Archive for the ‘Freelance Writing Business’ Category


4 a.m. is my prime time

A few years ago when I had to crank out a lot more words to make a living than I do now, I would sometimes get up at 2:30 a.m. to get them done by 10 or 11. That was no fun if I didn’t manage to go to sleep before 11 p.m. or so. Why did I do that? Deadlines and procrastination, or at least I thought.

I do procrastinate a number of things, believe me. But I think the odd hours were less from procrastination than from them being something my body prefers. Years and years ago I worked the midnight shift as an auditor at a hotel. I did that for the better part of 7 years, so I was used to working from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. at minimum. Double shifts were occasional, and for about a year I worked all of the shifts as an assistant shift manager. I preferred the midnight shift.

I guess I still do, because if I get up between 2:30 and 5 a.m., I can get a lot more accomplished than I can during the same amount of hours spent working in the afternoon. Late evening/night is also fairly productive for me. But from about 11 a.m. until dinnertime, I can write fiction, but if I try to look at a spreadsheet or non-fiction topics I need to cover, I discover that I need to clip my toenails or dust the baseboards. I can write fiction all afternoon, but that feels like play most of the time. (Editing, for the record, is probably an early morning job. First drafts are different.)

I woke at 4 this morning because of storms, and felt that “get it done” feeling I rarely feel later in the day. I guess it’s time to stop fighting my natural rhythms. I’m fortunate that I work from home and am able to do that.

Now I just need to find that magical time of day that makes scrubbing the tub and washing dishes easier. I’m think it’s in some alternate Hogwarts-like universe that doesn’t register on my plain old 24-hour clock. I do not think this time period exists in my realm of being.

A recommendation that has nothing to do with writing: This is something I rarely do, but I’m excited. I became a fan of Mike Eldred many years ago. He has an amazing tenor voice, and has had a wonderful career. He’s a huge talent whom I could listen to all the time. Apparently, he’ll be releasing a new album sometime this year. Go to his video page and play “The Eagle and the Hawk.” You will be blown away by his voice and what he brings to the song. If you like his voice, and you like broadway music, his album ME is fantastic. It’s one of my go-to playlists and has been for years, along with Howard McGillin’s album (McGillin is the longest-running Phantom on Broadway, in case you don’t know). I can’t wait for his new release. Go support the arts and buy one of his older ones!


How Writing Goals Change Week to Week (and Day to Day)

My goals regarding weekly fiction and poetry submissions, my brand-new, shiny goals from last week, took a backseat this to week to business marketing and the work that pays. I don’t consider the week a bust, however, because I did get so much accomplished.

I spent some desperately needed time updating my resume. I hadn’t touched it in almost 2 years, so when a gig would come to my attention I’d think hey, I’d better update my resume and send them something, that looks like a great opportunity, and I’d end up not doing it because the idea of updating my resume gave me a rash. I also put a few “writing sample” documents together–one for business, one with a variety of topics, one that’s easily customized to whatever the topic might be–as I’d been putting that off, too.

I did that this week, and have sent my updated resume out 13 times as of this morning. I’ve heard back from two so far with positive responses, so I think I did all right. I have not heard back from the two that I want the most, but I’m hopeful. And if not, other opportunities will come along.

Today needs to be spent working and getting rid of the growing list of articles I need to finish for clients. It does feel great to have everything ready now so that I can write a cover letter, pick a few articles to include as samples and shoot off an inquiry when I see a writing request that fits. I’ve made this part of my daily routine now–spend just a few minutes looking in the usual places for new and interesting writing job listings and send resumes to those that look promising.

I also started a list of companies that I’m going to send a letter of inquiry to, offering services. These are all online right now, but after I’ve sent about 3 each day for a couple of weeks, I plan to target local businesses with actual snail mail and a business card. So no fiction submissions this week, but a lot of marketing on the paying end of things and work that trims down my time spent marketing when I do it.

I also wrote about 4,000 words of fiction and kept that muscle warmed up, so I’m feeling positive. I’m aiming to get that submission knocked out this week, and may try to do two, for good measure.