Starting a Freelance Writing Career (or How I Sifted Through the Muck and Found My Way)Written by Michele R. Acosta
So, decision is final. I am a writer.
Actually, I have always been a person who writes, but I have never applied term to myself in a professional sense. Having pushed aside my financial fears and gained requisite self-confidence, I began to surf net in earnest for information about how to begin a freelance writing career. The vast amount of information was daunting enough, but when I realized how much time and effort would go into an attempt to get published, I almost quit.
Several thoughts are keeping me going. A lot of it has to do with my personal history and role that writing plays in my life. When I was 8, I left notes around house asking my parents for an increase in my allowance. When I was in college, I was nut who took three journalism classes and three literature classes in one semester. When I went to graduate school as an adult with two small children, my ability to write well saved my sanity.
I pushed on. My initial research told me that I first needed to learn about business of writing because I knew nothing of queries, markets, or copyright. Once I learned what content should be included in a query, writing them was not difficult; however, researching various markets has been incredibly time consuming. At first, I hit dead ends. I started searching typical job sites, but most of them did not post freelance work.
Then I came across several subscription sites that claimed to connect freelancers with writing markets. I was concerned that some of these sites might be scams, but after spending several days exploring one site in particular, I had almost decided to subscribe. Before I took leap, I came across an article which criticized site. It did not appear to be a scam, but it was enough to validate my initial skepticism. I placed this market source on hold to explore other opportunities.
A few other market postings also begged caution. One in particular sounded like a great opportunity for new writers to get published. I started to complete their online application form until I arrived at page that asked for my social security number. They claimed that they needed it in order to pay me, but they had not even seen my ideas or any of my writing samples. I cancelled application and moved on.
Perhaps biggest shock to my English teacher sensibilities was listing for "academic writers." I thought: "Great! This I've done." I clicked button that led to more information and realized that these "markets" were actually students trying to cheat their way through school. Again, I moved on.
Your Writing Anxiety - 10 Ways to Bring ReliefWritten by Lynda Blake
Anxiety, apprehension, cold feet, consternation, dismay, distress, dread, fear, fright, horror, nervousness, panic, scare, strain, stress, tension, terror, trepidation, unease or uneasiness: whatever it's called, you've got it.
And reason is ... you've got to write an article!
Writing anxiety or 'writer's block' happens to all writers at some point in their writing lives. It may be that you don't know what to write about or, with your topic firmly in place, you don't know where to start.
At this point, procrastination sets in.
Doing anything, rather than actually writing, seems a whole lot better than putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Even walking dog, in pouring rain and gale-force winds, has higher priority!
Try some of these ways to restore your writing equilibrium:
1. Avoid starting with a blank page. There's nothing more daunting than beginning from nothing. Work with a template. This will help you to stay focused on your topic. Download and print out some appropriate free graphic organizers from Internet or use graphic organizer software, like NotateIt, that will help you to rearrange and organise your thoughts in freestyle format.
2. Brainstorm your topic. Take some time out for creative thinking with a friend or colleague. You'll get some new twists on theme, especially if they're not 'experts' in your subject matter!
3. Write an outline. Just set out a list of headings. They don't even have to be in order - you can always rearrange them later. Write each heading on a separate card or piece of paper and shuffle result. A new order may emerge that you hadn't thought of, giving you a new slant on your topic.
4. Use a whiteboard. Fix a large magnetic whiteboard on your wall and use it to rearrange your ideas. If a whiteboard on wall feels too intrusive, try some inexpensive whiteboard software on your PC instead.
5. Break your task down into smaller chunks. From your outline, choose one heading and write. Then go on to another heading and write. It doesn't matter which order you write in, because it can all be rearranged later. Not only that, you're achieving your larger goal in a series of smaller steps and that makes it much more manageable.