Breaking Down the Freelance Economy

The world is catching up with writers. Maybe. While this is a fascinating look into the the growing segment of freelancers, there are still some gaps , including the sample size. The fact that the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk are the forces behind this may or may not make it more applicable to writers. Either way, it’s important to note that the choice to be a freelance writer has moved from a quirky decision indulged by doting parents and friends to a valid career choice among talented and creative professionals and that is definitely a very good thing!

How to Write an About Page (No. 2 Pen reblog)

Now that you’ve written your Blogger Bio, it’s time to really dig into your blog and what you hope to accomplish with it by creating an About Page. Although many blog templates include a sample About Page, you’ll want to do more than just pull out the boilerplate text (that would be the Latin or nonsense text that shows of formatting but is essentially useless). Fellow Blogathoner Sara Lancaster of No. 2 Pen has some great advice on crafting About Pages for individuals and business blogs at: How to Write Web Content for an About Page | No. 2 Pen Blog.

I couldn’t say it better myself, so I’m not going to try (yet, anyway). Prolific bloggers will want to pay particular attention to the concept of an About Section. Even if you don’t have enough content to fill and entire section right now, it is an excellent roadmap for developing your blog in the future as you become more and more successful.

Inforgraphic: SEO Copywriting Tips

There is a ton of information available to help bloggers make the most of their online presence. Usually, but not always, this information focuses on SEO or how to achieve higher rankings in search engine results (especially on Google). Few of these resources make advice as visual as this infographic from blogger Brianna Smith over at Social Media Today.

10 SEO Copywriting tips Infographic
Originally published at:


I Get By With A Little Help. . .

There are few things as rewarding or as challenging in a professional writer’s life than hanging out with other writers. No one else quite “gets it” or “gets you” the way other writers do. That said, such gatherings can be fraught with challenges because other writers are also “the competition”. How do you maintain a healthy balance?

The rules listed here help. To them I would add that the participating should also all be under a deadline or there should be a common goal, challenge or purpose to the gathering (think about that stormy weekend party when Mary Shelley wrote the first draft of Frankenstein). I would also include a visible reminder that there really are no new ideas,just new ways to use or look at existing ideas. When writers gather, they can feed each other’s creativity and productivity. But not if they are afraid to but their best thoughts, ideas and efforts out there for other writers to see. Unfortunately, this can lead to conflict if another author takes someone else’s idea and runs with it. Generally speaking, there are two ways to avoid that situation. The first is by making sure everyone has an active project to focus on and that no two projects as the same unless the authors involved are collaborating. The second is to create a project that is new to everyone. That means everyone states at the same time with the same deadline and because conversations naturally turn towards what is being written, it also gives the participants permission to exchange and use ideas. Th

The second is obviously more difficult to pull off. It is also potentially rewarding and not just for the writer who ends up penning the best story. The others will walk away with the knowledge that they contributed to a great story. The thrill they get when they see that story published is not quite the same as the thrill of seeing their own work published but it is similar. And they probably have some fantastic tales about the weekend or week or however long the project took, that they can and will make use of at another time.

Writer friends are wonderful. As long as you take proper care of them!

Live to Write - Write to Live

Last week Jamie wrote about the importance of writer friends. Let me start this blog with a resounding “yes!” to that sentiment.  I can’t imagine life without my writer friends. I’ve mentioned my Sisters in Crime before, and what that camaraderie has meant to my development as a mystery writer throughout the years. But this past weekend, I took it one more step. I went on away for a writers’ retreat with five mystery writing friends. And it was a tonic.

The six of us write cozy mysteries. We’ve even started a blog together. The other five all have a three book deal in varying stages of development. We spent the weekend writing. A lot. And when we weren’t writing we were talking about writing. We also ate, drank a lot of wine, cooked, took naps (OK, that was me), laughed, and then ate some more. Two of the…

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a goal that commands your thoughts…

Excellent advice!

Writing and blogging goals are often expressed as deadlines and word counts. For all that we talk about our Muses, what, when and how much we write is driven by hard numbers including the bottom line. As a result, we define success by how much we sell instead of the impact our words have on ourselves or on others.

It is worth remembering that Andrew Carnegie was a highly successful businessman who put his fortune, well, ok, part of it anyway, to work establishing and supporting libraries. He saw the value, the importance, of the written word. More importantly Carnegie understood that the written word must be shared and made available to others.

This is something we as writers sometimes forget.

We forget why we became writers. We forget why we are writers. We forget that our goal is to share information and stories with readers. We forget that in telling stories we don’t just remember the past, we embody the present and shape the future. We forget the reality as we know it flows through our fingers.

The price of forgetting is steep. We lose the joy of writing. We develop writers block. We sell out, putting out mediocre work without enthusiasm simply to get paid. Then we wonder why the audience shrinks and we don’t want to shout that we met our deadline or delivered the right amount of content into the world.

We need to remember. Not only will we be better writers, happier writers, we will help write a more wonder-filled world.