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Of Writers, Dogs, Moving and Strange Codes

freelanceFreelance writers often need to handle the stuff of life. Dogs, moving and unknown codes are part of the freelance writing life. This may seem like a strange combination. It is, and it’s also an example of how a professional writer can make almost any three topics work together.

Dogs can be a real boon

Many freelance writers benefit from owning a dog or two. One of the biggest pluses of most dogs is, because they require walking once or twice a day, they get their writer-owner away from their computers, clients and keyboards out of the house and into fresh air on a regular basis. This not only helps the writer stay healthy because walking is such a great exercise, the break and activity can help spark needed creativity.

Many freelance writers who have worked with their dogs for some time recognize Healthy-Chews.com offers safe and delicious treats for their canine companions. They also know that the right kind of snacks for dogs can help with training and can be just plain fun. A play session with healthy chews creates bonding between dog and writer.

Moving house and home

Writers occasionally need to move. Packing up the writer’s office as well as their household goods isn’t easy, but is necessary when a move is called for.  If your move is down the street or around the world, moving is never truly easy, with or without a dog. MyBekins.com links you to easier moving with a company that knows just how stressful it can be and will use its experience to make your move, and your dog’s move, as easy as it’s likely to be. Their services range from full service, which includes packing and unpacking, storage and pretty much anything you might need to get to and settled in your new home. On the other hand, you can save considerable money by doing the packing yourself. The choice is yours.

Is it a typo or a code?

Moving or not, professional writers know they have to cast a careful eye for typos. Finding typos in our own work can be hard. Most of us have come to realize the built in spell-checker will help, but not as much as we might like. We also need to watch for things like complete sentences and accurate grammar.

A few of the tricks to help with accuracy include setting the work aside for a day or two, reading the work out loud slowly enough to really hear it, and/or using software like Grammarly to act as an additional check.

Writes also realize that some groups of letters that seem to be typos may not be. In this example the lowercase designation, psw, is a code; the link takes you to an employment site. Why is it like that? If it’s what the client wants, it almost doesn’t matter. The successful freelance writer works to make the client look good as well as following their wishes.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer
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‘We were a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice.’ – Margaret Atwood

With so many free and premium WordPress themes coming out each day, the sheer amount of theme choices can be overwhelming. While it might be a whole lot easier to just go with the popular choice, most of the time it won’t be the best choice.

To ensure long-term success of your website, ditch the herd mentality and follow along as we look into the criteria for the best WordPress theme.

And while the “best” can be subjective and differ for everyone, there are some guidelines that you can follow in order to cherry pick the best theme for your website.

  1. Lightweight and Fast-Loading WordPress Theme

Choosing a WordPress theme that is lightweight and fast-loading may well be the most important step that should not be missed.

The theme you use affects your website’s performance and loading speed. Load speed matters a lot as it not only affects SEO but also user experience and ultimately… your conversion rates.


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Do You Need a Rate Card for Your Writing Business?

rate cardIn our Forum someone asked if he needed a rate card. It seems a potential client expressed an interest in his writing and asked specifically for a rate card. I was startled. Last I knew the term ‘rate card’ was pretty much tied to advertising rates.

A quick google search disabused me of that notion. These days a rate card includes everything from creative fees to hosting costs.

I don’t think I’ve ever been asked for a ‘rate card,’ although I’m often asked how I charge or what my rate is to write XXX.

Of course, for me any attempt by a possible client to tie prices before I know exactly what I’m getting into is a big old red flags for me. That’s one reason I’m not a great match for large companies that have strict rules that may or may not make sense for freelance writers, nor do I want to be.


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No More Comments, Please

I’ve been thinking about dropping comments for several months. It turned out today is the day. The reason is simply too many comments that amount to spam. Easy to spot and terribly time consuming. My apologies to those who have consistently made cogent comments over the years; I trust you’ll understand.

You can, of course, send me email. Just check the contact page. I’m really not hard to reach.

Just to be clear, I’m turning off the comments today.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer
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When a Client Ruins Your Writing

client ruins your writingWhen a client ruins your writing your first reaction is likely to be shock and anger. I remember to this day, probably 30 or even 40 years later, how one of my first pieces for a magazine was, in my opinion, totally ruined by an editor. It was a humor piece and apparently he didn’t get my humor. I was furious. I was also embarrassed and felt, still feel actually that he made me look like a fool of a writer.

It’s probably not as important as you think

A more experienced writer talked me down. “After all,” he explained, “not only did I have a byline but I’d been paid. Besides, there’s really not much you can do about it.”

After some more sniveling I let it go.

The same thing is true when a client ruins your writing. A truth is they hired you to write something for them. When you submitted it they felt it wasn’t right so they ‘fixed’ it. As long as you’re paid or going to be they own it unless you’ve made other arrangements. Other arrangements are hard to get when you’re writing commercially. The copy you love may be the copy they hate, or their recent nephew who just graduated with a BA in creative writing made some suggestions they used. Whatever the reason when a client ruins your writing there’s not much you can do.


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Why 4/40 Flash Coaching Works

4/40 flash coachingAs some of you know a month or so ago I began offering what I call 4/40 Flash Coaching. Up to  setting up this program all the coaching I’ve done, both writing and life coaching, has been in hour increments.

Frankly (there I go with more F sounds) I liked the sound. Alliteration can be fun and it can also be memorable. I was, after all, hoping to attract interest. It was an experiment. I didn’t know if people would be interested or not. Nor did I know how much work we could actually get done in a 40 minute session.

40 minutes is more time than I thought

It turns out 40 minutes is plenty of time to get some solid coaching done. Maybe it’s because with this package (4/40 flash coaching is 4 40 minute sessions for $100, price soon to go up) we take most of the first session to do a Visioning around the client chosen topic and decide exactly what we want to accomplish in the next three sessions. This provides a laser-like focus to our sessions, making it fairly easy to stay on topic. When we stay on topic we get an amazing amount done. There’s still time for the client to describe the problem and then the progress or lack of it so we can figure out what to do next. But we don’t get lost in the client’s story.

Forty minutes doesn’t interrupt the day

A forty minute session is 20 minutes short of an hour. Somehow it doesn’t seem to interrupt the day as much as a full hour of coaching can, for both me and the client. Those shorter sessions are easier for me to manage – to make sure the client stays on track. My clients tell me they like the shorter sessions, some because of the focus it requires and some because it leaves them with more time to do other stuff.

What we accomplish together

Although every person who works with me in 4/40 Flash Coaching is different and every session is different too, here a list of the four items I’m able to provide:

  1. Deep listening
  2. Re-framing of the problem
  3. Ask questions that are different the client asks themselves and often provide a new perspective.
  4. Provide a gentle accountability that allows celebration and reinvention

It’s also true that my wide and varied experience as a writer, a mother, a grandmother and an adventurous spirit means I’m able to bring many things to the table. That same experience has taught me that I don’t have any stock answers, or maybe any answers at all. Instead I am convinced you know, within if not consciously, the answers that are right for you. My job isn’t to fix you but to help you open things up so you see yourself more clearly which helps you take the right action for you.

What would 4o minutes a week focused on only you and your dreams and wishes improve for you. You can sign up for your own 4/40 flash coaching here: https://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2019/10/17/4-40-flash-coaching-for-writers/

You can also contact me with questions.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer

 

 

 



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I rarely apologize or explain myself on this blog…

apologizeI rarely apologize or explain myself on this blog, mostly because I dislike reading why people have not posted in ages. Obviously, I’m going to both apologize and explain today. I think it will be a cautionary tale for you and maybe even an optimistic one.

Right after Thanksgiving, and I mean almost on the way home from the family dinner I started to get sick. I had the beginnings of a cold and sore throat and taking some aspirin went to bed not thinking much about it. By morning I knew I was in for a longer siege, but didn’t expect what happened. Apparently I’d caught the real flu, perhaps even A(H1N1). I began to run a mild fever, thought umpteen times about calling my doctor and just kept rolling over and sleeping… for about three weeks. No I hadn’t yet had the flu vaccine. According to my doc, whom I did talk with yesterday, I caught it early for our area.

I won’t apologize for the fatigue

The biggest talked about symptom with A(H1N1) is the incredible fatigue that goes with it. I was absolutely drained of all energy, including the energy to write for at least three weeks, maybe longer. A better way to say it may be that I’m still recovering. I was so drained that it took me a couple of weeks to come to enough to notice I hadn’t done any writing, and I usually write daily or close to it. When I did notice I couldn’t find enough internal energy to even worry about it.


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How Often Do You Really Need to Write?

how often do you really need to writeI’m often asked by beginning writers, “How often do I need to write?” In many ways this is what I call a ‘how long is a piece of string question.’ That’s because the answer depends… It depends on you, your lifestyle, your motivation and more.

It’s also a natural question. After all, in the beginning of our writing career we really don’t have a clue. We know that regular jobs require eight hours a day or more. Do we, we wonder, have to spend that much time on our writing?

Write until you trust that you’ll write

I was reminded of this the last couple of weeks. I was sick, seriously I can barely get out of bed sick. Some sort of cold, flu, something that sapped my energy. The first five or six days I didn’t even think about this blog or any of my other writing. As I began to recover there came a moment when I realized I hadn’t written a thing in over a week! That’s highly unusual for me, but I trust my writing. I knew when I started feeling even semi-human I’d start to write again, and so it was.

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Thanksgiving Gratitude List 2019

Thanksgiving 2019Many years ago Rev. Guy Williams, linked below, challenged a group of us to think of 100 thinks we were grateful every day. I took on that challenge for awhile. I was a loss at how to keep track while I was walking. I remembered I had a Buddhist rosary. Most Buddhist rosaries have 108 beads. And so I counted. I’m always tickled to find I value people more than stuff. ; – )

        1. Dudley the cat
        2. My son Michael
        3. My daughter Linda
        4. My son Steve
        5. Gloria
        6. Chris
        7. Stacey
        8. Emily Rose
        9. Rob
        10. Ben
        11. Cole
        12. Valerie
        13. Dan
        14. Democracy Counts
        15. Pulkit
        16. Nancy
        17. Kim
        18. Fay
        19. Didge
        20. Phil
        21. Myriem
        22. Steve
        23. Victoria L.
        24. Victoria O.
        25. Jamie
        26. Tala
        27. Fresh warm bean burritos
        28. Trish
        29. Intermittent fasting
        30. Keto that reduces my migraines to almost nothing
        31. SWZC.org
        32. Seisen
        33. Alberto
        34. Devon
        35. Ando
        36. Doshin
        37. Rosie
        38. Jose
        39. Jennifer
        40. Lonnie
        41. Herb
        42. Zoe
        43. Bobby
        44. my cottage
        45. electricity
        46. running water
        47. hot running water
        48. heaters
        49. stove
        50. microwave
        51. fridge
        52. showers
        53. washing machines
        54. Nachelli
        55. Olin
        56. HansPeter
        57. Luis
        58. Mary
        59. Cathy M.
        60. Paula
        61. Lori
        62. Sharon H.
        63. Carol
        64. Cait
        65. Michael Ann
        66. Claudia
        67. Jeff
        68. Frederick
        69. Rev. Guy Williams
        70. Jay
        71. Libraries
        72. The bus, particularly the 929
        73. The trolley
        74. The car I used to have
        75. The car I’ll soon get
        76. The Internet
        77. Email
        78. WordPress
        79. Thesis theme
        80. Cafe Moto
        81. Moto Coffee
        82. Twiggs on Park
        83. Books and more books to read and to write
        84. Blair
        85. John
        86. Texting… never thought I’d say this…
        87. Good coffee
        88. Espresso machine
        89. Stainless pour over filter
        90. Two great flashlights – an appreciated gift
        91. YouTube and the access it gives me to experts.
        92. Joe Alai
        93. Joe Dispenza
        94. Gregg Braden
        95. Agnes Vivarelli
        96. Gloria
        97. Stacey
        98. Steph
        99. Rebecca
        100. Richard
        101. Jennifer
        102. Lonie
        103. Kitty
        104. MzTiz
        105. Ellie
        106. Katurah
        107. Andrea
        108. Ron

The best of the holiday to you,

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer

 

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5 Advanced On-Page Optimization SEO Tactics for Freelancers

SEOWhen it comes to SEO, we are in a constant state of learning through trial and error. What works today might be irrelevant tomorrow. What’s worse is that what works for one client or company doesn’t work the same on another. There is no step by step magic formula or a defined strategy we can follow that will help us increase ranking and bring traffic to the site.

We are scientists that are always testing out theories and trying to come up with a winning formula. It also doesn’t help that we are working with on hand behind our back, trying to guess what Google likes and approves.

What does On-Page Optimization mean for Freelancers Writers?

As Google updates the algorithms and becomes smarter, it is our job to understand what it labels as the most valuable. The common denominator we have found in all of the equations is the user. Yes, we are optimizing content for search engines, but they are, in return, optimizing for the person that is reading our content.


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