the industry. You will then work your way up through the ranks from intern to assistant editor to editor.

Put the Plan into Action

Start putting the plan into action right now. Take the first step that will help you reach your goal. If you need to go back to school, the first step would be to fill out an application to apply for school. If you need to take additional training, but you do not need an entire degree, the first step would be to find a seminar or certification course to help you reach your goals. After you have taken the first step it is easier to follow through on the rest of your plan. The only person that is holding you back is you. You can do it!

About the Author:
Heather Green is a freelance writer for several regional magazines in North Carolina as well as a resident blogger for http://onlinenursingdegrees.org. Her writing experience includes fashion, business, health, agriculture and a wide range of other topics.

Friday Shoutouts, Updates and Apologies!

Hello to all of my new Clara54, Authentic Woman, Clara54T blog and Twitter followers out there! Don’t think I haven’t noticed ya! and  boy,do I heart you 🙂  For my regular readers, let me offer an apology for holding your interest and not delivering upon the anticipation in regards to a review of SILVER RIGHTS, the memoir of how one African American family in Mississippi during the 60s Civil Rights Era were the first to intergrate white schools ( my friend since 4th grade family) . The review copy was since lost in the mail YIKES! But, another enroute, so the setback has led me to plan B.

Including an interview on Monday with Artisan Jewelry Artist, Wendy Van Camp. Wendy has an interesting story of how she gave up a lucrative career in television to design her own jewelry. You must return on Monday! While you’re waiting & anticipating Wendy’s interview, why not take a peek at some other wonderful happenings in the life of Clara54 these past weeks?

Anne Wayman’s About Freelance Writing  http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2012/02/6-ways-new-writers-can-overcome-fear-write-their-truth-a-guest-post/


Featured Member Post here: http://www.blogher.com/exploring-race-friendships-america

Hope to see you there and will meet you back here on Monday:)

Awesome writing updates? Please share!

Keep On Truckin’

we all have day jobs
Image by danielle_blue via Flickr

Hi All! I’ve felt like I’ve been doing a great job this last month of August, managing 2 popular blogs-working on my ebook, writing for a new gig as entertainment features writer for City Connect. Com and hosting women stories over at authentic-woman.net, my motivational website for women AND working my day job on a part-time basis!

I’ll reiterate. I’ve felt like I’ve been doing a great job. But, now, not so much. I have to start promoting A Life Toward Authenticity, my ebook now that it’s finished. Send out another entertainment post to City Connect. Update posts at blogher and clara54 today (this is it) and complete an application for a free 10 week class in leadership offered by Depaul University…

Today, for the next several hours, I know I’m going to have to make like the little engine who could and keep that choo-choo train on track before relaxing for the evening. And yes, Patricia, I do sleep:)

Okay, back to work!

What about you guys, any writing woes?

Clara54-A Resource For Creatives

07_08_30 Sam visit 110
Image by DougDroogSharp via Flickr

Thank God It’s Monday!I know usually it’s Friday that gets the worm, but, in my line of work, it’s a whole nother’ ballgame, so Mondays work for me:) Hope everyone is having a safe & cool day. I’m headed out for an early mom-dtr breakfast before heading over to the mall for Borders Books…Sadly, it seems the bookstores are going the way of the 100 watt lightbulb, cassettes, vcrs and typewriters! I’m going to go bunkers if I can no longer put my hands on a good book! I mean, letting go of my trusted Canon for the internet in 2000 was enough to send me into a tailspin:)

Technology is amazing & I’m finding myself willing to learn new stuff as well. As you might have read, my next book review is on KINDLE and I’m still getting used to reading a book this way. That review will be available for you guys shortly. It’s an autobiographical account of a singer & dancer growing up in the era of  carnival freak shows, black cowboys, abusive men and strong minded women. Quite a fascinating read. Looking back on the journey of Clara54 four years ago, I see a big change as well. Clara54 started as my transitional blog from nurse to freelance writer. I wanted to chart the choppy waters of freelancing as I ended 3 decades of nursing- however I still walk the halls part-time as a nightengale (minus the cap) and write my passion on my off days & free time.

Clara54 has taken on a mind of its own. I have always extended a place for other creatives to land and surprise, surprise, that common courtesy over the years, has come back to greet me tenfold. My work in helping to promote the work of others have landed me an invite to speak overseas, all expenses paid. Courted my input on writing legalities. Given me access to public relation firms, wanting more exposure for their clients. So many wounderful, professional & creative people are in my life, I feel like an older version of Cinderella. Okay, an OLDER version! One author has credited me with “changing the face of his book” after my review @ clara54 brought him more attention & sales. I get emails from readers asking how they can keep abreast of my work…one responded how she never tweeted, or twittered, so cute:)

I have a few irons heating up on a personal level as well. Recently, I guest posted here: http://www.city-connect.org/nurse-hawthorne-sizzles-on-tnt/ and I’ve emailed a response to the same editor asking  about another creative he spied here. This morning, I emailed a new author to inform him of an interest in his first book from people in the UK! I felt like a proud mother hen doing that! I believe it’s the “Country upbringing” in me, but, the idea of sowing seeds? A given!

So, how about your Niche writing? Any amazing and unforseen twists & turns?

Guest Post For Mothers by Davis Aujourd’ hui

Common dandelion, a weed; this specimen found ...
Image via Wikipedia

Here it comes again – Mother’s Day. So you’re ready to head for the store to buy a card or a gift. Why not give the gift that’s free. Give your mother your time and let her know you love her.

This may not be an easy task for everyone. Not all of us came from loving backgrounds. If this was the case for you, it was probably also the case for your mother as a child.

It’s important to remember that we all have done the best we could have with whatever has come our way. Your mother also did the best she could too. Remember, there are no blueprints for parenting. It’s all a matter of learning on the job. Some mothers are just slow learners. They are not to be blamed.

You’re an adult now. It’s time to grow up. That may mean facing some of your own demons. The important point to remember is being able to face the past with honesty, to forgive, and to let go.

The following ideas may help you to move in the right direction:

* You may need to talk to someone, including a professional, in order to discharge past pain. It’s also important to remember all of those loving qualities that your mother possesses. Remember the good times that you have had.

* Try to put your life into a balanced perspective. Life is more good than not. Allow the healing to flow into your life. The beautiful thing is that you can make it all good if you live in the present and commit to it being so.

* The present moment is all you have and here it comes. The question is what you can do to make it a memorable one? Cards and flowers are nice, but they don’t compare with a more personal connection. Make a phone call. Better yet, spend the day with her. Relive the happy times. Let her know you love her. The gift you give to her will multiply. It will also be a gift you give yourself.

 Clara54 welcomes this insight on mothers from a male perspective!

About the author:
Davis Aujourd’hui is creator of the highly- rated and hilarious Sister Mary Olga Fortitude- a  series of nine books centered on religious and social satire.
 He is a retired social worker, having worked for Adult Protective Services in New York. He said it   enabled him to become a student of the human condition. While doing so, he developed the
 characters in his books in order to entertain a colleague of his using the gift of humor.  He is socially-minded and spirituality, he says is the most important ingredient for him in order to maintain a happy and successful life.  He lives in Upstate New York. For more information, visit: http://onealmediagroup.presskit247.com/DavisAujourdhui