by Catherine L. Tully
If you write for a living you are already aware of the fact that not all of your time is spent writing. Marketing, paperwork and upkeep are all a part of the gig. There are certain tasks you should be spending time on regularly to make sure you keep up. Here’s my own personal short-list:
+ Marketing- marketing these days for me is mostly social media related. I spend time cultivating relationships (and having fun!) on Twitter and Facebook. I also keep my LinkedIn profile up-to-date and periodically ask people for recommendations.
+ Computer stuff- This is crucial. You have to de-fragment your computer, back up your data and make sure your virus scan and updates are all current. If your machine goes down, you’re in big trouble. Set up a maintenance schedule and stick to it!
+ Filing and organizing paper- If you get behind here it can turn into a nightmare of confusion. Keep your contracts on file, make sure your business bank statements are in order and pitch the junk.
+ Deal with your e-mail- Again, this can get messy if you don’t deal. If you use Outlook, create folders for e-mails so you can find them. I do mine by client. Use sub-folders so you can find things quickly. Don’t let too much stack up in your inbox.
+ Check your online presence- Google yourself periodically and see what comes up. Keep an eye out for places that have used your writing without your permission. Save links to articles you have online before they are hard to find. See what’s out there with your name on it. Your reputation is at stake.
These are a few of the things I do on a weekly (or daily) basis. Do you have any to share? Drop us a comment…
by Catherine L. Tully
I’ve posed this question once before, but I’d like an update. I have mentioned how I find it difficult to listen to music and write at the same time, but many writers find listening to tunes enjoyable as they work.
Occasionally I will indulge, but usually it is only when I am doing mindless work that doesn’t require much concentration. Even then, it is usually classical or something mellow that won’t distract me… Continue reading Music As Muse?
The Florida Writers Association is a group that I came across while researching some ideas for travel writing here in the state. I have to say, their website impressed me. With a very thorough list of local groups and a page that links to member websites, it has a classy-looking presentation. If you live in Florida and write, I would take a look at this organization and consider membership–they really look like they have their act together. Plus, it’s always a good idea to network with other writers…you just never know what may come of it!
If you’ve never written a press release before, it may be something you want to consider investigating. Press releases are sent out by companies, businesses and individuals to announce something to the public. There is a format that they follow, and a few tips and tricks for knowing how to write one that an editor won’t toss in the waste paper basket.
Take a look at PublicityInsider.com for some good information on how to format your press release. One of the main things to remember is that the editor doesn’t have to print your information. Just like a query, you need to develop some type of news hook so that it is interesting and topical enough to run in their publication. Think like a writer–that part should come easy!
Another key piece of info to keep in mind is that you should include “boilerplate information”. This is background information that should not change from release to release. If it is a person, it may be a bio. For a company, it may include a bit of history. For more good information about the press release and what to include, take a look here.
Writing press releases can be a great way to pick up some extra cash–if you know what you are doing. Why not read up on it and see if you can do one for yourself–just for practice!
Here’s a secret….when I need ideas for health-related articles, I look through all the headlines on Medline Plus. The topics are current and the information is terrific. If you write about health, I’d suggest keeping this little resource in your bag-o-tricks.