Thursday, June 30, 2011


I apologize for not posting yesterday. I don't have a good excuse - life got in the way. Life getting in the way is a problem I have been running into alot lately. By the time I get up and get my daily walk in, it feels like there's no time left to write. I fill my days, and I don't even know what I do. I feel stressed, as if there's not enough time to finish what I want to accomplish. How do the women who have full-time jobs and children do it? Does anyone have some time management tips?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to prepare for an interview

Good news today. I am scheduled for an interview for Friday. Now the trick is to get ready. I know to read up on the company before I go in there. (I found that out the hard way- I went to an interview and was asked if I'd looked at the company's website, and I had to say no. Yikes!) Also, I now have a blazer I wear to job interviews. Several years ago I went to a job interview on a hot summer day in a sleeveless dress and was told I looked "unprofessional." In addition to my on-the-spot training, I also will use a few ideas I have learned through books or word of mouth. I am going to make a copy of my resume with my new married name on it, and I have a portfolio of all the things I've written that I am going to bring. I will even update it with some of the articles I've been writing recently. Finally, I'm going to figure out where it is the building is the day before so I don't get lost Friday morning. Can anyone think of other good tips on how to prepare for a writing job interview?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Starting over again - again?

After a nice break for the weekend, I settled down to write articles like a dutiful writer. One small problem, though. The list of articles they have given me to write on is so esoteric that I don't see how anyone could write on them. Just so you know, the method of separating rye grain is not available to researchers online. If you want to be the first to write on that topic, be my guest. For my part, I don't know anything about gardening, much less farming, and I am pretty sure this is not my day to start. This creates a problem of what to write for this company.I hope I can figure it out, as I don't want to start over right as I'm starting out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Looking for a writing job - Part 2

I've been online most of the morning looking for writing jobs. My husband suggested I look under marketing as well. This was a great idea. There are many marketing jobs, and I think I'm qualified to write business communications as much as any one. I think one of the keys to finding a writing job (besides persistance) is the ability to look for jobs in unexpected places, like the marketing section.
Persistance is going to be the real key to getting a job, however. There are so many times every day when I ask myself if I'm crazy to pursue this path. Maybe I should go back to school. It's important to stay committed or I'll never succeed. Maybe I need to change my definition of success. After all, isn't doing what you love a form of success itself.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Looking for a writing job - Part 1

I have this part-time job writing how-to articles, but I'm still looking for another part-time job or a full-time job. Would it surprise anyone to say it's a tough market? I've had some limited success finding freelance jobs on Craigslist and seem to find the most viable options on there.I reccomend Craigslist to anyone looking for writing jobs but don't have much advice on how to keep spirits up while looking for a job. Mainly, I've been trying to count interest in my work (an email, an interview) as a sign that something good is just around the corner. I'm focused not so much on outcome, as saturating the market. Also, I try to give myself breaks from looking for a day or two a week. No one can go on and on like a robot without a break. Does anyone else have some advise on how to find a job or how to stay sane while doing it?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Writing through the laziness

Today I've run into a major writing problem - lack of motivation. Usually, when I need to recharge, I take a walk by Boulder Creek. Exercise lifts my mood and is good for my health. On top of that, walking is a great time to edit what I've written and sort out what I am going to write next. I definitely recommend some form of exercise if you are going to write. It keeps me sane. Besides, it gives me an excuse to get out from behind the computer.
I'm going to try walking to, hopefully, get in the frame of mind where I can write. If I had it my way, I would spend the day in bed. A day off would be delicious. Maybe I'll go back to bed for an hour and then give the writing thing another try. Without a boss or deadlines, I could conceivably spend every day in bed. I need the money, though, so I guess I will write through the laziness.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I was kind of down on myself yesterday. It's hard to not get the blues when you don't see another human being all day. Today was a whole different story, however. I took Pigg to the dog park this morning and got an early jump on the day. My editor had some revisions for me to incorporate into my article. I made the changes and - voila - I am now a professional writer. I've had articles published before, but this is the first time anyone has ever paid me money to write. My goal is to write four articles a day in order to make enough money to pay rent. I'm going to have to give up my chai tea habit, but it's worth it to work in shorts and a sports bra and take an hour break in the afternoon for a siesta. I look forward to the day when money is not a problem, but, until then, I will savor the small triumphs - like this one!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jumping in

So, I took the weekend to get things together around the house (we had been in the Dominican on our honeymoon), and now I am ready to start my first official day as a professional writer. In Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird, she recommends letting yourself write shitty first drafts. Man, have I got that one covered! I used to think I was a fairly decent writer, but this project has totally changed my mind. Does every writer feel this way, or is it just me? My junior high self, which resides in my otherwise grown-up mind, is telling me I should cut my losses and maybe see if I can get a job as a bank teller. But I have my books to encourage me, and at least one writer I enjoy has given me permission to write the worst first drafts I can possibly think of. 
I write my first drafts on computer, sometimes, and on paper, more often. I feel like it's easier to think on paper. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I type with two fingers (guess that job as an administrative assistant is out). There's something about the flow of my hand on paper that matches the movement of my thoughts and seems to make it easier to think. Also, when I'm writing my shitty first drafts, I tend to write from the title, straight down in a linear style. No thesis sentence first. That will come when I get to it in the essay. I sometimes go back and rearrange the order of my sentences, but it's rare. Usually, I don't spend nearly enough time in this editing stage. It's something that I want to work on - right after I post this paragraph.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day One - Deep breath!

So, this is my first post, and I'm majorly intimidated. I'm starting a job writing articles for an online company on Monday. I'm exercising, reading, and writing in my journal to get ready. I've read a few books on writing, and they all stress the importance of practicing everyday. So far, I have not excelled in this area. I tend to only write when I have a deadline. Any ideas on how to get motivated?