Tag Archives: writing advice

Not Getting Paid?

Months ago, I wrote a piece on what to do if you aren’t getting paid. I listed a lot of things you can do to try and light a fire under a client to get those paychecks coming, but one thing I didn’t address is circumstancial issues. I recently attended a writer’s meeting for one of my freelance clients where I learned that someone’s trip to the hospital was the source of a major delay in payment for anyone not on direct deposit (read-the whole freelance staff).

It’s easy to forget that even successful clients often have to rely on a single person for critical services such as accounting and payments, IT support or working directly with a team of freelancers. When you don’t deal with the company except to write and send invoices you can miss how the inner workings break down because of vacations, illness, or company upheaval. One of my clients hired me on before the company was a legal entity, resulting in a serious delay in compensation because there were literally no funds from the new company available to pay. Continue reading Not Getting Paid?

Freelance Writing Advice From CD Baby

Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, offers great advice for musicians at his personal site. Most of his topics are aimed squarely at musicians, but I’ve found the benefit of his experience translates quite well into the world of freelance writing.

I’ve got two albums for sale on CD Baby, so I may be a bit biased–but his piece “Never Have a Limit on Your Income” has some great words of wisdom for writers. The major drawback to being a freelancer is that you are only one person and can only take on as much work as you are physically capable of handling in a day, a week, a month.

Seasoned writers know about the power of reprints to bring in what Derek Sivers calls “mailbox money”. Any additional income you don’t have to do additional work to get is an important source of income. New writers are at a serious disadvantage because they don’t have an archive of published clips they can submit as reprints, and the challenge of hanging on to your rights to sell them later can be daunting when you don’t understand the industry well. (We’ll cover THAT topic later).

Are reprints the only way to get mailbox money? Check out what Derek Sivers has to say and you’ll find some fascinating ideas. Not all of them are appropriate for freelance writing, but they can certainly inspire some notions of your own. He certainly has MY wheels turning this morning… 

Credit Card Follies

The economy is scarier than ever, and it is very easy for an underpaid (and unsuspecting) freelancer to fall prey to predatory lending and credit practices. Case in point–when I signed up for an Amazon.com credit card earlier this year, I thought I was doing myself a favor. I use Amazon in a number of ways and when the credit card offer popped up, I filled out the form on a whim. “Cut out the middleman!” I thought…

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Top Five Editor Complaints

OK, so these are MY top five editor complaints. As in, when I have to edit the work of my fellow freelancers–these are my top gripes. I’ve gotten some decent money revising the work of other writers when my poor harried editors simply don’t have the time to do it themselves. Trust me, when the time comes for YOU to sit in my place and do a bit of freelance editing (or when you take a job as an editor yourself) you will find your own list of major pet peeves. At least ONE of my list will end up on yours, I have no doubt:

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Five Predictions for the Future of Freelancing

I’ve been testing the waters in a variety of unscientific ways to satisfy my curiosity about the freelance game in our current economic mess. Is freelance writing a viable career choice in the midst of all the talk of recession, foreclosures, layoffs and other woes?

For me, the answer is still yes. I am actually seeing growth in freelance opportunities in the right sectors, but it takes a lot of looking to find those gigs. There are startups investing money in new ventures even as I write this, and these companies are looking for YOU. They don’t have unlimited funds, but I can tell you from experience and some insider knowledge of current investment behavior that there will be many more writing gigs to come–but there are a few caveats. Want to peer into my crystal ball and see what I see for the future?

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Writer’s Block for Writers of Writer’s Block Material

Why, yes, I am about to go on a screed here. Why does every writing site in the world (especially the crap ones) put stuff about writer’s block in a prominent place on their pages? It’s starting to annoy me no end. Maybe I haven’t had enough caffeine yet, but looking over some sites on today’s morning hunt for new and interesting things to write about. I see a massive collection of articles about writer’s block, every site I visit. You’d think it was an airborne disease.

Do people really worry about this stuff? Me, I worry more about whether the checks are coming in on time and how much is going to be held over til next month. I’m more worried about avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome. Where are all the articles on THAT? It’s far more of a REAL ISSUE than frickin’ so-called writer’s block. But it’s just too easy for people to write about, and so every wanna-be writing site in the entire world is crammed full of info on the dreaded WB. Nothing about that godawful recurring pain in your hands and wrists that makes it nearly impossible to use a keyboard without pain though.

Continue reading Writer’s Block for Writers of Writer’s Block Material