A writing forum may be the best investment you can make in your writing career. The right forum, and I’m proud of ours, can help you not only feel like you’re not the only one in the world writing, but is a ploace where you can hang out a bit and learn a ton. Or, if you’re already a professional writer, a forum is a place to shine and know you’ll be appreciated.
Here are 20 reasons you want to be part of a writing forum.
Why this topic today? Ah, simple, I’m relaunching the About Writing Squared / $5 Buck writing forum. Yes, that’s right. We’ve gone back to our original $5 a month price.
Here’s what we offer there.
- A solid group of professional writers committed to their work and willing to share what they did to get there.
- A free getting started class.
- Even threads to talk about your dogs and cats!
At $5 a month it’s a great way to start the new year. Splurge a bit on yourself and come join the fun.
The 20 secrets
The About Writing Squared / $5 Buck Forum is:
- A place to ask questions about your writing business.
- A place to answer questions about the writing business.
- An online place to hang out a bit when you’re feeling stuck.
- A place to celebrate your writing wins – all of them.
- A place to whine (a bit) when your writing is rejected.
- A perfect place to complain about a client.
- Also a perfect place to ask for advice about a client.
- A writing forum is a great place to get marketing tips.
- You may get job leads in a writing forum.
- A place to ask for referrals to writing websites.
- A writing forum often offers discounts on all sorts of things for writers.
- Some writing forums allow you to make money selling memberships.
- A place to get advice from writing pros – who face it, generally know more about writing than your family or the folks at the coffee shop.
- A writing forum may also offer free or discounted classes by members.
- When you need to talk with someone who understands how hard it can be to find a publisher or an agent a good writing forum is the ideal place.
- Not only will members of a writing forum understand your problem, you’re likely to get some solid suggestions about how to solve it.
- Ask for and get honest critiques of your writing – or at least of snippets of your writing.
- You can ask your fellow forum mates to beta read your work as long as you’re willing to do the same.
- You won’t be the only forum member who would rather not market your writing – you’ll get support, encouragement and a dollop of sincere sympathy.
- If you’re new you’ll be able to ask writing pros all the questions you want and if you’re a pro you’ll be able to give back by helping the newcomer.
Yes, the original $5 buck writing forum has been re-launched at exactly that price – $5 a month, unless you want to save more by paying a year in advance. Get all the information here and treat yourself.
Write well and often,
Yikes, we’re already almost four full days into 2019 and I’m just starting to think about setting goals, or rather the problem with setting goals. Even thinking about setting goals kind of makes me tired this year – maybe it did last year too, I don’t really remember.
And I just took down my vision board! Well not the board, but most of the stuff on it.
It’s not that I don’t believe setting goals or working with vision boards can work. I know it can because I’ve experienced making goals. It’s exciting. I’ve also experienced setting goals I had no real hope of attaining. That’s not fun at all! And, of course, setting unattainable goals is a possible problem with setting goals.
Life is too variable
I find life too variable to decide what I’m doing in the second half of the year in the first half, or even really the first quarter. For example, six months ago I volunteered for a non-profit non-partisan tech startup. You may have heard me talk about it. Two weeks ago a friend of mine who has, for a long long time, talked about getting me to help him write books, offered to pay me and to co-write with him.
The first, Democracy Counts! if you’re curious, ended up with me spending a week in Broward County, Florida, beta testing software that allows or will citizens to perform same-day election audits. If I had set a certain kind of goal last year I might have missed that experience altogether. And my experience with this group of people continues to be interesting and exciting. I wouldn’t have knowingly missed it for the world.
Every so often a writing client doesn’t perform! The biggest non-performance issue is probably when a client doesn’t pay, and yes, that’s a problem, but not what I’m talking about now.
I have a newish client – we’ve been working together about four months. I absolutely love their project and it’s been a delight working with them. Until recently.
My initial understanding
Let me back up a bit. Their project is a multi-year effort. There is a ton to do and all of a sudden the client has stopped responding to my requests for clarity on what’s next. From my point of view we really need to get rolling or we could miss a hard deadline. As I understood it we planned to use the month of December for some serious planning, even though two of the principles would be gone about half of the month.
Here’s what I’ve done:
How I script videos and webinars is a more casual approach than many take.
My goal is to sound and look natural. A tightly written script that I feel I must follow in detail means I show up looking and sounding, well, scripted, and not at all like me.
What am I trying to accomplish?
Putting together a video or a webinar is a fair amount of work. People usually don’t put them together without a good reason. Maybe they want to build their reputation or sell a product or even sell a webinar. Be sure you know why you’re putting the video/webinar together.
I start with a tight topic
That is, I want a fairly narrow topic. “Freelance Writing,” for example, is far to wide ranging to be good for a video or webinar. “Finding Freelance Writing Jobs” is better, but still leaves lots of room for wandering. “Finding and Landing Freelance Blog Posts that Pay,” however, is just about right for an hour or less video or webinar. You could tighten it up more by adding an additional qualifier like ‘non-fiction’ or ‘travel’ or ‘marketing.’
What kind of persistence do you use in your writing business? Didn’t realize there’s more than one type? Neither did I, not exactly. When I Googled up the definition and got this:
firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
“companies must have patience and persistence, but the rewards are there”
I’m not sure I like the choices, which seem to be being firm, obstinate and/or patient. I think the key is actually in the word, continuance.
Where to find freelance writing jobs usually feels like a challenge. That’s actually because it is. But oh my has it changed over time.
This blog, according to ICANN WHOIS, the folks who keep track of domain names etc., I started this blog on June 24th, 2004! According to WordPress stats, this post will make the 1,994th post! Good grief!
I started posting jobs for writers pretty early and clearly remember I often couldn’t find more than four jobs for writers to list! That 14 or so years has made a huge difference.
Here’s an example:
Last week I got an email from Alexander Timofeev with a link to Freelance Writing Jobs: 300+ Websites That Pay. I haven’t checked out each and every one but there are many I recognize and I looked at enough others to be convinced this is a valuable website for those who want to know where to look for freelance writing jobs. It will soon show up on my own list of places to find jobs and gigs. Talk about a gold mine of where to find freelance writing jobs!
Get creative about where to find freelance writing jobs
I wondered what else I could find. Try this search phrase: freelance writing job boards 2018 in Google and I’ll bet you’re surprised. Or ghostwriting jobs 2018.
Assuming you’ve been a freelance writer for awhile now, have you thought about how you really feel about your writing? I mean deep down inside, in that truth-telling place that’s sometimes scary to go.
Here’s what got me thinking in this direction a bit. I normally take my writing ability for granted. Over time I’ve been published often enough, paid often enough and complemented often enough to know I do a pretty good job. When I read my stuff I often enjoy it, even though I know it could be improved.
I also know I can count on my writing ability. Even if I don’t write for a day or a week officially, I always write something it seems. Writing is in my brain and my fingers and even, perhaps, my blood. My first writing was published when I was in 6th grade.
Years ago I was in a class with Rev. Guy Williams, now senior minister at the Center for Spiritual Living in Fallbrook, CA, when he challenged us about gratitude.
The second challenge was “If you can’t be grateful for something, stand there until you can be.” An amazing exercise which I will write about come to think of it.
The first challenge was to write down 100 things we were grateful for every day – at least during the class. I took that on and quickly began to use set of mala beads. Mala beads are a Buddhist rosary with 108 beads and it was at the time the closest rosary I had. So I began to count off gratitudes daily using that.
At some point I decided to create a list of 108 things I’m grateful as a Thanksgiving post here. I looked it up and I’ve been doing this since at least 2008 – making this the tenth anniversary. How about that! The only rule is I write it on Thanksgiving day as close to all at once as I can. Like this:
- That the true story of Thanksgiving is now easily available, like this one: Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving Is Wrong
- The internet and the information and connections with others it allows me to make.
- Cats – always cats
- Dudley, the tuxedo cat in particular
- Teachers like Rev. Guy who challenge me in many ways.
- Cait Casey
- Carol Spong
- Claudia Previn Stansy and her husband, Jeff
- Democracy Counts!
- Daniel H. Wolf and founder of Democracy Counts!
- Pulkit K. Agrawal and team member at Democracy Counts!
- Pulkit’s mom who taught me just how good Indian food can be.
- The rest of the Democracy Counts team – some I’ve met once (Eric and Nancy), and others not at all.
- Chris Scott, inventor of IWood
- Frederick Jackson, owner and operator of The Healing Space
- Zen Buddhism
- SWZC, where I currently live
- The cottage I rent there.
- The Quan Yin Garden
- Growing tomatoes
- Nathan Doshin Woods
- Ryan Ando Lennon
- Running water
- Fresh water
- Hot water
- The fountain in the Quan Yin Garden
- Gas for the stove
- Gas for heat
- Washing machine
- My computer
- My monitor
- My connection to the ‘net
- My keyboard
- My iPad
- (And I’ve finally gotten grateful for) my smart phone
- My car
- My car’s engine
- My cars tires and breaks
- That my car is paid for
- Herb Deer
- My living room rug
- Jennifer Simmons
- Cathy Miller
- Lori Widmer
- Sharon Hurley Hall
- Anne Seisen Saunders
- Roosevelt Roshin Ulloavaldivieso
- Lots of hot water for showers
- My daughter, Linda Wilder Cullins
- Linda’s husband, Chris
- My son and Linda’s brother, Mike Wilder
- Mike’s wife, Gloria Leichter Wilder
- Their daughter Emily Rose (my granddaughter)
- Their son Ben (my grandson)
- My son, Steve Wilder
- His wife, Stacy
- Their daughter Valerie (my granddaughter)
- Their son Cole (my grandson)
- Jay Evans
- Joanna Macy
- Opensource software
- The Pacific Ocean – all of it
- Boats, particularly sail boats
- The Atlantic Ocean
- Mississippi River
- Missouri River
- Sacramento Delta
- Great Lakes
- Money, that I have, had, and will have.
- Sweetwater River
- Santa Margarita River
- City Heights
- Martin Eder
- Dwain Dolan
- Ellie Winslow
- Cut flowers
- Houses with curves and arches
- My lace curtains
- Winds and breezes
- Abraham Hicks
- Online bookstores like Abe’s
- Hmm, am I grateful for online dating? It’s a mixed bag for sure
- Live theater
- Live music
- Farmer’s markets
- Meandering by car or by foot
How do I get back to my writing routine?
It’s actually pretty simple; I sit down and write.
But it doesn’t quite feel that way. After all, not only was I gone a full week, that week was on one of the more interesting projects I’ve been involved with. As part of Democracy Counts! (www.DemocracyCounts.org) I spent a week in Broward County more or less beta testing our software and systems for the same-day audits of elections.
If you’ve been paying attention to election news you know that Broward County in Florida has been fraught with problem elections almost forever. We became part of all that for the 2018 mid-terms. (And yes, they’ve finished the recount… finally!)
To me, distraction-free writing is my idea of heaven… and like heaven we have no certainty that it exists.
Okay, right now I’m more distracted than usual. I leave in two days for a week in Florida – and this happening was only confirmed last night.
Do you know how many things I have to get done, people I need to notify, and… well of course you do. You’d be in exactly the same position as I am, scrambling.
Yes, it’s a business trip and there’s a ton of business prep left to do as well.
My mind is elsewhere.
What prevents distraction-free writing?
Lots of things get in the way of writing.